Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Black-headed Gulls

ARC & Tower Pits - 0700hrs - warm, dry, sunny, sw3 - Surveying around part of the bird reserve this morning for breeding waders predictably yielded little of note due to high water levels. Several 100 plus post breeding flocks of Lapwings passed overhead and many of the wildfowl have slipped into eclipse plumage as mid-summers day approaches. On a positive note the willow scrub and reedbeds were full of fledged Reed Buntings and Reed Warblers while 3 Cuckoos were active over Tower Pits where Lesser Whitethroats still in song. Several Marsh Harriers came and went and a Green Woodpecker was feeding juvs by the pines.
Kerton Road Cafe - 0930hrs - the heavy rain may be exacting a heavy toll on some of our breeding passerines, but the plants are loving it. The wild flower meadow in the cafe garden has never looked more luxuriant with a rich array of plants including the nationally rare Stinking Hawksbeard.
Assisted the cafe co-owner in erecting a new communication aerial today, it was so high that it is now the third tallest man-made structure on the peninsula, after the lighthouse and power station, and may well prove to be a hazard to low flying aircraft coming into London/Lydd International Airport.
I reckon I`ll be called back soon to assist with fitting a flashing beacon...
All local moth traps showed a poor return last night.

                                         Kerton Road Cafe Poppies
                                          Stinking Hawksbeard
                                         Stinking Hawksbeard

Lade - This afternoon several Med Gulls seen and heard overhead, also at Greatstone (MH).
A stroll down to the north end of Kerton Road pit confirmed breeding Black-headed Gulls with at least 10, week old, chicks seen amongst the island ground cover. Plenty of feral geese and also Oystercatcher with fledged young.
The only other local news concerned a Honey Buzzard over Dungeness this afternoon (DB).

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