Tuesday, 31 July 2012


Lade - 0600hrs - cool, overcast, drizzle, s2 - Only 14 species in the moth trap last night with the only insect of note being a Migrant Hawker. Over the storm beaches a steady passage of Swifts heading purposely south and a few Sand Martins across the open water.

                                          Migrant Hawker

ARC - 1515hrs - A brief call in to Hanson hide delivered 20 Lapwings, 5 LRPs, 5 Dunlins, 4 Common Sands and a Blackwit, plus 3 Garganeys and a 1st summer Little Gull. Plenty of hirundines, mostly Sand Martins, over the water and 50 odd Swifts.
The highlight here though was the 2 juv Peregrines that have been terrorising the birds around ARC for the past month. The female is enormous and stoops on everything from Swifts, Coots, ducks and gulls and puts on quite a performance, so if you want to see Peregrines learning their craft, come on down and enjoy the free show.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Rosy Footman

Lade - 0600hrs - cool and sunny, sw2 - A chilly night resulted in a much reduced catch in the moth trap; BUT right in the bottom, underneath the last egg box was a beautiful, and unfamiliar to me, little moth that I took to be a  pyrale at first glance, until a visit to the Kerton Road Cafe straightened me out and confirmed it was a very bright Rosy Footman, a scarce resident in these parts and new for the trap.

                                          Rosy Footman, new for the Plovers trap

Spent most of the day up in London picking up Big Al (nearly 2 year old grandson) for an 11 day stay at Plovers. Was expecting a nightmare journey but it was like a Sunday morning on the roads with no queueing at the Blackwall Tunnel and you could even use the Zil lanes around the Olympic park. It would seem as though a large proportion of Londoners are either working from home or have cleared off on holiday.
By the O2 arena a flock of 10 parakeets flew out over the Thames.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Return of the south-westerly

Lade - 0530hrs - cool, sunny, showers mid-morning, sw 4 - With the weather once more coming off the Atlantic there was a noticeable cooling of temperatures which led to a drop off in numbers in the trap last night. However, Copper Underwing was new for the year, while a second generation Toadflax Brocade was new for the summer.

                                          Copper Underwing

                                          Toadflax Brocade

Lydd - 1200hrs - Whilst slaving away at the allotment the House Martin colony on the adjacent housing estate went into meltdown when an adult Kestrel perched close to a cluster of nests. The male Kes sat there for half and hour and seemed to be trying to work out how he could snatch a quick snack. After a couple of feeble attempts at swooping down and trying to grab a martin on the wing he gave up while his pride was still intact and flew off to search for easier prey.
ARC -1500hrs - In company with the Joker checked out the waders from Hanson where a single Blackwit was the highlight amongst 50 Lapwings, 10 Common Sands and several LRPs. The Garganey count reached 5 dabblers.
Dungeness - 1545hr - A 45 minute seawatch from the concrete road produced little more than handfuls of Common and Sandwich Terns feeding offshore, a couple of parties of Common Scoters, a few Gannets, a Kittiwake and several porpoises. Earlier on PB had a Balearic Shearwater west.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

The Midrips

Lade - 0500hrs - cool, dry and cloudy, n2, sw 4 later - Slightly fewer moths last night with Swallow Prom and Clouded Border new for the year. A Large Yellow Underwing was of note as there have been very few coming to light this summer (thankfully!).
Midrips - 1100hrs - With a weekend ceasefire on the ranges decided to check out the wader pools on the Midrips and Wicks, but it was slim pickings with 5 Curlew, 2 Common Sands and a Whimbrel the only waders, plus 28 Shelducks (including 4 sets of well grown ducklings), Kestrel, Mipits and Pied Wagtail. On the beach at Jury`s Gap a flock of 100 Common and Sandwich Terns contained only a handful of this years juvs, while 5 Yellow Wagtails were on the shingle bank.

