Lade - 0600hrs - mild and cloudy - At last an overcast night with light airs, perfect for running the garden MV trap, and as anticipated there were some moths on the egg trays this mornings - 15 Tawny Shears and a Common Quaker to be precise, not great, but its early days still.
A light overhead passage of coasting Goldfinches was noteworthy early on as we tramped across the shingle before doing breakfast for guests. Several Willow Warblers sang from back garden trees and a couple of Whitethroats announced their arrival from gorse scrub, but joy upon joy the main event was our first Cuckoo calling from the willow swamp followed by a flight across the lake as if to say "Hello, I`m back"! And a very welcome sound and sight it was indeed, and long may it continue.
Dungeness - 1000hrs - Our second decent fall of passerines this spring occurred overnight, comprising mainly Willow Warblers. I must`ve seen 50 wandering around the point, but there were probably hundreds scattered across the Trapping Area and scrub around the Old Light and down to the Sanctuary; some of the private gardens along the front were alive with Willow Warblers. The birds on the gorse seemed to be feasting on small, black flies in the yellow flowers. Also in the mix, three Redstarts, a `reeling` Grasshopper Warbler, Garden Warbler, Lesser and Common Whitethroats, several Blackcaps and 10 Wheatears.
In the dappled sunshine several Small Coppers and a single Grizzled Skipper were noted and the Early Purple Orchid show near the Obs was impressive. The seawatch hide was being fitted with a new lid today by CP and team, just in time for the Pom passage, we hope...
Also reported across the NNR today: a scattering of Greenshanks, Whinchats, Common Sandpipers, Nightingales, a Spotted Redshank and a singing Wood Warbler at Long Pits.