Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Lydd Heronry

Lade - 0630hrs - cool, cloudy, drizzle, sw 4 - Another hopeless moth catch with just a single clouded drab, which was hardly surprising considering how windy and nippy it was last night. The grotty weather continued throughout the day with fog enveloping the Peninsula by late afternoon.
Flogged around the local patch looking for migrants, which were few and far between with the sum total being 2 Swallows, 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Mipits, 6 Linnets and 2 Wheatears, plus 5 Whimbrels heading north whistling. A pair of Marsh Harriers were wheeling over the `mirrors` and a Sparrowhawk nipped through.
Lydd - Having taken over the Grey Heron census from Ted Carpenter I made my third visit of the season this morning to the Lydd heronry which is set among the private grounds of the Grange, opposite the `Cathedral of the Marsh. You might think that counting nesting herons is easy; after all, they`re gigantic birds that build huge stick nests, but not so. For a start the majority of nests are situated atop evergreen holm oaks and Scots pines; the oaks in particular being almost impenetrable to view at ground level, and all set within an enormous rookery with some of the older Rook nests almost as bulky as the herons. Patience is required to watch for returning birds and I reckon there was at least 8 occupied nests. However, a planned trip up the church tower soon should enable unparallelled views into the oak canopy to at least double that figure.
Dungeness -  1600hrs - An hour seawatching from the coastguards lookout delivered a feeding party of Gannets, Cormorants, Common and Sandwich Terns and 5 porpoises just offshore. The only eastbound birds were 3 scoters, 2 divers and an Arctic Skua.
ps: Three Garganey were reported on Dengemarsh this morning (SB).

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