                                          Clouded Border

                                          Swallow Prominent

                                          The Midrips

                                          Garganeys, Mallards and Teal, ARC

ARC - 1400hrs - Together with the Joker checked out ARC from Hanson where waders included 50 Lapwings, 4 Blackwits, 10 Common and one Green Sandpipers, 5 LRPs, 3 Dunlin and a Curlew. Plenty of dabbling ducks included a close flock of 3 Garganeys, Mallards, Teal and Shoveler, plus 3 Little Egrets and hundreds of common eclipse wildfowl. A Wood Warbler was seen and photographed by PB near the water tower (stunning pic on his blog).
We returned to Hanson later on following news of a Kentish Plover in front of the hide but could find no sign of it by 1700hrs. A Bee-eater was also reported earlier on.
Dungeness - 1500hrs - A 45 minute seawatch from the concrete road in a freshening south-westerly delivered a single Arctic Skua, Whimbrel, 2 scoters and 30 Gannets west, plus a trickle of Sandwich and Common Terns. Several parties of Swifts were also on the move over the shingle.

Friday, 27 July 2012

First Pintail

Lade - 0600hrs - overcast, muggy, showery, clearing by mid-morning, n2 - Cracking night with 40 species of moths in the trap this morning including Reed Dagger and White-line Dart new for the year. In amongst the large numbers of Buff Ermines and Tawny Shears were two extreme examples of each -  a very well marked Buffy and a very pale Tawny.
Visible migration over the pits consisted of several Yellow Wagtails and Mipits.

                                          Buff Ermine

                                          Tawny Shears

Burrowes - 1400hrs - nothing much of note here apart from a couple of Common  Sands from the visitors centre, unless you`re a fan of large gulls and Cormorants...
ARC - 1430hrs - wandered down to Screen hide where 3 Blackwits several Common Sands, LRP and Green Sandpiper amongst numerous Lapwings. Eclipse ducks included my first Pintail of the `autumn` and 3 Wigeon, plus 3 Little Egrets, Marsh Harrier and Common Tern. Plenty of Reed Warblers still in song and a Yellow Wagtail overhead. Chatted to SB who had 2 Whimbrels, a few more sandpipers and 2 Garganeys from Hanson.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

More Waders

Lade - 0600hrs - warm, dry and sunny e3 - Another stinking hot day, but with a freshening easterly to take the edge off the heat. Not quite so many moths in the trap this morning but Oak Eggar and Lynchnis were new for the year. A passage of 50 odd Swifts passed over the cottage heading south.

                               Drinker, one of my favourites, and not that commonly trapped

ARC - 1200hrs - Bumped into a couple of old clients in Hanson hide as well as BP who confirmed that the Bitterns had raised 2 juvs over-the-road. A decent selection of birds on the emerging islands and it seems that every time i visit a new wader is noted, which bodes well for August, the wader month. Two Snipes were lurking on the far islands amongst the Lapwings, plus 10 Common Sands, 3 LRPs, 4 Dunlins and a Green Sand closer in. Also, 8 Little Egrets (5 at south end), 3 Wigeon, 3 Garganey, 3 Common Terns, Marsh Harrier and hundreds of common wildfowl.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

The Ashford One

Lade - 0500hrs - warm, dry, sunny, e2, hot later on - Another trap full of moths this morning, 38 species to be precise with Drinker, Dun-bar, Dagger, Shaded Broad-bar and Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing all new for the year.
Over the pits a trickle of Sand Martins and 2 Yellow Wags overhead.
Ashford - 1400hrs - Had to go into town this afternoon so couldn`t resist another look at The Ashford One on the tower block. Got chatting to a couple of locals (amazing the response you get from Joe Public when standing in a town centre staring up at a building with optics...) one of whom also confirmed that the Eagle Owl had been present, "for some weeks now", and another who said he`d seen the owl flying over the nearby churchyard. Whilst watching the owl it coughed up a pellet that unfortunately fell behind a parapet just below the roost site; a search at the base of the building failed to locate any previous pellets or bits of prey.
Lade Bay - 1700hrs - Back home from sweltering Ashford went for my first swim of the summer in the bay. Whilst floundering around I could see 2 seals further out bobbing up and down, probably trying to work out what all the commotion was about.

