Tuesday 30 September 2014

Jays, Buzzards and a dose of political inconsistency

Lade - 0730hrs - warm, dry and cloudy, light airs - Another glorious autumn day to finish the driest month of September on record; although looking at the forecast from the weekend onwards we could do well to make the most of it while it lasts. The garden mv held a healthy total of 80 macro moths of 13 species including all the autumn classics. Chiffchaffs were omnipresent in the garden today and we even had a Goldcrest briefly this morning.
Over the pits a light scattering of common migrants, including three Stonechats, while the first two Jays of the season were active around the willow swamp, plus 15 Long-tailed Tits and plenty more Chiffs. The `white` Buzzard that`s been knocking around the Marsh awhile was sat on the 30 foot dish, until disturbed by a `brown` Buzzard with two more circling over the airport fields. We watched a juv Marsh Harrier attempt, unsuccessfully, to take a Coot beside the main reedbed.
There remains plenty of plants in flower and a few butterflies on the wing, one of my favourites being Sea Campion which can be found in bloom pretty much throughout the year down here on the shingle.
In New Romney late morning several more Jays were noted and at least six each of Buzzard and Kestrel on the back road out towards Ivychurch.

                                Autumn moths, Lade

                                Sandwich Tern & Black-headed Gulls, Littlestone

                                Sea Campion, Lade (also known locally as Dolly Bells)

Littlestone Beach - 1230hrs - Checked through the waders and gulls on an incoming tide, but could only muster up six species of the former. Sandwich Terns were still present in good numbers loafing on the sandbars and a couple of pulses of Swallows headed south along the beach.
Political Expediency... - I read in The Independent on line recently that Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, and noted `bird-lover`, apparently, will not be voting on the decision to develop the ex-MoD site of Lodge Hill in north Kent, home to a substantial Nightingale population, due to, `a conflict of interest`.
Shame he didn't adopt the same high and mighty principles when deliberating on the expansion of Lydd Airport adjacent to the Dungeness National Nature Reserve. I wonder why...?

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