Park Wood, Appledore - cold, dry and sunny - For a change of scene this morning we decamped to the Orlestone Forest for a walk in the woods and fortunately as we went early on had the place to ourselves. For two hours we wandered around admiring the floral display of anemones, celandines, violets, primroses and best of all swathes of bluebells, under a bare canopy of budding oak, ash, hornbeam and wild cherry set against an azure sky. Trees and plants are the most rewarding part of any wildwood experience these days as woodland bird communities have suffered greatly over recent decades, witnessing both a dramatic decline in diversity and numbers of many species. All the expected resident birds were noted, while the only summer visitors in song were Blackcap and Chiffchaff with not a sniff of a Nightingale despite the habitat being suitable; only a few years ago this site was a certainty for this ace songster, still it`s early days and there is still a chance that they may return before the months end.
This afternoon we joined SM and OL at the hide for a brief seawatch where a trickle of Commic and Sandwich Terns, Gannets, Whimbrels and Common Scoters rounded the point. Several Pomarine Skuas had been seen earlier in the day along with Arctic and Great Skuas, Little Gulls and Little Terns (MC).