Lade - warm, dry and sunny, e2 - A pretty decent catch in the garden moth trap last night with Brimstone and Small Elephant Hawk-moth new for the year amongst numerous Cinnabars, Heart and Darts and Light Feathered Rustics.
Warm sunshine coupled with light winds attracted crowds of people to the coast on what was Bank Holiday Monday, although to be fair, one day is just like another in this New World Order. Even though we were out early for our circuit of the pits there was still a lot more visitors wandering over towards the `Sound Mirrors` throughout the day. Bird wise it was very quiet, so we spent some time checking the plants along the old railway line track.
I wasn't expecting much on the sands this evening as day-trippers were everywhere enjoying the last of the sunshine. Scanning down towards Greatstone beach it was still packed out with bodies so I elected to walk towards Dungeness where it was quieter. We`d only got a couple of hundred yards from the boardwalk when I noticed a wader close up on the high tide mark and seemingly oblivious to people walking along the beach only a few feet away.
Bar-tailed Godwits are one of my favourite bay waders and are present here throughout the year in variable numbers, mostly during the winter and on spring and autumn passage; early summer is when numbers are lowest, or birds are absent altogether. While some of the Arctic waders can be quite tolerant of us humans, Sanderlings particularly so, Bar-wits tend to keep out on the mud amongst their kin or within the Curlew flocks.
This particular individual, however, had either not read the manual, or more likely was unwell, as it allowed me (with Barney to heal) to get within 10 yards. It was feeding quiet happily at that range so there was no need to approach any closer; infact whilst I was watching it intently through the bins a couple walked between us and it didn`t even budge!
As I say, odd behaviour, but it afforded me some of the best views of this long-distance traveller I`ve ever had, and all in gorgeous evening light - sensational.