Thursday, 16 July 2015

Crepuscular curios

Lade - 0700hrs - muggy, drizzle, overcast, E 2 - A pretty decent catch in the garden trap with the first Oak Eggar of the season, plus Green Pug, Buff-tip and Marbled Coronet of note.
1030hrs - Checked the beach from the Tavern and was gobsmacked to see a huge increase in Curlew numbers, up to a minimum of 360; some were already on the wing heading to roost on the Desert. Also counted 105 Oystercatchers, five Ringed Plovers and two each of Blackwit and Whimbrel. A Grey Seal was once again following the incoming tide hunting flatfish.

                               Grey Heron, Romney Marsh

                                Oak Eggar

This afternoon whilst crossing the Marsh we paused to watch a juvenile Grey Heron picking up titbits disturbed from a flock of grazing sheep; can`t say I`ve ever noticed this kind of behaviour before...

                                Indian Balsam, Kings Wood

                                Kings Wood, Challock

Kings Wood, Challock - In the company of CP we left the wind-swept flat lands this evening for the contrasting scenery of an ancient forest in search of crepuscular curios. Walking down to a large area of clear-felled sweet chestnut there was hardly a sound to be heard apart from the ubiquitous clatter of Woodpigeons and a few Chaffinches and Wrens. The margins of the chestnut clearing were covered in great swathes of the invasive, but spectacular, Indian Balsam in full flower.
Weighing up our options around the clearing we jammed two Tree Pipits as a lone Song Thrush began an evening lament. Otherwise all was quiet until nightfall when several Tawny Owls vocalised and then, at 2135hrs, the distinctive, eerie song of a distant `churring` Nightjar broke the silence across the glade. After a brief pause, and to our surprise, the Nightjar magically then appeared about 50 yards away, perched long-ways and in silhouette, on a dead branch affording superb views as it sang. After several minutes it was off again showing white wing flashes, swooping low across the chestnut stumps, presumably hawking insects, followed by another bout of singing from a distant song post (many thanks to NB for supplying the local gen).
By 2200hrs the show was over and we left site promising ourselves to revisit these strange, wooded lands more often...

                                Tree Pipit, Kings Wood

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