Saturday 25 May 2013

Turtle Dove & Nightingale

Lade  0700hrs - cool, cloudy, ne 3 - Following a spectacular thunder and lightening storm over the bay during the early hours, this morning dawned dry with broken sunshine and a keen north-easterly. Once again due to the low temperatures I didn`t bother to run the moth trap.
Over the pits the undoubted highlight was a Turtle Dove flushed from cover in the willows, plus a Nightingale which called but did not sing and even showed briefly in the bottom of a blackthorn bush; maybe a late arriving female? All the established summer migrants were in song and once again there was plenty of Cuckoo activity; I think we`re fortunate down here to have retained this  unique bird on the NNR as it has disappeared from so many of its former haunts up country.
The first Linnet chicks were out of the nest this morning, while a Sparrowhawk hunting low over the gorse was obviously on the lookout for just such an easy meal ticket. Swifts and hirundines continued to hurry overhead pressing northwards, as was a late Yellow Wagtail.
Walland Marsh - With the wind dropping and the sun shining decided to have a tour around the Marsh, and very rewarding it was too with the highlight being a Red-rumped Swallow  within a small hirundine/Swift flock at Midley. Despite further searching I could not relocate what was my third Red-rumper of the season. All three species of bunting were located with Yellowhammer the most numerous and Corn Buntings at two sites. Yellow Wagtails were very thin on the ground, as were Turtle Doves, also at two sites, but was good to see at least 20 Lapwings at one location. Also noted Little Owl, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Teal, 4 Med Gulls, 6 Hobbies, Lesser Whitethroat and several other breeding species far too scarce to mention on an open forum such as this...
ps: Late breaking news this evening concerned a Terek Sandpiper on Ternery Pool at Rye Harbour NR.

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