Thursday, 18 July 2013

Moths & Curlews

Lade - 0500hrs - warm and sunny, hot later, e 3 - Another good night for moths with hundreds in the trap this morning, mainly Pygmy and Scarce Footman but also three new for the year - Common Rustic, Marbled Green and Shore Wainscot - plus another Sussex Emerald, bringing this years total up to a respectable 105 species.
More by luck than judgement as we walked the local patch just before high tide the Curlew flock passed overhead, and circled around calling looking for a clear roosting spot on the shingle ridges. This enabled an accurate count of what was 95 Curlews and a single Barwit; two Ringed Plovers also joined the flock, while the Oystercatchers went to roost on the working gravel pit to the south.
The water level is dropping nicely for the forthcoming wader passage with an island showing at the south end of the pit that already attracted a couple of Sandwich Terns and 20 Black-headed Gulls.
                                                   Three classic coastal moths
                                          Galium Carpet

                                     Marbled Green

                                     Shore Wainscot

Cockles Bridge -Pulled over to have a scan around when a female Marsh Harrier flew over the Dungeness Road and worked the adjacent barley field. I watched this same bird (primary missing on left wing) the other day and noticed its tactics; she flies along the tramlines on the lookout for prey and on this occasion pounced on a juv Yellow Wagtail, after which she made off back towards the bird reserve with a distressed adult in her wake.

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