Saturday 14 June 2014

Birthday Barney

Lade - 0600hrs - mild, cloudy, light airs - Last night was perfect weather conditions for moths and the sense of anticipation was high as I approached the trap. Numbers were up with 150 moths of 32 species, but nothing new for the season. Highlights were four species of hawkmoth, Marbled Coronet, White Spot and 12 Cypress Carpets.


                                Barney - happy birthday old pal
Birthday Boy - My birding companion Barney is 8 years old today, which makes him about 56 in human years, if you believe such nonsense, so roughly the same age as me, give or take a year or two... (I suppose you could call us `middle aged`, except I loathe that term). Anyhow, I decided to spoil the old boy a bit today, once the B&B guests had gone. So, before the frying pan went into action, we kicked off early doors (sorry about the footie speak, but the World Cup is on - did you see that game last night between the Dutch and Spain...what about that Van Persie goal...and will England make it out of the group... oh, it is so exciting...) with a quick walk over the pits, just so`s he could bump into some of his mates and have a good sniff round, followed by a good grooming and a sausage - I know, I can hear some of you thinking, "what is he prattling on about now", but I love that damn animal so much its hard to explain, sometimes I reckon he knows what I`m thinking. I`ve had dogs before, but never one like this, its a bit like living with a daemon from Phillip Pullman`s His Dark Material trilogy, oh, never mind, but you`ll know what I mean if you`ve read the books.
Dungeness - Haven`t been down the point for what seems like ages since the spring seawatching has finished. Now I know why, 30 minutes from the hide produced a steady trickle of Gannets west, plus several Sandwich Terns and a Med Gull. The Patch was dead, while a Black Redstart sang from the power station. The wildflowers however were in fine nick with Notts Catchfly and stonecrop everywhere. On the drive out a Wheatear was attending to a couple of recently fledged juveniles on the beach side of the road.

                                English Stonecrop, Dungeness

Galloways - A drive round the range road and down to the sea produced plenty of Mipits, Skylarks, Linnets and Stonechats with fledglings, plus Kestrel, Raven and Hobby.
Dengemarsh - Spent a couple of hours doing the circular walk from Springfield Bridge. The usual raptors noted - Marsh Harriers and Hobbies - while Hayfield 3 had a motley collection of ducks, including a Teal, 20 Shelducks, Shoveler and two Garganey, Little Egrets, Grey Herons, Lapwings and two Oystercatchers. A few Bearded Tits were seen along the way, plus 30 odd pairs of Common Terns on the rafts, a flyover Bittern from the ramp and a singing Corn Bunting on the back track. There appeared to be plenty of juv waterfowl and warblers about the place but no sign of any Lapwing or Oystercatcher chicks, which was hardly surprising seeing as I must`ve seen over 40 Carrion Crows during the circuit (Larson trap required for next year).
That`s it for now, must go as Colombia V Greece is about to KO.

                               Common Terns, Dengemarsh

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