With the weather forecasts saying Norfolk would have heavy rainfall for almost the whole of the day, we decided on a trip to Dungeness to start the new birding year. Light rain was falling on route and it would only become worse as the day progressed.
We started the day off with a seawatch at the fishing boats, a heavy sea mist made for challenging conditions, but we still managed to find several good birds moving through. Red-throated Divers and a single Great Northern Diver headed up towards the point with large numbers of Guillemots resting on the water along with a handful of Razorbill. Gannets were numerous and two Great Skuas close in were a real treat. Just as we were about to leave another birder drove up to us and asked if we had seen the Glaucous Gull? We hadn't, so we followed him towards the point and were soon watching the Glac out on the sea. We didn't get the birders name but we were very grateful.
A brief stop at the fish hut produced both Adult and 1st winter Caspian Gulls, but we were not so lucky locating the Stejneger's Stonechat off kerton Road. With heavy rain falling we managed to pick out the Slav Grebe on Lade GP before heading for the car.
As we headed through the reserve gate we quickly found a small flock of Tree Sparrows in bushes near the farm house and the drake Ring-necked Duck was still present on Cook's pool.
Heavy rain was still falling as we made our way towards the dipping pond hoping to connect with the Long-eared owl. We wasn't disappointed as it was awake and showing extremely well. At the Arc pit we managed a single Goosander and two female Goldeneye, but I somehow managed to miss the redhead Smew that was present on Burrowes Pit!
Heavy rain and freezing conditions made it hard work throughout the day, but we still managed to see some good birds nonetheless.