Sunday, 22 June 2014


Lade - 0600hrs - warm, dry and sunny - It was one of those perfect summer mornings from the off with a Mediterranean feel in the air and being able to sit in the garden at 6am supping that mighty fine, first brew of the day. With the guests still snoring away and the moth trap covered to prevent carnage by the Blackbirds we ventured out for a quick walk over the back. The tide was up as a flock of 100 or so Curlews flew in to roost behind south lake, while a straggle of Lapwings headed for the fields near the airport. Marsh Harriers were already hunting the sewers and a Cuckoo was seen and heard over the willow swamp. Already bird song was much suppressed with a few ragged looking adult Whitethroats making a half-hearted attempt at singing and Reed Warblers chugging away intermittantly. A Med Gull flew over calling and a Hare surprised us both on the walk back across the shingle.
The garden trap was full of moths this morning with the first Common Emerald of the season and a host of frustrating pugs...

                                RMC, Aldergate Bridge

Royal Military Canal - 1115hrs - Mrs PT joined us for a walk between two bridges, from Aldergate to the dam at West Hythe, on the RMC. En-route across the Marsh farmland it was good to hear plenty of Yellowhammers in song, several Lesser Whitethroats and a Turtle Dove on overhead wires near Newchurch. The southern footpath of the canal runs beside a monoculture of rye grass and wheat and was virtually devoid of wild flowers and insects. Chatting to a couple of fisherman confirmed the presence of Mink hereabouts which probably accounted for the lack of water birds on the cut, where Bream, Roach and Tench were all being caught. Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Cuckoo, Green Woodpecker, Bullfinch, Long-tailed Tit and Skylark were all heard. Things weren`t much better on the northern section where the walk runs through dappled shade and a few common butterflies were on the wing. Whilst practising my African antelope identification skills (poorly) we had good views of a Little Owl sunning itself.

                               Little Owl, Port Lympne Zoo

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