Lade - warm, dry and sunny, sw 2 - One of the great things about the natural world is its capacity to surprise, even at a local level. Take my little ol local patch for example, yesterday when returning from our morning walk we turned the corner of Hull Road just as all the local Starlings and House Sparrows went into a lather. Like us they were probably expecting a Sparrowhawk to appear, hunting the coastal bird feeders for breakfast, but were perfectly safe as they had been duped by, surprisingly, a juvenile Cuckoo that flew steadily south setting the Herring Gulls off as they too mistook it for a raptor. In the evening a whopping great flock of adult sandpipers on the bay comprised 280 Dunlins and 30 Sanderlings.
Today, more surprises. Firstly a new moth in the garden trap, one I have been expecting to be fair for some time, and a bit of a Dungeness speciality, a Scarce Chocolate- tip, plus also of note yet another (18th) raggedy Sussex Emerald, a Pale Prominent and the first Flounced Rustic of summer. And so to our morning circuit of the lakes and yet another surprise on south, a duck Shoveler proudly showing off her seven ducklings (by no means an annual breeder here) - how on earth did I miss that one!
On the beach this evening, after yesterdays wader fest, things were much quieter with just 10 Dunlins and two Sandwich Terns of note amongst hundreds of Black-headed Gulls.