Thursday, 20 October 2011

Viz Mig

Lade - 0745hrs - cool, sunny, nw2 - First frost of the autumn made for a nippy start to an otherwise bright, sunny day. From the aerial mound a steady flow of Redpolls, Siskins, Goldfinches, Mipits, Skylarks and a single Brambling.
Dungeness - 0900hrs - Joined the viz mig regulars on the concrete road where more of the same finch wise; earlier they`d had Snow Bunting and Short-eared Owl. Good views of yet another Merlin and a Woodcock dropped in to the scrub by the Sanctuary. Offshore up to 50 fishing Gannets, a Med Gull and several groups of down-Channel Brents totalling around 50 birds. The Glaucous Gull was by the boats, `mugging` a Herring Gull for fish scraps.
ARC - A couple of attempts this afternoon for the Penduline Tit drew a blank although it was seen well on several occasions from Hanson hide. Of much greater rarity for Dunge was the report of a Lesser pecker that flew from the car park (and over my head apparently!) and disappeared into the Willow Trail scrub. All I could find were several Goldcrests and Chiffs amongst the tits and Chaffinches. There was no further report on yesterdays Dotteral amongst the Goldies.
                                          Tree Sparrows, Boulderwall

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Missed Birds

Lade - 0800hrs - cool, sunny, w2 - A chilly start to the day; I really must dig out some long trousers...
A viz mig half an hour from the aerial mound produced the now usual flow of small finches, including one party of 30 Redpolls and a Brambling. Not much else around the pits apart from the expected wildfowl, a Chiffchaff in the sallows and 5 Swallows over the water.
ARC - 1700hrs - Called into Hanson hide where apparently there`d been a Dotteral amongst the Goldies this afternoon. All I could find of note were 2 Goldeneyes on the water, a Kingfisher and 3 Pintail with the Shovelers. Also, reported around the reserve (according to gen in Hanson) were Little Auk, Pectoral Sandpiper, Little Stint and the long-staying Great White Egret.
So, pick the bones out of that lot...

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


Dungeness - cool, cloudy, wnw2 - 0900hrs - Joined the Viz Mig Club on the concrete road for an hour, where the conversation was more lively than the viz mig; just a couple of Goldfinches, Redpolls and 5 Swallows over. At sea, a trickle of Gannets, a couple of divers, Kitts and a Med Gull. The Glaucous and Yellow-legged Gulls were in their usual fishing boat haunts and a smart female Merlin posed amongst the sea kale on the foreshore before being `moved on` by a Magpie.
                                           Merlin, Dungeness
ARC - 1200hrs - Fairly quiet from Hanson with only a large pack of Wigeon and Shoveler on show. Also, a couple of Lapwings and Golden Plovers, plus a Snipe, on the islands, and Long-tailed Tits and a Chiffchaff from the Willow Trail.
Dengemarsh - 1500hrs - Twelve Dunlins on the islands, Great White Egret and a large, mixed flock of Golden Plovers, Lapwings, Stock Doves and Starlings over the back fields. Raptors included 3 Marsh Harriers and another Merlin, this time chasing Linnets over the hay field. On the drive home noted another Merlin by the Kerton Road Cafe.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Glossy Ibis

Lade - 0730hrs - cool, cloudy, light airs - Almost the first bird this morning was the Glossy Ibis flying over the back of south pit towards the bird reserve; surely its not roosting on my local patch... From the aerial mound a light south-bound passage of Mipits, Skylarks, Goldfinches, Siskins, Reed Buntings and a single Brambling. In the sallows 2 Chiffchaffs, Goldcrest and Greater pecker, plus quite a few Great Tits.
By late afternoon the weather had changed completely with a strong south-wester blowing up-Channel, but much milder. Three Brents flew over and a couple of Swallows skimmed the water.