                                          Dagger sp


                                         Shaded Broad-bar

                                 Eagle Owl, prior to disgorging a pellet

                               The Ashford One, looking content after ejecting roughage

ARC - 1900hrs - Finished the day at Screen hide from where 2 Ruffs dropped in amongst 4 Common and one Green Sandpiper, 2 LRPs and a Dunlin. Also, 3 Wigeons, 3 Little Egrets and a Garganey amongst the massed ranks of common ducks, swans and geese. A juv Marsh Harrier received a torrid time from a pair of Herring Gulls as it flew over the lake, losing a wing feather in the process, and hundreds of Starlings, Lapwings and Woodpigeons were feeding on emerging flying ants on the sandy ridges between the track and the pit.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Moth Fest

Lade - 0500hrs - warm, sunny, e2, hot later rising to 26C - Needless to say overnight conditions were suitable for large numbers of moths coming to light with over 300 moths and 34 species in the trap. Most numerous were Brown-tails at 64, followed by 28 Broad-barred Whites! In amongst the common stuff was my second Sussex Emerald of the year and first Pale Grass Eggar, Common Rustic and Single-dotted Wave.
Dungeness - Had a run around this morning with the Joker. First stop the Obs for a natter and to check out the Dewick`s Plusia in the fridge, a rare migrant from the continent that had been trapped somewhere up on the Weald. Also a Yellow Wagtail overhead calling.
ARC -Plenty to see from Hanson hide with 2 Garganeys amongst the dabbling Teals, Gadwalls and Shovelers. Waders included 6 Common Sands, 3 LRPs and singles of Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Greenshank. Towards the water tower 8 spangled Golden Plovers dropped in amongst the Lapwings plus Little Egret, Wigeon and Common Tern. Plenty of Reed Warblers chugging away and a calling Willow Warbler in the car park.

                                          Pale Grass Eggar

                                          Sussex Emerald

                                          Single-dotted Wave

                                          Garganey, ARC

Monday, 23 July 2012

Moths & Waders

Lade - 0600hrs - warm, dry and sunny s2 - A somewhat disappointing 23 species in the moth trap last night considering how warm and still it was. However, 3 new `uns for the year included Ruby Tiger, Old Lady (outside the trap) and a Poplar Grey.

                                         Poplar Grey

                                          Old Lady

                                          Ruby Tiger

ARC - 1200hrs - Migrant waders on the islands in front of Hanson included 6 Common and one Green Sandpiper, plus singles of Dunlin, Greenshank and a flyover Whimbrel. Also, LRP, Little Egret and Garganey. The juv Peregrine was causing havoc scattering the Lapwings and clouting a juv Black-headed Gull which it failed to gather as the gull fell onto the water, swam around for a bit in a daze before disappearing into cover on an island.
Lade Bay - 1700hrs - As the tide receded the usual hundreds of gulls flooded back onto the sands, amongst the holidaymakers floundering in the mud. At least 50 Sandwich Terns came in to sit and preen, plus 280 Curlews, 50 Oycs and a scattering of Dunlins, Redshanks and a red Barwit.
ps: The Eagle Owl was back in Ashford town centre this evening.

Sunday, 22 July 2012


Ashford - 1230hrs - hot, dry and sunny e2 - Called in at Charter House on the way back from `north of the Thames`, but could find no sign of the Eagle Owl. Back on the Marsh noted a Common Buzzard over the road at Hamstreet and a Black Redstart on the barn at Hammond`s Corner.
Lade - 1500hrs - The monthly wildfowl count yielded little of note apart from the first Tufted Duck families of the season, 6 pairs of Great Crested Grebes with juvs, plus singles of Little Egret and Common Sandpiper.
Alongside north pit a large patch of Buddleia bushes in past years has hosted good numbers of butterflies, but this afternoon couldnt find a single insect, sort of proving what a desperate summer it has been so far for these beautiful creatures.
News from the bird reserve has been scant of late, but an adult Bittern has been seen feeding a juv, proving breeding for the second year running.

