Lade - mild, dry, sunny, sw 3 - The much vaunted Saturday heat wave never really materialised down here on the coast due a keen westerly that remained throughout the day. As a result the pits and desert were fairly bleak with no sign of any spring interlopers.
Park Wood, Appledore - However, it was a different story up in the woods where it was much warmer and more spring-like, with small tortoiseshell and peacock butterflies on the wing and celandines and primrose in flower. Overhead several Buzzards wheeled and mewed along with Sparrowhawk and Kestrel. All the usual woodland birds were noted including drumming Great spots, Green Woodpecker, Long-tailed Tits, Bullfinch, Treecreeper and Nuthatch, while Barney flushed a Woodcock.
Crossing the Marsh more Buzzards and two Marsh Harriers were noted, plus a few Fieldfares at Wheelsgate - but where were the Little Owls when you want to find one and impress your five year old grandson...
Lade - I did consider flashing up the garden moth trap this evening, but what with the clear skies and wind thought better of it. However, last night at around 9pm I was coming back from collecting Barney from friends when a Barn Owl flew over my head as it followed the track of the Romney Hythe & Dymchurch light railway south towards Dungeness. Then this evening whilst walking Barney over the storm beaches, admiring a blood-red sunset, a Barn Owl appeared, quartering the shingle ridges, and a most welcome sight it was too. Barn Owls are one of those birds that no matter how long you`ve been birding cannot be ignored, along with the likes of Bittern, Kingfisher and Firecrest.