Sunday, 16 October 2011


                                           Redwing, DBO

Dungeness - 0730hrs - cool, sunny, se2 - Spent a couple of hours strolling around the Peninsula with little return apart from a scattering of Mipits, Goldfinches, Siskins, Redpolls and Skylarks overhead, plus a few grounded Chiffs, Goldcrests and Reed Buntings. However, two Short-eared Owls (one over the Trapping Area and one in off the sea) brightened things up considerably and the Ravens were down on the foreshore by the seawatch hide.
Confusion set in at the Obs (well, it did for me...) where Redpoll ringing was in progress. DW pointed out the salient features of several Common/Mealy (Carduelis flammea) types in the hand, which would have been near impossible to pick out in the field. Most redpolls seen here are of the western/central European race, C cabaret, and are small and dark. The little beauties depicted are larger, paler and whiter below than Lessers, buffer above and darker streaked on a paler rump; oh, and there was something about the streaking on the under-tail coverts, which I`ve forgotten, so there we go, that's as clear as mud! In hand biometrics also supported the case for Mealy, giving a slightly longer wing length. Anyhow, whatever their true race or origin there`s no denying they are smart birds and to have crossed the North Sea last night, well enough said...

                                           Mealy type Redpolls, DBO

ARC - 1300hrs - From Hanson the usual 100 or so Golden Plovers and Lapwings, 2 Dunlins, 2 Snipes, loads of wildfowl and the Glossy Ibis over from Lade way. A passage of 20 Swallows went through high as did a Buzzard.
Lade - 1500hrs - The monthly WeBS count produced the following: 8 Dabchicks, 18 Great Crested Grebes, 5 Cormorants, 5 Grey Herons, 21 Mute Swans, 56 Greylags, 86 Wigeons, 145 Gadwalls, 72 Teals, 212 Mallards, 41 Shoveler, 175 Pochards and 220 Tufted Ducks. A few more Swallows and House Martins here, plus Goldcrest and Chiffchaff in the sallows.
Romney Marsh - 1715hrs - Accompanied Marshman on the first harrier count of the season during which 21 Marsh Harriers went to roost, including one wing-tagged bird. Two male Merlins put on quite a show chasing Mipits, without success. Also noted, 2 Cranes, 2 Kestrels, 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Stonechats, 2 Snipe, 55 Golden Plover, singles of Bittern and  Kingfisher, plus calling Bearded Tits, Cetti`s Warbler and Water Rail.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

The Chilterns

Wendover Woods - 0800hrs - frosty, mist and sun, light airs - Spent the morning in the Chilterns checking out sites for forthcoming magazine articles. Wendover Woods is a stunning place on a crisp autumn morning with the trees turning golden-brown, mist hanging in the valley bottoms and a cobalt sky over the hill tops. A 30 minute viz mig produced 100 Redpolls, 100 Chaffinches, 50 Siskins, 50 Redwings, 20 Mipits, 20 Skylarks, 10 Bramblings and 2 Crossbills overhead. There were plenty more thrushes and finches around the woodland walks plus tits, crests and at least one Firecrest. Nuthatches, Treecreepers, Jays and Great peckers also noted.
Tring Reservoirs - 1000hrs - The sun brought forth the raptors and at least 10 Red Kites and 2 Buzzards noted en-route and around the Tring Gap. The water levels were low on all four waters but there were still plenty of birds around this famous old birding site, including 2 Kingfishers, 5 Snipe, 2 Water Rails, Ruff, Dunlin, Cetti`s Warbler, 10 Redpolls, Green and Common Sandpiper and 100 Golden Plovers. Did a full circuit of Wilstone and didnt encounter another birder. This was a bit of a trip down memory lane for me as I first visited Tring Res as a snotty 10 year old boy in the mid `60s and have been returning ever since; definitely in my top 10 favourite birding locations.
College Lake - 1200hrs - Could not believe the transformation this gem of a site had undergone since my last visit (probably 8 years ago). Gone are the old wooden hides and visitor centre, to be replaced by a brand new eco centre, cafe and state-of-the-art hides. Plenty of wildfowl, Redwings, Reed Buntings, Kingfisher, Red Kite, Sparrowhawk and Green Woodpecker. A perfect example of what can be achieved with an old chalk quarry pit if you have someone with the vision and application of Graham Atkins, the sites founder.

