Lade - 0600hrs - cool, cloudy, ne 2 - The storm beaches were swarming with juv Starlings accompanying the adults on feeding trips to plunder the numerous cranefly larvae and emerging adult insects. House Sparrows joined in too and at least two Sparrowhawks were abroad mopping up any unsuspecting fledglings. All the established summer visitors were in song and many of the resident species were feeding young.
Midrips and The Wicks - With negative news coming through on yesterdays Terek Sandpiper down at Rye, and in an attempt to avoid the crowds, we decided on the solitude of the wader pools instead, and for once it turned out to be a good move. There was a decent selection of passage and resident waders, particularly on the pools at The Wicks. PB had the same idea and we were soon joined by CT, no doubt trying for a repeat performance of relocating a Terek here as he did a few years ago!
Anyhow, all was fine and dandy until a stubborn, sleepy wader, albeit at range and in the heat haze (that`s our excuse..) had us guessing as to its identity amongst the Redshanks, Greenshanks, Ringed Plovers and Turnstones. As we pondered and pontificated, mentioning just about every wader on the Western Palearctic list and beyond, from Sharp-tailed Sandpiper to Wandering Tatler (even Barney had an opinion - Ruff, of course!), the little bugger woke up and morphed into a Knot in some sort of odd transitional plumage. Oh well, we can dream...
Totals of passage waders included 20 Ringed Plovers, 2 Grey Plovers, 10 Dunlins, 10 Greenshanks, 11 Turnstones and singles of Barwit, Whimbrel, Curlew and Knot, plus 18 Avocet, 6 Lapwing, 4 Oystercatchers and 20 Redshanks. Also noted 40 Shelducks, Gadwall, Kestrel, Mipits, Reed Buntings, Skylarks, 2 Med Gulls and a Raven. Comedy moment of the morning (the Knot aside...) went to a fox being seen off by two drake Shelducks!
Burrowes - A quick call in at the VC and a check of Burrowes delivered two Sanderlings in summer plum and little else.
Lade - With the sun out this afternoon another visit to the ponds yielded small copper, common blue and hairy hawker on the wing and 2 basking grass snakes.