Lade - 0730hrs - warm and dry, E3 - We had our first sighting of two freshly fledged juvenile Marsh Harriers flapping confidently over the main reedbed on south lake this morning. These first few weeks away from the safety of the nest site will be some of the most testing of their lives as they learn to become independent. Thankfully the weather conditions are good and there is plenty of potential prey on offer, so hopefully they`ll pull through.
Common Terns still seem to be fishing successfully on the waters, a few Sand Martins drifted over and a Common Sandpiper flitted along the near margin on bowed wings.
ARC - Called in at Hanson hide around midday only to discover a Ruddy Shelduck hunkered down on one of the shingle islands. It appeared to be an adult female that was seen earlier on Dengemarsh. Almost every year in mid-summer this species turns up locally, either around the bird reserve or Scotney and more often than not on Lade Bay at low tide. There is an established population of feral Ruddy Shelducks in the Netherlands, and the general consensus is that `our birds` originate from that quarter, a case of post-breeding dispersal. However, as with many of the wildfowl tribe which are widely kept in (and escape from) wildfowl collections, you can never be sure.
Elsewhere, at least two Golden Plovers had joined 200 Lapwings on the islands, plus 10 Dunlins, 10 Little Ringed (juvs still alive) and two Ringed Plovers. As the picture above testifies conditions for waders on ARC are spot on this summer, and what with major island construction work due to start soon on Burrowes, the more secluded ARC pit is favourite to harbour one or two goodies.
The now expected Red Underwing moths were clinging to the outside of the wooden hide soaking up the warmth with at least six present.