Lade - cool, cloudy, showery, N 2 - Following heavy overnight rain during which time over an inch fell it was no surprise to find a large flock of Swifts and hirundines feeding over south lake in the cool weather conditions. The hirundines were roughly two-thirds House Martins, plus a few Sand Martins in amongst the Swallows. Every so often they would perched on overhead wires affording good views.
Dungeness - News came through this afternoon concerning a Death`s-head Hawk-moth found on a private house on the Estate. It was soon transferred to the Bird Observatory, much to the delight of a steady trickle of admirers, myself included. This was my first, and what a stunning beast, in pristine condition showing the unique skull-like marking from which it derives its name.
This species is a scarce immigrant from the Continent and can make a mouse-like squeaking sound when agitated, although this particular specimen was quiet and settled while I was present. A fabulous and iconic moth, and well done to all concerned for making it available for viewing.