 Wendover Woods, Wilstone Res, College Lake, The Chilterns 

ps: Back on the Marsh, a Pallas`s Warbler and a number of Redpolls (including Mealies) were trapped at the Obs and a Penduline Tit was reported from Hanson.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Little Auk

Dungeness - 0900hrs - cool, sunny, se3 - After yesterdays excitement it was a return to more normal fare around the Peninsula. Almost all of the thrushes, Chiffchaffs and Robins had departed overnight leaving an erratic passage of Goldfinches (probably 300 in two hours), plus a few Siskins, Skylarks, Mipits, Bramblings and Crossbills. From the Moat we watched the Raven pair giving a crow a hard time and a Sparrowhawk over the power station. From the boats the sea was quiet with just a trickle of distant Gannets, auks, terns, Kittiwakes, plus several flocks of Common Scoters, Wigeons and Brents in an hour. Managed to nail down a Yellow-legged Gull at last for the trip list while the Glaucous Gull was noted patrolling its usual patch. A Purple Sandpiper was seen along the shoreline during late morning.
Lade Bay - 1130hrs - We finished the week in fine style from the Lade boardwalk with the spectacle of the beach waders coming off the bay, on a rising tide to roost. All ten species were present and correct, along with 20 Sandwich Terns and 20 Brents.
The London Ladies notched up 123 species during the week with the highlights being; Glaucous Gull, Yellow-browed Warbler and Ring Ouzels at DBO, Great White Egret, Pectoral Sandpiper and Short-eared Owl on the bird reserve and Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Rye Harbour.
However, its not all about numbers of species or rarities. During the course of the week we had some truly memorable spectacles (even for an old cynic like me) and often it takes visiting birders to remind me what a truly marvellous place the Romney Marsh can be. Without getting too misty eyed, the waders going to roost at Lade were superb, as its not always easy to get the timing right. The viz mig at the Obs on Thursday took some beating, as we only seem to get one or two days like that each autumn, but I`m a sucker for waders and the sight of the massed ranks of Goldies and Lapwings in the setting sun at Walland was magical (phew, pass the hanky...).
                                          Adult Yellow-legged Gull, DBO
Hookers - 1400hrs - Having just dropped the Ladies back at Ashford Station news came through of a Little Auk on one of the pools at Hookers; which called for a diversion from the weeds at the allotment. When I arrived it was at the far side of the pool, diving continually, alongside a flock of Coots and Dabchicks. Eventually, it came much closer but proved difficult to digi-scope ( as shown by yet another duff pic below). An extraordinary record considering the weather conditions and the first Little Auk I`ve seen on the RSPB reserve. Also noted 2 Kingfishers and a Stonechat, while the Glossy Ibis was reported earlier. 
                                         Little Auk, Hookers, RSPB

Thursday, 13 October 2011

A Great Day to be at Dunge

DBO - 0900hrs - mild, cloudy, drizzle, ne2- We were just about to clear the moth traps when a phone call came through that necessitated a rapid change of plan... A cracking Yellow-browed Warbler had just been trapped and we got there just in time before it was released into the Moat. As always a real stunner and coincided with many others recorded down the east coast today. From the Moat plenty of viz mig on the go with small numbers of Fieldfares, Redwings, Blackbirds and Song Thrushes overhead. Out across the Desert 3 distant Ring Ouzels and one very showy male that the group saw at close range. A number of Mipits, Swallows, Linnets, Goldfinches, Redpolls, Chaffinches, Crossbills, Siskins, Bramblings, Grey Wagtail and Skylarks were all on the move. The Moat was full of Robins, Chiffchaffs, 10 Redwings, 2 Ring Ouzels, 2 Song Thrushes, 5 Blackbirds and at least one Black Redstart. A Merlin hacked over south and a high `eared` owl was reported. The ringing staff were busy and with birders coming and going it was like the Good-ol-Days at a bird observatory.
Had a brief look at the sea where Med Gull, 12 Wigeons, 12 Brents, 10 Sandwich Terns and a few Gannets noted.
ARC - 1230hrs - From Hanson we were fortunate enough to be there when the Pectoral Sandpiper flew in alongside a couple of Dunlin. Also had cracking views of a male Merlin and distant Short-eared Owl over by the water tower, plus Common Sandpiper, single Knot and 20 Golden Plovers.
Dengemarsh - 1330hrs From the hide we again had the Pec Sandpiper, plus 12 Dunlins, 1 Ringed Plover, 1 Pintail and all the usual wildfowl, harriers and Lapwings. Good views of Tree Sparrows on the Boulderwall feeders, plus Wheatear and 3 Stonechats at the Corral.
Walland Marsh - 1630hrs - A run out onto the farmland, with a setting sun, delivered the spectacle of a couple of thousand Lapwings, Golden Plovers and Starlings, 10 Marsh Harriers, Buzzard and Kestrel.