                                          Buddleia, without butterflies

                                                    Dark Mullein, Lade

Friday, 20 July 2012

Early Migrants & Eagle Owl - Saturday

Lade - 0500hrs - cool, still, damp, light airs - A chilly night delivered low numbers and only 16 species of moths in the garden trap with only a Figure of Eighty of note.
Over the pits the first real evidence of the gathering autumn migration with a couple of Willow Warblers calling from back garden bushes and a trickle of Yellow Wagtails and Sand Martins over the storm beaches south. Also, first Greenshank of the return passage, plus 2 Common and one Green Sandpipers.

                                          Poplar Lutestring

Ashford - 1030hrs - Following a text from NB confirming that the Eagle Owl was roosting on Charter House tower block this morning, could not resist a quick look en-route to a wedding `up-country`. Stopped in the Shell garage opposite and had bins views from the road, after which briefly joined PB who was `shooting` it with his long-tom (check PB`s blog for a cracking pic). Even though the owl is almost certainly of captive origin it was still an impressive sight, and the fact that it has presumably survived in the wild for at least a month throws up all sorts of questions, such as what has it been feeding on, how has it learnt to hunt so quickly and where will it go next?
Whatever the outcome I hope it survives and enjoys its freedom as personally I cant stand to see any bird caged and unable to do what nature intended of it and fly free.

RM Canal Survey & Eagle Owl

Warehorne to Appledore - warm, dry and sunny, light airs - Final visit to survey this section of the RMC for RSPB Farmland Bird Survey. Confirmed breeding of Turtle Dove, Lesser Whitethroat, Yellowhammer, Bullfinch and Spotted Flycatchers. Still plenty of Blackcaps and Reed Warblers in song; Hobby, Sparrowhawk and Buzzard noted; 2 Tree Sparrow colonies; singing Cetti`s Warbler. On the down side a paucity of waterfowl, due I assume in part to the presence of Mink, of which 2 were seen.
Folkestone Leas Cliff - 1400hrs - A Kingfisher was a surprise find in the park at the bottom of the cliffs, after which it headed out along the foreshore towards Sandgate.
Dengemarsh -1700hrs - Plenty of Common Tern activity, 2 Marsh Harriers and a Hobby was about it here.
ps: Reports of an owl on the Charter House building in central Ashford have been confirmed as an Eagle Owl (per NB). Apparently its been there for a month, so must be feeding well on something or other; cats, rats, small dogs etc...

Thursday, 19 July 2012


Dungeness - sunshine, cloud, showers, cool, w3 - 0745hrs - A quick look at the sea and Patch revealed pretty much as yesterday with a steady flow of Gannets and a couple of hundred Common Terns respectively. Very little on the land apart from a few Mipits, Linnets and a Kestrel.
1630hrs - A 90 minute seawatch from the concrete road proved more than worthwhile with a westward movement of 200 Gannets, 200 Common Terns, 50 Sandwich Terns, 7 Manxies and a Whimbrel plus a terrific view of a Bonxie along the beach which sent the loitering gulls into a frenzy. Two porpoises were feeding just offshore and a flock of 35 Common Scoters passed up-Channel.
The only other local news of note concerned a stork over New Romney this morning seen heading towards Dungeness (per OL).

Wednesday, 18 July 2012


Lade - 0600hrs - Another duff night in the trap with only Archers Dart of note.
Dungeness - 0730hrs - cool, cloudy, sw5 - Walked down to the Patch into a stiff wind blowing up-Channel. At least 100 Common Terns over the boil with another 100 on the beach amongst the gulls. Offshore more Common Terns and at least 50 Gannets in a 30 minute watch from the hide.
RSPB - 1015-1245hrs - Had a run out with the Joker and PT senior this morning. Along Coast Road 2 Med Gulls over. From the causeway road at the south end of ARC had crippling views of a juv female Peregrine tearing over the pit margin scattering the ducks and gulls. Watched her again from Hanson stooping at Swifts, needless to say without success, but she looks in great shape so must be making kills somewhere. Up to a thousand Swifts and martins over the water. The only waders on show were 2 LRPs, Lapwing and Oystercatcher. All the expected wildfowl including 3 Wigeon. Over the road, a Little Egret on Burrowes, while at Dengemarsh could only see one juv Common Tern on the rafts with the majority of adults still sitting on eggs, which seems a bit late; maybe the cold and rain has chilled the eggs as they should`ve hatched by now. Two distant Marsh Harriers also noted, plus Whitethroats and singing Cetti`s.

