Wednesday 23 May 2018

Bee-eater at last!

Lade - cool and sunny, N 4 - Despite a brisk overnight airflow from the north and clear skies the garden moth trap attracted a healthy 12 species of which Poplar Hawk-moth, Knot Grass, Bright Line Brown Eye and Willow Beauty were NFY; Toadflax Brocade also put in an appearance.

                                Poplar Hawk-moth

 On the local patch the cool wind had driven down 50 Swifts and 100 House Martins over the far side of south lake. The male Sparrowhwak brought what looked like a juvenile Starling to the nest site. Spent some time scanning the skies as Honey Buzzard and Red Kite were noted crossing the peninsula earlier, but all I could find were a couple of Common Buzzards and Marsh Harriers over the airport fields.
Orlestone Forest - Picked Raymond up from Ashford station this morning for a three day Birdwatching Break at Plovers. Our first stop was the trees where several Nightingales were in song, plus Garden and Willow Warblers, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Long-tailed and Coal Tits, Buzzard and Jay.
 Moving down onto the Marsh at Warehorne a pair of Yellowhammers showed from the bridge and a couple of Tree Sparrws at Midley, otherwise it was poor fare with hardly a bird to be seen in the agricultural wasteland of Walland Marsh.

                                Mediterranean and Little Gulls

Burrowes - All the usual Common Terns here, plus a couple of Sandwich Terns, three close immature Little Gulls from Firth hide and a Mediterranean Gull. Also, several Turnstones, Ringed Plovers and a Greenshank, plus two Hobbies from Makepeace. We returned again in the evening adding Whimbrel, 14 Curlews and 10 Dunlins.
  A check of the beach from the Romeny Tavern delivered the usual Curlews and Oystercatchers, plus 20 Sanderlings and five Dunlins.
  Whilst at Screen hide looking for the Bitterns just before lights out OL phoned to say he`d found a Bee-eater at the end of Queens Road in Littlestone! We were soon on site and watching the head and beak of a Bee-eater through the scope, at roost atop a wind-blown poplar tree; not the best of views, but many thanks to Owen and PB for locating it amongst the foliage.

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