Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Ocean breeze

Lade - warm, dry, sunny, W4 - Following yesterday evenings uncomfortably humid conditions with thunder and lightening all around, but hardly any rain, this morning dawned bright and breezy as a cooling front swept across from the Atlantic delivering welcome, and `proper British`, summer temperatures. On the local patch two juvenile Dartford Warblers were flitting around the scrub by the cattery, which was something of a surprise considering the stiff breeze whipping across the shingle. In the shelter of the willow swamp more juvenile warblers were noted, mostly Reeds and Whitethroats and a couple of Willows. The Curlew flock and a Whimbrel flew into roost on the shingle as we left site.

                                Curlews flying in to roost

                                            Garden House Sparrows

The recent hot weather has seen us take most of our meals in the back garden these past couple of months under the shade of a gazebo. Common garden birds have provided a rich source of entertainment, particularly `our` House Sparrows, of which we have a resident flock of anything up to 50. Just watching their antics around the feeders, bathing in the pond and generally squabbling as sparrows do is pure joy.
Dungeness - On the bird reserve this morning, from Hanson hide, my first Black-necked Grebe of the autumn on the water amongst hundreds of common wildfowl and gulls, plus Common and Wood Sandpipers, LRPs, Golden Plover, Dunlin and Lapwings. On the left side of the hide in the shelter of the willows a Southern Migrant Hawker was amongst numerous Migrant Hawkers and a few Brown Hawkers.
  On Burrowes hundreds of Common Terns were kept on the move by a military helicopter. When they eventually settled in front of Firth hide at least one juvenile Black Tern was present. Common Sandpipers, LRPs and Ringed Plovers also noted. At Dengemarsh two Great White Egrets and 30 Yellow Wagtails in the weedy field by Springfield Bridge.

                                Black Tern amongst Commons

                                Black Hawk

                                Tern island

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