                                         Common Terns, adult & juv, Dengemarsh

Tuesday, 17 July 2012


Lade - 0600hrs - warm, dry & sunny, w2 - What a difference a day makes, with a cobalt blue sky and light winds lifting the spirits of both birder and birds alike. At least 5 Skylarks were aloft and singing over the storm beaches along with plenty of Linnets, Mipits and Whitethroats plus loads of Reed Warblers `chugging` away around the pit margins. Most numerous were hundreds, maybe thousands, of Starlings swirling over the Desert hunting leather jackets with similar numbers of Swifts overhead. Raptors were also enjoying the warmth with two each of Marsh Harrier, Buzzard and Kestrel noted.
The strong sunshine had enticed scores of Marbled Whites onto the wing too.
At home in the trap Silver Y was the most numerous migrant moth.

                                          Swift & Silver Y, Lade

Monday, 16 July 2012

We`re Having Some Weather...

Dungeness - 0900hrs - Cool, wet and dull, sw 4-5 - No sign of the sun today as wave after wave of rain running in on a brisk south-westerly soaked the Peninsula. Had a half hearted search for the elusive Serin, without success, before the weather closed in by late morning.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Garden Tiger

Lade - 0700hrs - mild, damp start, sunshine and cloud later, w2 - Despite last nights rain a respectable catch in the moth trap this morning was largely due to the wind dropping away. Loads of the dreaded Brown-tails and Dark Arches lurking in the egg boxes, while a splendid Garden Tiger was the pick of the catch. Formerly of course the Tiger was a common moth across the country but not any more in this part of the intensively farmed world, so was a delight to see and photograph.
1100hrs - With the rain clearing and the sun shining managed to entice Mrs PT for walk around the Lade Loop. By the pits a decent spread of butterflies warming up included Small Coppers, Small Skippers, Hedge Browns and Marbled Whites, while a stunning Emperor was the pick of the dragonflies. Bumped into a couple of visitors from up County botonising who`d come down specifically to see the White Mullein of which there was a least 5 plants in full flower. Two Common Sandpipers `flicked` across north pit and both Sandwich Terns and Med Gulls passed over calling. Not too much along the beach part of the walk apart from legions of gulls, Oystercatchers and Curlews on the shimmering sands.

                                          Garden Tiger, Lade

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Sunshine & Showers

Lade - 0700hrs - mild, wet, w3 - Another damp night saw a meagre 5 species in the garden moth trap with only Dark Tussock of note. Heavy showers continued throughout the day, albeit with spells of warm sunshine, which is good time to find butterflies becoming active, such as the Marbled White below. A small mixed flock of Great and Blue Tits in the garden conifers was typical for this time of year.

                                          Marbled White, Lade

ARC - Checked the pit out three times today, the best visit was late afternoon when the wind had dropped and all the wildfowl had spread out across the lake. Nothing unusual, but quite a sight. Couldnt find any sandpipers though. Still hundreds of Swifts above the water.
Springfield Bridge - Brief views of a Bittern over the reedbed, otherwise just the usual wildfowl, terns and harriers.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Lydd Heronry

ARC - 0900hrs - cool, dry, sunny, sw3 - Following 12 hours of continuous rain and a brisk south-westerly, moth trapping was a non-event last night.
At the south end of ARC the usual eclipse ducks included a large Mallard type job with a whitish head, probably of hybrid/plastic origin. No sign of any plovers although 2 LRPs from Hanson hide, plus 3 Little Egrets (one a juv), Wigeon, 2 juv Shelducks and hundreds of Swifts and hirundines over the water.
Lydd Heronry - 1000hrs - Met Ted Carpenter in Lydd and was given the tour of the heronry  opposite the church as a prelude to taking over the Grey Heron Census next year. Was surprised at the variety of tree species in which they nest; mostly in Holm Oak but also Horse Chestnut, Ash and Oak - there was even one nest still occupied! Could`ve stayed chatting to Ted all morning as his knowledge of the history and wildlife of Lydd and the Marsh in general is legendary. Felt privileged in way to have been asked to carry on the census from Ted, on what is one of the longest running British Bird Surveys, dating back nationally to 1928.
Dungeness - 1600hrs - An hours seawatch from the boats, in a strengthening westerly delivered nothing more than a few terns and Gannets. Barney enjoyed it for a change, as he found a large Brown Rat to chase amongst the fishing detritus... That dog is hopeless, my old Jack Russell would`ve nailed it in a trice. Needless to say the rat survived the ordeal.

