Lade - 0900hrs - warm, dry, sunny, ne 2 - With the wind relenting it at last felt like spring with warm sunshine the order of the day and the coat and gloves left at home. However, birdwise it was pretty slow with only one singing Cuckoo, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Reed and Sedge Warblers on the summer migrant front. A party of Swallows pushed north while a mixed flock of Ringed Plovers and Dunlins swept over south lake. There seemed to be an increase in Med Gulls around the site and both Kestrel and Marsh Harrier noted hunting over by the airfield.
Yet again the Plovers moth trap was barren in what has been the worst start to a mothing season since I started eight years ago.
Faggs Wood - 1230hrs - After picking Ray and Stuart up from Ashford station (who are on their 25th visit to Plovers) we headed for the woods. Not the best time of day but we still managed one brief burst of Nightingale and our first Garden Warbler of the spring, plus decent numbers of singing Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps. Also, Jay, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, Nuthatch, Kestrel and Buzzard. Plenty of butterflies on the wing along the rides including brimstones and orange tips, a lizard and woodland flowers in bloom.
Warehorne Bridge - A great place for wayside birds with the highlights a singing Lesser Whitethroat, Yellowhammer, Goldfinch, Green Woodpecker, Blackcap and Chiffchaff, plus distant views of soaring Buzzard and Sparrowhawk over Hamstreet Woods.
Cheyne Ct - We walked out from the Woolpack to the first bend and scanned the grazing meadows and wetlands where several Marsh Harriers, Buzzard, 30 Lapwings, feral geese, Linnets, Yellow Wagtails and Skylarks noted.
Dungeness - A search of the gorse scrub for the reported Wryneck seen earlier was fruitless, but a male Ring Ouzel, two Whimbrel on the Desert and our first small copper butterflies of the spring provided ample compensation.