Lade - 0700hrs - cool, cloudy, n 2 - Superb birding on the local patch this morning with migrants all over the place from the off including several Willow Warblers and Blackcaps in the garden. At least 10 Whinchats and 20 Wheatears were scattered across the Desert along with parties of grounded Yellow Wagtails, Mipits and Linnets as more passed overhead. Scores of hirundines swooped over the broom scrub picking off tiny micro moths (and a few Vestals no doubt) alongside Common Whitethroats, Blackcaps and a Garden Warbler, as more hirundines and a Swift skimmed the water and gorse beside south lake. However, the best was yet to come with 3 Spotted and 2 Pied Flycatchers in the willows beside the ponds which were alive with Willow Warblers, Blackcaps, Common Whitethroats and several Lesser Whitethroats. Also in the mix around the willow swamp a tit flock, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, several Robins, Cetti`s and Reed Warblers, plus 2 Sparrowhawks and a Hobby over.
A terrific session, which just needed that little bit of quality in the form of a shrike or Wryneck to make it extra special.
Although moth numbers were low in the Plovers trap last night, with just 15 species, there was 5 Vestals and at least 10 more on the shingle ridges.
RSPB - The 2 juv White-winged Terns remained amongst the Black Terns on ARC, while the Icterine Warbler proved elusive around the car park/dipping pond scrub, although it had been glimpsed earlier. A couple of Black-necked Grebes were on Burrowes.
Dungeness - Following a mid-afternoon deluge we were on our way out to recheck Lade when news came through of a rare Long-tailed Blue found by SG at the point. As I missed last years one we went in search and joined a small group of butterfly hunters scouring the gorse around the old light. As the sun broke through a number of common species came out to play but not our target insect. Nevertheless, there was plenty to see including another dozen or so migrant Vestals (there must`ve been hundreds/thousands across the NNR today), a Holly Blue egg laying and a scattering of Willow Warblers and Black Redstarts. On the down side we just missed an Osprey that passed over the peninsula and headed out to sea.