Thursday, 12 July 2012


Lade - 0700hrs - cool and wet overnight so much reduced numbers in the moth trap, Lackey was new for the year.
Dungeness - 0900hrs - warm, dry and sunny, sw2 - A cracking morning for a scoot around the Peninsula, starting at The Patch where 50 odd Common Terns and 500 or more Black-headed Gulls was noteworthy. DW & PB were searching for an elusive Serin which had been heard earlier flying around aimlessly. Joined in the search for the avian equivalent of a needle-in-a-haystack for a while but without success.
RSPB  - 1100hrs - All the usual eclipse ducks on ARC plus 2 each of Wood Sandpiper, Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Little Egrets and a Hobby. Over the road 2 Blackwits on Dengemarsh hayfields, Marsh Harriers, Common Terns, Hobby and Little Egret.

                                         Oystercatcher, Burrowes

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Sandpipers & Raptors

Lade - 0700hrs - 23 species in the moth trap this morning, which was surprising considering how wet and windy it was last night. Checked out the Black-headed Gulls at Kerton Road pit where at least 15 juvs now on the wing. Two Oystercatcher chicks too.
ARC - 0900hrs - A wader survey around the pit delivered 6 adult LRPs, some probably migrants. Also, 2 Ringed Plovers, 30 Lapwings, 5 Oystercatchers, 2 Redshanks, Curlew and Green Sandpiper. A single Garganey was amongst the Teals from Screen hide, plus 300 Pochard, 200 Tufteds, 50 Shovelers, 40 Gadwalls, 2 Shelducks and a Wigeon. At least 50 House Martins above the lake with 200 Swifts, 2 Marsh Harriers, Kestrel and plenty of Reed Buntings and Reed Warblers around the margins.

                                          Great Crested Grebe, ARC

ARC - 1830hrs - With storm clouds all around us, patches of sunshine and the wind dropping away, decided to venture out again, and glad I did... From Screen hide a clutch of waders included 3 Green and 2 Wood Sandpipers, plus Dunlin and Redshank. The sky was full of Swifts and House Martins, 2 Hobbies and a Marsh Harrier.
Walland Marsh - 1915hrs - Superb session around the Marsh with steam rising off the tarmac attracting loads of Blackbirds and Woodpigeons to feed and bathe. The model flying club field held a flock of 8 Mistle Thrushes and a Buzzard, plus a `purring` Turtle Dove; the latter species was seen/heard at two other locations. Elsewhere, several Marsh Harriers, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and a cracking perched Barn Owl, 2 Corn Buntings, Yellow Wagtails, Yammers and Tree Sparrows.

                                          Buzzard & Yellowhammer, Walland Marsh

Tuesday, 10 July 2012


Lade - 0700hrs - cool, dry and sunny, sw3 - Reduced numbers in the trap last night due to the chilly wind, but still had 23 species with White-point, Silver Y and L-album on the migrant front, also Swallow-tailed, Dark Tussock, Buff-tip and a very pale Tawny Shears.
Very little of note on the pits apart from hundreds of eclipse wildfowl.
                                          Swallow-tailed Moth

                                          Tawny Shears, pale morph

                                         Bar-headed Goose, Burrowes

ARC - 1130hrs - A couple of hundred eclipse Pochards and Tufteds at the south end plus 2 Ringed and one Little Ringed Plovers, Oystercatcher and Lapwing. Spent a bit of time checking through the Swifts...
Burrowes - 1230hrs - A Whimbrel was the only noteworthy bird amongst the feral geese (including a Bar-headed), gulls and Cormorants, on an island in front of Makepeace hide.

