Lade - 0800hrs - mild, sunny, light airs - A calm night resulted in a decent catch of 20 species in the garden trap with four new for the season including Rosy Wave, a localised species which very little appears to be known about its breeding biology, and only my second.
Walked Mockmill this morning and already bird song had declined as the warblers and finches were feeding youngsters, some of which had already fledged. Also had further flight views of the female rufous Cuckoo; the rump showed vivid russet in the bright sunshine, while the brown tail, barred black, had one thicker band about mid-way, a cracking bird, if only it would perch up and allow a piccie.
Walland Marsh - 1100 - 1600hrs - Spent a very pleasant few hours touring the Marsh with Mr PT Senior. After getting the Rosy Wave confirmed at the KRC we moved onto the allotment at Lydd to pick strawberries. Whilst there the local Herring Gulls went ballistic and up above was a `kettle` of five buzzards, one of which was a Honey Buzzard, thermalling a few hundred feet overhead. I legged it back to the car to grab the bins and watched them soar out of sight over towards New Romney. Fantastic. After a few phone calls it was apparent that others had been seen locally and following a tip off from PB we saw another, much more distant bird over the ranges a short while later. Also, from the range road a Turtle Dove perched on a wire by the lookout towers was a surprise, whilst on a fence post amongst the barbed wire was the first of three Little Owls we noted during the afternoon. From Lydd churchyard the juv herons could be seen, and heard (what a din!) in their tree-top nests and it won`t be too long now before they fledge.
Scanning Brett`s Pit we noticed a pair of Egyptian Geese with five well grown goslings, which a local fisherman told me were about a fortnight old. I`m unsure whether or not these `plastics` have bred successfully before hereabouts, in the Dungeness area, but I`m sure someone out there will know... so, if you do, please drop us a line.
A drive out to Brookland via Midley and around the back lanes produced more Common Buzzards, Marsh Harriers, plus a handful of Lesser Whitethroat, Yellow Wagtail and one Yellowhammer. Goldfinches appeared to be doing ok, while Tree Sparrows and Corn Buntings were seen at their regular sites.
Called in at Dungeness VC on the way home for a natter, where Avocets and Blackwits were reported on the Hayfields. Two Hobbies, Green Woodpecker and a male Marsh harrier noted on the way out.