Lade -warm, dry and sunny, e2 - A fine weekend of weather with light airs throughout and a decent catch of moths in the garden trap yesterday that included several Jersey Tigers.
Both mornings has seen a number of passage warblers on site, particularly around the ponds where Willow and Reed Warblers were most numerous along with a few Common and Lesser Whitethroats, Sedge Warblers and at least one Blackcap feeding on blackberries. A flock of 20 grounded Yellow Wagtails on the Desert typically didn't stay for long, soon pressing southwards calling constantly, and a Linnet flock numbered 30 birds.
On the incoming tide yesterday 372 Oystercatchers and 255 Curlews were counted going to roost, while on the evening low tide the first Arctic Skua of the season came in off the bay and flew along the shoreline harrying Sandwich Terns loafing on the sands amongst hundreds of gulls and waders.
On south lake wildfowl numbers continue to increase with over 200 Pochards and 54 Great Crested Grebes. Common Terns came and went heading back towards ARC with small fry, while two broods of Tufted Ducks were on the water.
There has been plenty of insects activity around the garden this weekend too, with several Hummingbird Hawk-moths, a variety of bees, Red Admirals, Painted Ladies, Peacocks and a Marbled White visiting the buddleia and lavender bushes. The House Sparrows and Starlings have provided rich entertainment whilst breakfasting on the garden feeders and using the water bowls.
On the bird reserve today the highlights were five Wood Sandpipers, four Ruffs, a juvenile Little Gull and Cattle Egret from Hanson hide, plus two Avocets and Common Sandpipers from Firth hide.
Thanks to all concerned for a very convivial afternoon at the Dungeness Bird Observatory BBQ.