                                         Yellow-browed Warbler & Redpoll, DBO

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Buff-breasted Sandpiper

Scotney Pits - 0900hrs mild, cloudy, w2 - First stop the pits at Scotney which delivered a decent flock of 50 Corn Buntings and 30 Linnets down by the farm, plus a steady passage of Mipits, Linnets and Skylarks. From the roadside pull in, just `over-the-border`, a flock of 52 very, wild looking Barnacle Geese also contained 9 Blue/Emperor types. Shelducks, Redshanks, Lapwings and Golden Plover also noted.
Panell Valley 1015hrs - Very disappointing here as the scrapes were bone dry. Two Wheatears, 2 Marsh Harriers, Kestrel, 10 Redpolls, 50 Swallows, Buzzard, Jay, Goldcrest, Bullfinch, Reed Buntings, Song Thrush, Blackcap and Chiffchaff.
Pett Pools - 1230hrs - Stacks of birds from the road with the main pool attracting 100 Lapwings, 50 Golden Plovers, 50 Grey Lags, 55 Curlews, 8 Redshanks, 15 Turnstones, 5 Little Egrets, 6 Little Grebes, 2 Ruddy Ducks, 2 Marsh Harriers, Shoveler and Teal.
Rye Harbour NR - 1400hrs - Walked down to the Visitors Centre and hide overlooking Flat Beach, which was stuffed with waders, the highlight being a Buff-breasted Sandpiper, presumably the same one that`s been seen, off and on, for over a month now. Also, 200 Oystercatchers,100 Dunlins, 100 Golden Plovers, 200 Lapwings, 25 Knots, 10 Ringed Plovers, 10 Redshank, 10 Turnstones, 10 Curlew,  5 Grey Plovers and a Ruff. Other bits and pieces included 2 Brents, 5 Wheatears, 20 Mipits, 10 Skylarks, 2 Kestrel, Little Egret and calling Rock Pipit.
On the drive back across Walland Marsh we finished the day in style with a cracking perched Hobby on a roadside bush and a gang of Tree Sparrows at Midley.
                                          Scotney Geese

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Short-eared Owl

Dungeness - 0915hrs - mild, cloudy, sw3 - We returned to the fishing boats for another dose of seawatching. Only did 90 minutes as very quiet, but did see closer Gannets, Sandwich and Common Terns, 2 each of Red-throated Diver and Guillemot plus an Arctic Tern and 2 Harbour Porpoises. At least 100 each of Linnet and Goldfinch, plus 50 odd Swallows and 10 House Martins making the crossing. The Glaucous Gull was noted patrolling the boats.
RSPB - 1130hrs - Pulled up at the south end of ARC and inadvertently flushed a superb Short-eared Owl from beside the fence. It then banked and flew out across the Desert towards Lade and firmly onto my Marsh year list (228). From Hanson, waders and wildfowl included 50 Goldies, 10 Lapwing, 5 Snipe 3 Dunlin, 200 Wigeon, 100 Shoveler, 50 Teal and the first Goldeneye of the autumn. Also, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Sand and House Martins, 5 Tree Sparrows, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers. The overhead passage of Goldfinches and Linnets continued, while a flock of 2,000 Linnets was reported from Cockles Bridge.
Over the road a circuit produced a cracking Curlew Sandpiper and 3 Grey Plovers in front of Firth, 2 Pintail and a Raven on Burrowes, Great White Egret, 12 Dunlin, 5 Marsh Harrier and 2 Snipe on Dengemarsh, 2 Stonechats, Song Thrush and Mipit on the return trail. Plenty more Linnets and Goldfinches over.

                                          Great White and Little Egrets, RSPB

Monday, 10 October 2011

Seabirds and Waders

Dungeness - 1345hrs - mild, sunny, sw4 - London Ladies (Valerie, Barbara and Sandra) down for the week on their 11th visit. We started of with a two hour seawatch from the boats which proved slow going. However, we did clock up 2 distant Bonxies (over 100 had past east during the morning), 50 Gannets, 10 Sandwich and Common Terns, Little Gull, Red-throated Diver and Guillemot. The Glaucous Gull eventually showed at close range drinking from a puddle by the concrete road. As we left the estate a Hobby winged in from the north along the beach in company with a party of Swallows.
Littlestone - 1600hrs  Managed 8 from 10 of the usual beach waders: Oystercatcher, Curlew, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Dunlin, Barwit, Redshank and Turnstone. A few more Swallows, Goldfinches and Linnets rounded off the afternoon, along with a spectacular sunset over the Desert at Lade.
                                          Guillemot, Dungeness
                                          Whiting, Dungeness

