Lade - warm, dry and sunny, e3 - A fine weekend of weather encouraged a few butterflies onto the wing, particularly on Saturday, with our first Marbled White of summer on the local patch along the old railway line track. Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Common Blue, Small Heath, Small and Large Skippers, Meadow and Hedge Browns and Small Copper were also noted in the grassland section, plus Holly Blue and Speckled Wood around the ponds.
Birdwise two male Cuckoos were still calling around the willow swamp where a female was also active. A male Marsh Harrier was seen grappling with a large Grass Snake that it eventually killed and flew off towards a local nest site.
Called in at ARC yesterday where from Hanson hide a 1st summer Little Gull and a Garganey were the highlights amongst hundreds of common wildfowl, Lapwings, Coots and gulls. Also, Wigeon, Cuckoo, Hobby and at least six Common Tern chicks on the new raft. The Serin was still present on Saturday at Littlestone.
Today, a circuit of the local patch produced a Great White Egret and the first wave of migrant Sand Martins of the return passage over south lake, along with a few House Martins. The Cuckoos were very easy to see this morning flying over the willow swamp calling. An afternoon seawatch from the boardwalk at high tide with a brisk onshore wind delivered a few distant Gannets and Sandwich Terns, plus scores of kite-surfers.