Friday, 18 May 2012

Woodlark & Chicken Slurry

Dungeness - 1000hrs - warm sunny start, cooler, cloudy showery later - Started off at the Point for yet another fruitless scarcity search, this time a hen Serin, but at least they`re still coming. Two Black Redstarts singing from the power station, 3 Stonechats and a flyover LRP was about it, so joined the gathering throng of locals by the moat for a scan and a moan.
Walland Marsh - 1145hrs - seemed like a good idea when we set out in the dry, until a heavy shower gave us a thorough soaking. Anyhow, a few Marsh Harriers noted plus Buzzard, Kestrel and 7 very miserable, perched-on-posts Hobbies. Little `uns comprised several Yellow Wagtails, 2 Tree Sparrow colonies, 2 Corn Buntings, 2 Cuckoos, Reed and Sedge Warblers. Finished off in style with Barney giving chase to a Hare and running straight into a gloopy pool of mature chicken slurry. The smell of ammonia was horrendous, so back at the car I chucked him in a plastic sack (with his head sticking out, of course), raced back home with the windows open and hosed him down in the back garden, once I`d pinned him down in the privet (that dog does NOT like water), followed by a shampooing in the bath. He now looks like a ball of fluff and has got the right hump.
Long Pits  - 1400hrs - Reports of a singing Woodlark near the Long Pits found by OL was too good to pass up. Thanks to gen from MH & SB we nailed the little blighter as it ascended (FbyB) from a burnt patch of bashed scrub. In flight it sang for bit and then headed over towards the coastguard cottages before returning to the same patch of charcoal. A decent flight view of a tricky-to-see bird down here.
Boats - 1500hrs - Did an hour at the boats with MH & Terry and Lucy Palmer who`re B&Bing at Plovers. The highlight was 2 Arctic Skuas, 30 scoters, 30 Gannets, a trickle of Common and Sandwich Terns and 2 porpoises.
Another poor night in the moth trap with just a Setaceous Hebrew Character new for the season.

                              Barney, hiding in privet prior to a hosing down

                                Setaceous Hebrew Character, one of my favourite moth names

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