Burrowes - 0900hrs - warm, dry and sunny, sw 2 - Checked Burrowes for yesterdays Spoonbill of which there was no sign. There were the usual hundreds of gulls, eclipse wildfowl and Cormorants present, plus 10 Little Egrets, 6 Redshanks, 9 Ringed Plovers, 2 Common Sandpipers and a Greenshank over.
ARC - Another Greenshank here, plus LRP, Common Sandpiper and Black-necked Grebe amongst the hundreds of wildfowl, 50 Lapwings, 5 Little Egrets, 4 Common Terns and a Hobby over.
Scotney - Ten Egyptian Geese were the only birds of note on the spit by the county boundary.
Rye Harbour NR - A cracking session from the John Gooder`s hide with hundreds of waders, albeit most of them a bit distant. A flock of c300 Dunlins comprised mostly adults but also 20 or so juvs, plus 2 Curlew Sandpipers and 3 Sanderlings, while another mass of waders included 150 Ringed Plovers and 50 Redshanks. Also noted 85 Golden Plovers, 50 Lapwings, 20 Oystercatchers, 15 Turnstones, 12 Avocets, 5 Barwits, 4 Greenshanks, 4 Common Sandpipers, 2 LRPs and a Green Sandpiper - sheer wader heaven!
All the terns - Little (2), Sandwich and Common - drifted over whilst in the hide, while Skylark, Rock and Meadow Pipits, Wheatears and Linnets all noted.
Had a natter with Barry Yates who was full of tales of woe about the breeding terns with only one Little Tern fledged from 11prs and a complete failure of the Sandwich Tern colony of c150 prs due to a shortage of food at the critical time of the breeding process; apparently colder that normal sea temperatures in May/June resulted in a shortage of sand-eels. After also failing the Common Terns have re-nested and appear to be doing well, while 30 prs of Med Gulls reared only a single chick. On the plus side Avocets did well with over 25 chicks fledged, although Lapwings and Redshanks had a poor breeding season.
It is always a pleasure visiting Rye Harbour, with the new wetland making it even more attractive for wader-lovers. Having already had Terek Sandpiper, Kentish Plover and Temminck`s Stint this year so far, I`m sure it wont be too long before another clonking rarity is discovered amongst the legions of visiting shorebirds...
Butterflies - This past month or so has been perfect for butterflies and everywhere I went today these magnificent insects weren`t far away. Migrant Painted Ladies were all over the place and coming out of Firth hide a Clouded Yellow flew past and headed inland.
Continuing on the migrant African butterfly theme, this afternoon I received a phone call from Kelvin Taylor at Whitfield near Dover who`d had a female Long-tailed Blue in his garden today, so keep checking those Holly Blues!
Dungeness - 1530hrs - Finished off at the boats with a 90 minute seawatch in the company of PB. Nothing much to report apart from a steady flow of Common and Sandwich Terns, plus a few Gannets further out, 40 Common Scoters, Kittiwake and Little Gull, while a passage of c50 Sand Martins headed out towards France. An adult Yellow-legged Gull was on one of the fishing boats. Earlier in the day over 80 Black Terns were noted along with several Balearic Shearwaters and Bonxies.
Very pleasant in the warm sunshine along with clear views of the Pas-de-Calais across the way.