Saturday, 2 September 2017

Crests and newts

Lade - cool, dry, sunny, nw 3 - 0700hrs - A distinctly autumnal feel to the weather this morning following low overnight temperatures and a northerly airflow. Signs of autumn were much in evidence around the cottage with our first Smooth Newt of the season on the kitchen floor searching for a snug venue in which to hibernate, while several Goldcrests were calling from the garden fir trees.

                                Smooth Newt, Plovers kitchen floor

  A tour of the local patch had a typical early autumn migrant flavour with a trickle of Yellow Wagtails, Swallows and Mipits overhead, two Whinchats and five Wheatears on the Desert, a scattering of Common and Lesser Whitethroats, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs, plus a Spotted Flycatcher and Great Spotted Woodpecker by the ponds. On north lake two each of Common and Green Sandpipers and a Great White Egret.
  I managed to miss a late morning Osprey at Lade today, and whilst checking out the site this afternoon another (or the same) bird flew over Kerton Road pits (thanks for the call PB) constituting a double dip. The chat flock was still on the Desert this evening.

                                Wheatear and Whinchat, Lade Desert

Dungeness - Called in at Hanson hide around midday where the wader highlights were two Redshanks, four Avocets and a Dunlin, but I failed to locate the Pectoral Sandpiper reported earlier. At least three Garganeys were present amongst the dabbling ducks and a Goldcrest called from the willow scrub. Over the road at least two Cattle Egrets were in the fields at Boulderwall amongst the cows.
  An hour at the fishing boats this afternoon with PB delivered a host of fishing Common, Sandwich and at least two Black Terns, plus at least five attendant Arctic Skuas and a few Gannets. A small party of Swallows left our shores and six Dunlins coasted west. On a flat calm sea up to 30 Harbour Porpoises and two Grey Seals were noted feeding on the abundant Mackerel shoals offshore.

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