Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Cuckoo, at last...

Lade - warm, dry, sunny nw2 - Superb morning on the local patch with our first Cuckoo, better late than never as the saying goes; infact, there were two males and a female around the willow swamp, along with a big increase in Reed Warblers, their main host species, so hopefully they`ll have a productive breeding season. Also new for the year a Garden Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher, both species of passage migrants we rarely see here in the spring. Eight species of warblers were in song around the site and to complete a fine session of migrant hunting a Common Sandpiper was on south lake and two Whimbrels flew over calling.

                                Common Sandpiper, Lade

Park Wood - After picking up two of our regulars (Ray and Stuart) from Ashford station just after midday we headed for the woods. Not the best time of day but we still noted a decent range of woodland birds including good views of Nightingales, Garden Warbler, Blackcap and Chiffchaff.
Kenardington - Down on the canal towards Warehorne the usual array of finches and thrushes were complimented by our first Turtle Dove of the spring `purring` from cover, plus Lesser Whitethroat, Mistle Thrush and a stunning male Yellow Wagtail on the marshy field to the south.
Dungeness - A 30 minute seawatch from the fishing boats was predictably slow but did including 38 Kittiwakes, 50 Sandwich Terns and 6 Guillemots westbound, plus five porpoises and 20 Great Crested Grebes. Whilst dodging the film crew on the beach we eventually located a pair of Wheatears, plus Skylark, Mipit and Pied Wagtail.

                                Barwits and Dunlin, Greatstone Beach

Greatstone Beach - An evening visit from the Tavern yielded a nice crop of passage waders including 230 Dunlins, 36 Barwits and 15 Sanderlings, many in summer plumage, plus 20 Oystercatchers and 4 Ringed Plovers.

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