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We found 20 species of wader around Rye Harbour on Thursday. Among a spectacular crowd of mixed gulls (5 species) and wildfowl 15 species) in front of the Castle Water Hide there were hundreds of Lapwings, dozens of Curlews, arriving parties of both Godwits, Snipe, Dunlin, Common, Green & Curlew Sandpipers, several Ruff, both Ringed & Little Ringed Plovers while in the background there were Little Egrets and a Marsh Harrier.

 A few days before I had been in the Firth Hide at RSPB Dungeness which had been full of people enjoying/struggling to identify a much smaller range of waders and yet here at Castle Water, as so often happens, we had the place to ourselves. Yet it's just a 20 minute walk from Brede Lock.

Outside the hide passed a stream of Long-tailed, Blue & Great Tits with Chiffchaffs & Whitethroats in tow and over in the gorse were Lesser Whitethroat and a Redstart.


We later called in at the Gooders Hide to admire Bob Greenhalf's wonderful widescreen mural while adding more birds to a list we'd started at Fairlight Cove that morning and which concluded, at 99 species, with a Pectoral Sandpiper on yet another little visited part of the reserve at Winchelsea Beach.

No Canada Goose on the list though (can you believe it?) Or Skylark.

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