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Walland Marsh

Walland Marsh - 0930hrs - cool, cloudy, nw3 -After the excitement of yesterday, got off to a late start this morning. Couldn`t bring myself to `seawatch` at Dunge, after Cap Griz-nez (its probably ruined me for the rest of the year), so opted for a steady stroll around Walland Marsh, which to be fair was full of birds. First up, Tree Sprogs seemed to be everywhere and noted one flock of 20 feeding amongst ivy and blackthorn with a mixture of Chaffinches, tits and Chiffchaffs. Lapwings and Golden Plovers were seen on several newly ploughed/drilled fields along with hundreds of gulls, corvids, Woodpigeons and Starlings; one field had 100 Skylarks, 80 Linnets and 50 Mipits. Raptors included 6 Marsh Harriers, 5 Kestrels and singles of Buzzard and Merlin. A reedy ditch held 20 Reed Buntings, while Beardies were heard at one site. Such is the pulling power of migration that even on this cool, blustery morning a steady passage of Red Admiral butterflies came fluttering across the fields towards the coast.
Dengemarsh - 1230hrs - From Springfield Bridge all the usual wildfowl plus 4 Dunlins and a Snipe. Called in at the Visitor Centre for a natter, while on Burrowes an Avocet and 2 Pintails were the only birds of note plus a Merlin overhead. 

Friday, 7 October 2011

Cap Griz-nez

Pas-de-Calais - 0700hrs - cool, sunshine and showers, nw4 - With a north-westerly wind forecast spent the day over-the-water seawatching with Weekend Birder at the helm (many thanks for steering), Marshman as navigating officer and Plodding Birder as lookout. Things got off to a bad start with a ferry delay but as dawn broke this did enable a short seawatch from deck which included: 6 Sooty Shearwaters, 4 Bonxies, 2 Manx and singles of Red-throated Diver and Arctic Skua. At Le Clipon we were unable to access the jetty due to road works; so, we initiated Plan B...
Cap Griz-nez - 0900-1400hrs - By the time we arrived the Frenchies had taken the prime pitch lower on the cliffs, so we settled down nearby. However, over the next 5 hours we enjoyed a cracking seawatch in terrific light with many birds just beneath us. The skuas were the highlights, closely followed by a decent show of shearwaters and divers. Our combined count was as follows: Bonxie 171, Arctic Skua 71, Pomarine Skua 13 (all adults, some with full `spoons`), Long-tailed Skua 9 (including 2 sub-adults), Balearic Shearwater 32, Manx 29, Sooty Shearwater 22, Red-throated Diver 9, Black-throated Diver 5 (2 in full summer plum), Common Scoter 725, Little Gull 31, Kitts 55, auks 500, Commic Terns 200, Sandwich Tern 150, Gannet 1,000, Razorbill 8, Dunlin 8, Teal 7, Shelduck 12, Med Gull 30, Grey Plover 2, plus singles of Brent and Black Tern, Harbour Porpoise and Grey Seal. Passerines included a few Mipits, Siskins and Grey Wagtails
  Afterwards we called in at several sites back towards Calais along the coast noting more Med Gulls, 50 Mipits, Goldcrests, Chiffchaffs, Lottis, Wheatears, 2 Buzzards, 5 Kestrels, Marsh and Hen Harriers and Merlin.
  On the return trip across the Channel infading light and a cloud burst we clocked up 18 Bonxies, 6 Arctic Skuas, Little Gulls, Commic and Sandwich Terns, Shag and a Leache`s Petrel.
  In summary a fantastic days birding with my personal favourite a toss up between a close juv Long-tailed Skua and an adult Black-throated Diver (check out PB`s blog for piccies).
 Seawatchers, Cap Griz-nez - English contingent above, Frenchies below.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Pec Sand & Glossy Ibis

