Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Light airs at last

Lade -0600hrs - cool, sunny, light airs - Its a rare beast down here, a crisp spring morning with little wind and a bright blue sky, and already a hot-air balloon was aloft over Romney. What a difference it made in actually being able to see birds; every patch of gorse had a singing, sallying Whitethroat or Linnet atop, while Mipits and Skylarks were displaying over the Desert and even a pair of Ringed Plovers (a century ago there would've been Kentish Plovers here, as these shingle ridges were one of their last breeding haunts along this part of the coast).

                                Lade Desert

But the main centre of activity was down to scores of Starlings and House Sparrows plundering crane flies from the springy turf and flying back towards their nesting sites in houses along the coastal strip; a pair of both nest in our old cottage. While they may be in decline elsewhere across the country, here sparrow and starling have the perfect breeding requirements of an abundant food supply and nest sites aplenty, and long may it continue so.

                                Houndstongue, Dengemarsh

Dengemarsh - Surveyed the shingle between the gully and hayfield 3 and out towards Penn Bars, but the only waders were a pair each of Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher, plus a couple of pairs of Wheatears. Also noted flying over, Raven, Peregrine, Redshank and Grey Plover.
A Golden Oriole calling from willow scrub at the top end of Tower Pits was seen to fly off high towards Lydd about 1100hrs (SB). There was also a report of a Purple Heron briefly on Burrowes this afternoon.

                                Oystercatcher, Boulderwall

On the strength of the heron report, and being a fine evening, we had a scan from Springfield Bridge where there was plenty of heron activity of the Grey variety. Watched a Marsh Harrier food pass above Hookers and had a brief flight view of a Bittern. Yellow Wagtail, Raven also noted.
A quick scan of the fields at Boulderwall just before lights out revealed a few Little Egrets, five Oystercatchers and some Tree Sparrows.

1 comment:

  1. Your Crane Flies are early, they don't normally appear on Sheppey until early autumn. We also have a lot of Houndstongue, nice colour flower but awful stink of mouse urine when crushing the leaves.