Monday, 9 July 2012


Dungeness - 1500hrs - warm, dry and sunny, sw2 - A pleasant enough 90 minute seawatch from the boats delivered a steady down-Channel movement of Common and Sandwich Terns, with several juveniles of the former, plus 3 Arctic Terns, 5 Kittiwakes, 2 Common Scoters and 50 Gannets. Two each of Swift and Sand Martin also through, with Skylark and Wheatear on the land.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Heligoland & `Mirrors`

Dungeness - 1030hrs - muggy, sunshine and showers, se2 - On the walk down to the Obs it was good to see a few butterflies on the wing between the showers. Nothing out of the ordinary but in this dreadful summer its a wonder that any have managed to attain adulthood. A curry plant (Helichrycum italicum) in the old garden at Lloyds had attracted several Small Coppers that posed nicely for the camera.
The new double Heligoland trap was officially opened by a "local celebratory" cutting the ribbon, with the associated drinks and nibbles costing a shade under the £27 million pounds being spent on the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony (is it just me, or has the whole Olympic thing spiralled out of control and into some kind of mad fantasy world, wonder how many hospitals or schools could be built for that amount...?).

                                          Small Copper, Lloyds

                                          DBO Heligoland Ribbon Cutting
                                          Lade sound `mirrors`

Lade -1500hrs - Had a wander over the pits where the `mirror` open day enabled access onto the islands. A good show of wildflowers amongst the concrete structures with large patches of Ragged Robins and a several Southern Marsh Orchid spikes. More Small Coppers on the wing and a couple of Marbled Whites, while OL had a Common Sandpiper earlier. Some fairly hefty showers had punters running for cover.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Bits & Pieces

Lade - 0700hrs - warm, dry and sunny s2 - Another decent catch last night with 33 species of macro moths of which Swallow-tailed, Brimstone and Smoky Wainscot were new for the year.
1700hrs - Made an attempt to count the waders as the tide receded this afternoon: 156 Curlews, 280 Oystercatchers, 55 Knots, 78 Dunlins, 23 Sanderlings, 6 Redshanks and 4 Ringed Plovers, many of which were adults in summer plum.
Littlestone - While Pyramidal Orchid is a common enough plant on the rough ground by the golf links, was surprised to find this one on a road side verge in Nether Avenue.

                                          Pyramidal Orchid, Littlestone

Thursday, 5 July 2012

More Moths

Lade - 0700hrs - Warm, dry and sunny s1- Following a muggy, windless night it was no surprise that the trap was heaving with moths this morning - 40 species of macros to be precise and goodness knows how many micros (no excuse for not getting into them now the new field guide is out...), although Dusky Brocade was the only newcomer for the year and I`m still awaiting confirmation of Silky Wave from the Moth Lord.
A good catch at the Kerton Road Cafe too, including a pristine male Sussex Emerald.

                                          Common Emerald.

ARC - 1530hrs - Stacks of birds at both ends of the pit, mostly feral geese, swans and eclipse ducks. Amongst the legions of Pochards and Tufteds were a scattering of Shoveler, Teal, Gadwall, Mallard, Shelduck and a Wigeon. Waders from Hanson included 20 Lapwings, 50 Oystercatchers and singles of Green Sandpiper and Redshank, plus LRP and Ringed Plover at the southern end. Plenty of Reed Warbler activity in front of the hide and a family of Lottis moved through.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Lade Moths

Lade - 0700hrs - mild, sunny, s2, hot by midday - A good catch in the trap last night with 30 species and over 100 moths, including new for the garden Green Silver-lines, a scarce moth down here, which is more at home in woodland. Dark Tussock, Scalloped Oak and Privet Hawkmoth were all new for the year.

                                          Dark Tussock

                                          Privet Hawkmoth

                        L-album Wainscot, Scalloped Oak, Small Elephant and Privet Hawks

                                          Green Silver-lines, new for the garden trap

ARC 1600hrs - At the south end a large flock of some 500 Pochards and Tufted Ducks. Also, Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers, Oystercatcher and Lapwings.