Saturday - 0730hrs - mild and cloudy, n 2 - We were joined by CP for a circuit of the local patch this morning where most of the passerine activity was in the scrub around the ponds. Approximately 50 birds were milling about feeding and flitting through the bushes, the majority Willow Warblers, but also plenty of Sedge and Reed Warblers, a few Common and Lesser Whitethroats, a Chiffchaff and a family of Cetti`s Warblers. A roving tit flock was also present including 20 Long-tailed Tits.
Two Marsh Harriers, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel were noted around the willow swamp where also Kingfisher, Common Sandpiper, Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers, Little Egrets, Grey Heron and the usual grebes with young. A Great White Egret was on south lake while a trickle of Swifts, Sand Martins and a Yellow Wagtail passed overhead. An afternoon visit to the beach produced 300 Sandwich Terns, 300 Oystercatchers and 180 Curlews.
Just after 11pm Pat and I sauntered down the beach to watch the celestial light show that occurs every summer about his time - and we were not disappointed. Over the course of an hour shooting stars from the Perseid Meteor Shower were visible every five minutes or so careering across the ether. The wind was light and the moon-over-the-water dappled with striated clouds, while distant ships passed by in the night, all to the backdrop of the raucous calls of Sandwich Terns, fabulous stuff.
Sunday - Warm dry and sunny, n 2 - 0700hrs - An immigrant Scarce Bordered Straw was a new moth for the garden last night, which was no great surprise as other traps hereabouts have been recording them of late. Silver Y and Dark Swordgrass completed the migrant trio. A southward circuit of the Patch around Kerton Road pit in glorious warm sunshine delivered a few passage Yellow Wagtails and Mipits, plus two Wheatears and a family party of Stonechats by the quarry entrance. The homeward leg of the walk along the beach was notable for six Ringed Plovers, a Wheatear and several Med Gulls on the sands.
Working in the garden today, Whimbrel, Hobby and Yellow Wagtail flew overhead, while `our` Robin fledglings picked off invertebrates from the newly cleared borders. Several visits from a Sparrowhawk through the day to the bird feeders resulted in a Collared Dove and Starling down, while a Woodpigeon narrowly avoided death as I disturbed the silent assassin just as it was about to deliver the Coup-de-gras.