Saturday, 15 June 2019

Black Redstarts

Lade - warm, dry and sunny, sw 2 - At last, summer appears to have resumed after a fair bit of rain this past week or so. The welcome sunshine following a couple of dry days has encouraged a verdant flush of plant growth across the shingle ridges. The Viper`s Bugloss looks particularly spectacular at the moment with some fine stands on the local patch attracting plenty of bees and other invertebrates, while the first Pyramidal Orchids are in flower along the old railway track.

                                Viper`s Bugloss and Pyramidal Orchid

  Juvenile birds are currently everywhere: Starling, House Sparrow and Jackdaw by the shed load, plus the first Common Whitethroats, Linnets and Meadow Pipits fledglings out of the nest. Cuckoos are still active around the Willow Swamp and one or two Hobbies continue to be seen hunting over the Desert.
  The garden moth trap has been fairly ordinary of late apart from a rush of the migrant micro-moth, Plutella xylostella last night. 

                                Black Redstart family on the power station wall

  It was a similar picture at Dungeness, although with the addition of two broods of Black Redstarts keeping the adults busy around the power station boundary. Still unsure what`s occurring with the Peregrine pair, but it seems as though they`re just going through the motions breeding wise without any outcome.
  A late afternoon look over the pits in cloudy, cool conditions revealed at least 100 Swifts over south lake. The Littlestone Serin was again reported this morning.

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