Lade - 0800hrs - cool, sunshine, showers, sw 5 - Another blustery day with winds sweeping off the Channel keeping temperatures low and making for poor birding with most passerines skulking in cover. Despite the wind Cuckoos were much in evidence this morning with two around the willow swamp and another feeding on caterpillars in the gorse scrub; on closer inspection it seemed to be setting about the `tented` brown-tailed moth caterpillars (hooray!) of which there is a plentiful supply. Once the little buggers leave the `tents` and start shedding their hairs they can cause irritation to the skin.
A steady stream of Starlings were flying out from their coastal housing nest sites to feed on cranefly larvae on the storm beaches, while a passage of 30 Swifts briefly paused over south pit and that was about it really.
Once again the moth trap was empty this morning.
Dengemarsh -1300hrs - It`s a well known fact that good birds always turn up on Cup Final Day, whatever the date; many`s the time I`ve had to rush out before the big game and twitch a rare bird, and so it proved today with a Pectoral Sandpiper (Marsh year tick 185) dropping onto Hayfield no. 3. Fortunately, this cracking little wader decided to feed as close to the track as possible and afforded superb views as it fed in company with a Dunlin and Ringed Plover. Unfortunately, due to the buffeting wind I could only manage a few poor dig-scope shots.
Mid-May is a classic spring arrival date for this trans-Atlantic wader; although this bird may well have been from the small, but established, population on this side of the Ocean. Whatever its origins it was most welcome in what has been a relatively rarity-starved spring.