Lade - 0600hrs - muggy, wet, sw 2 - The long awaited deluge finally arrived yesterday evening and overnight giving the parched Dungeness landscape a good hosing down. Despite the rain there were plenty of moths in the trap this morning, but only Willow Beauty was new for the year bringing the tally so far to 76 species.
Decided to give the local patch a going over and check on the breeding birds. There were plenty of waterfowl with juvs floating around including both species of grebe, Gadwall and Pochard. Skylark, Whitethroat, Sedge and Reed Warblers were all feeding young out of the nest, while a brood of Green Woodpeckers begged for food from the adults. The first juvenile Black-headed Gulls were on north pit from the nearby breeding colony as were two Grey Herons.
In the willow swamp was surprised to see a Great White Egret feeding alongside two Little Egrets, which once disturbed by a swimming Labrador flew off in the direction of the bird reserve, where it was reported later in the morning.
ARC - 1200hrs - From Hanson there was no sign of the big egret with just a single Little present. Hobby and Marsh Harrier noted over Tower pits, more juv Bhgulls and two Common Terns in front of the hide, plus all the usual eclipse ducks. Amongst the hirundines were several Sand Martins; could these be the first of the many thousands that will pass across the peninsula on their return passage...
DBO - Called in at the Obs to check out the orphaned juv House Martin being hand reared by the staff. It looked in good shape with DW practising his parenting skills by offering up food in the shape of Tawny Shears and other tasty insectivorous morsels.