Dengemarsh - cool, cloudy, sw3 - 0830hrs - A distinctly cooler feel this morning and definitely more autumnal. Walked down to Dengemarsh where the Pectoral Sandpiper eventually showed in front of the hide, but on the furthest islands, while the long-staying Great White Egret was much more obliging. Also noted, Snipe, Dunlin, Kingfisher, Merlin, 4 Marsh Harriers and 2 Kestrels. At the Corral Chiffchaff, Reed Bunting and Whinchat on the Return Trail fence line.
Boulderwall - 1730hrs - A Glossy Ibis came in off the sea this afternoon and was spotted by DB (who else!) as it flew over the Peninsula, and onto his burgeoning garden list in the process. It was quickly relocated on Burrowes, but as I drove down the access road to the bird reserve it flew over the car and  appeared to drop down on the wet meadows at Boulderwall.
 Great White Egret & Pectoral Sandpiper, Dengemarsh - By the way the little blob, bottom left is the Pec (honest!)...

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Crimson Speckled

Dungeness - 1200hrs - mild, sunny, sw4 - Checked in at Hanson hide where 10 each of Snipe and Lapwing were the only waders. An increase in Wigeon, Shoveler and Teal, plus the now `resident` Goosander (asleep, as usual) and a Hobby over. Also, 3 Marsh Harriers, 5 Little Egrets and a close Cetti`s Warbler by the hide. The Pectoral Sandpiper and Great White Egret were reported from Dengemarsh.
Dungeness Moths - Very little of note in the Plovers traps last night apart from the first Clancy`s of the season. Called in at the Kerton Road Cafe to admire recent catches which included migrant Gem, Vestal and Scarce Bordered Straw. Pick of the immigrants, however was at the Obs where a Crimson Speckled (what a stunner) was well worth the short `twitch`, being only the 5th Dungeness record.
Whilst at the Obs we watched a spectacular fire over towards Galloways.
 Crimson Speckled, DBO - An immigrant from southern Europe and one of the best moths of the year.
                                          Galloways Fire

Monday, 3 October 2011


Dungeness - 0730hrs -Warm, dry, sunny, sw2 - With the weekend crowds now dispersed, thought it`d be a good time for a scout around the Peninsula. 90 minutes later the sum total of migrants comprised a measly trickle of Mipits, Goldfinches, Siskins and Skylarks overhead, a scattering of Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, Goldcrests and Robins in the bushes, plus a Black Redstart on the power station wall.

Dungeness Boats - 1445hrs - After the sea being like a mill pond, for what seems like ages and bereft of seabirds, it was good to feel the cooling effect and increasing strength of a good old sou`wester blowing up-Channel. And, it certainly seemed to do the trick, as feeding just offshore was a loose flock of 50 Gannets, 20 Guillemots, 20 Common and Sandwich Terns and 4/5 Harbour Porpoises. Also, noted passing west; 150 Knots, 6 Arctic Terns, 5 Med Gulls, 3 Arctic Skuas and an Eider. 

Sunday, 2 October 2011


Lade - 0700hrs - warm, dry, sunny, e1 - Flogged around the local patch for a couple of hours with very little reward apart from a Crossbill (a site first for me) which fizzed overhead calling. Also over south a trickle of Siskins, Goldfinches, Skylarks, Chaffinches and Mipits. On the storm beaches 2 Stonechats and a Wheatear, plus 100 Swallows on power lines. Chiffchaff and Goldcrest in the garden.
Checked out the bay just before high tide and counted 710 Oystercatchers. The hot weather continues, so enjoyed what was probably my last sea swim of the year in the company of several groups of Sandwich Terns moving noisily along the shoreline.
Moth numbers were slightly down on recent catches to 12 species with Treble-bar/Lesser (still deliberating) being the highlight.
ps: With the Sandhill Crane now in East Anglia, by about Tuesday/Wednesday it should be on Walland Marsh...

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Marsh Mallow Moth

                                          Marsh Mallow Moth, RSPB
Belated moth news from yesterday concerned a Marsh Mallow Moth trapped on the bird reserve, and now in temporary residence at the Kerton Road Cafe. This Red Data Book species is restricted to a small number of breeding sites across Walland Marsh and the Rye area where the larval food plant of Marsh-Mallow grows; this is the 15th Dungeness record. There is another population in north Kent.
Also noteworthy was the localised, Plain Wave trapped in New Romney recently on what was an extreme date, as the flight season normally last from late June to early August. Plain Wave is very similar to Riband Wave and could easily be overlooked.
The record breaking temperatures for October continued across the Dungeness Peninsula making for a very quiet bird day...