Lade - hot, dry and sunny, E2 - With another hot day in prospect and light airs we were up and about early this morning checking the local patch for any warblers on the move. While a couple of Willow Warblers and Whitethroats were noted by the ponds the latter species could have been local birds, along with several parties of Reed, Sedge and Cetti`s Warblers, all with noisy juveniles begging for food from the adults. In Mockmill a pair of Stonechats fed a late brood while a family of Kestrels made a right old din over by the airport fields.
South lake was again rammed with ducks, grebes, swans, Coots and Moorhens all feeding amongst great bundles of Canadian pond weed floating on the surface. My earlier fears of a grebe shortage have been well and truly put to bed as Dabchicks in particular were everywhere this morning with over 50 counted. Great Crested Grebes have now produced plenty of juvs and several were on brood number two on their floating nests.
Whilst sat down counting wildfowl by the tunnel I noticed a Sparrowhawk winging in over the lake and clobber a Magpie. Pandemonium then ensued as the adults and siblings mobbed the raptor, but to no avail as they lost one of their family. The large female Sparrowhawk carried on plucking the corpse before flying off into the willow swamp to feed her noisy juveniles.
Numbers in the garden moth trap were much reduced last night, but did include some quality in the form of Jersey and Garden Tigers, Gold Spot, Oak Eggar and the first Shark of the summer.