Wednesday 2 September 2015

Red-backed Shrike and much, much more

Lade - 0700hrs - cool, sunny, nw 2 - A distinctly autumnal feel to proceedings first thing, but at least the sun was shining. The chill morning meant that wherever you looked birds were soaking up the rays after a cold night. There wasn't as many migrants about as yesterday, but still a sprinkling of Common Whitethroats, Willow Warblers, Yellow Wagtails and Whinchats flitted amongst the Desert scrub, while there was a noticeable increase in Robins.

                                Starlings and Willow Warbler warming up, Lade

For the first time in a fortnight there were no fisherman on the pits and as a result the place was litter-free, only because myself and other locals have been clearing it up. I`ve no axe to grind with anglers, as in my younger days I used to fish, but the breed of carp fisherman we get here are mostly a stroppy lot; I`ve lost count of the volleys of abuse I`ve received after politely informing them that fishing is not permitted here, as per RSPB policy, who, by the by, since June of this year are the new owners. Last weekend the swing bridge to the `mirror` island was opened, affording unrestricted access to all comers, including vandals intent on defacing the concrete structures. It`s only a matter of time before there`s some sort of `incident` down here, and all the while the wildlife is suffering from the likes of encroachment into the reedbed, camp sites, discarded fishing tackle, human waste and electric boats and canoes on the water. What wonderful creatures some of our fellow human beings are...
RSPB - 0930hrs - A brief stop on the causeway road revealed at least one juv White-winged Tern on ARC amongst several Black Terns, although the second bird was reported during the morning, as were Spotted and Pied Flycatchers from the Willow Trail.
The bushes along the track beside Burrowes and around the car park were alive with common warblers and tits, although I could find no sign of yesterdays Icky. The small pond near Makepeace proved a real lure to a number of Reed, Sedge, Cetti`s and Willow Warblers, Common and Lesser Whitethroats, a Blackcap and Reed Bunting soaking up the sun and snapping up insects. Best of all though was watching the warblers` reaction to a large Grass Snake basking on a wooden stump; one particular Common Whitethroat would not leave it alone and at times approached within inches of the snake. Fortunately for the warbler the snake was still sluggish as it may well have ended up as breakfast!

                                Common Sandpiper, Burrowes

                                Grass Snake and Common Whitethroat, RSPB

A guided walk for a visiting family revealed a wide range of wildlife with the children particularly enjoying close views of Grass Snake, Marsh Frog and Common Lizard, Vestal, Painted Lady and a Dark bush-cricket. The mini-beast area delivered a Whinchat, 4 Wheatears and a Red-backed Shrike by the access road. On Burrowes at least 10 Common Sandpipers were present.

                                Marsh Frog, Dipping Pond

                                Red-backed Shrike, record shot, return trail

Dungeness - An evening visit to search for the Wryneck seen earlier at the southern end of the Trapping Area failed to deliver the woodpecker, but 2 Whinchats, several Common Whitethroats and 2 Sparrowhawks were noted.

No comments:

Post a Comment