Sunday 29 August 2021

Drift Migrants

 Lade - warm, dry and sunny, NE 2 - With settled weather and a north-easterly airflow in charge over the Bank Holiday weekend and beyond we have the ideal recipe in place for migrants leaving northern Europe and drifting our way. Yesterday, in the cool of early morning, hundreds of Sand Martins and Swallows were forced down to feed over the lakes with at least two Hobbies in attendance; one of which was seen to chase a Blue Tit out over the shingle ridges that narrowly avoid death by plunging into ground cover. There has also been a noticeable increase in Sparrowhawk sightings of late as they too move south-west, and the two locally bred Marsh Harriers were again hunting the long reed bed this morning. Most of the Sedge Warblers appear to have now left site leaving a few Reed Warblers in the reedbeds but plenty of Whitethroats, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs around the ponds and in the dry scrub, plus small parties Yellow Wagtails along the beach. We walked the bay this evening on the outgoing tide checking the waders and gulls to the accompaniment of a large gathering of ravers and banging tunes on the beach at Greatstone. Oh, what it is to be young!

Elsewhere, Galloways has been the place for Whinchats and Wheatears, along with a Wryneck yesterday and another on Dungeness at the southern end of the Trapping Area, although the latter was  never easy to pin down. A scattering of Pied and Spotted Flycatchers also made an appearance across the peninsula and at St Mary-in-the Marsh. With the islands on Burrowes pit cleared last week grounded passage waders included Little Stint, Ruff, Common Sandpiper and Black-tailed Godwit today, while over the road several Black Terns, Cattle Egrets and Black-necked Grebes have been noted on ARC lake.  

Wednesday 25 August 2021

Yellow Wagtails

 Lade - warm, dry and sunny, NE 3 - A recent blocking anticyclone delivered a welcome period of settled weather over the British Isles with a north-easterly airflow bringing good numbers of Yellow Wagtails our way. Some of these migrants may have originated from the near continent or Scandinavia as they dispersed south-west across the North Sea or drift down this side of the English Channel en-route to their winter quarters south of the Sahara. This morning small flocks were grounded hereabouts on the beach amongst the Sea Kale and long grasses and also on the shingle ridges inland with more heard overhead. Our first Tree Pipit of autumn was also noted flying over calling along with a steady trickle of Sand Martins and Swallows. The hot weather and favourable wind attracted hoards of holiday makers and kite-surfers onto the bay today resulting in difficult viewing conditions for waders, terns and gulls. 

                                  Yellow Wagtail, Lade

An hour at the fishing boats this afternoon with the locals was pleasant enough in the warm sunshine. A few Gannets, terns and gulls drifted by while several Arctic Skuas were active further out harrying the terns.

Sunday 22 August 2021

Lade Bay waders and terns

Saturday, Lade - cloudy, warm, showery, E 2 - A tour of the pits first thing revealed 235 Pochard, 48 Great Crested Grebes and 32 Little Grebes amongst c200 Coots and c150 Tufted Ducks, plus 20 Shovelers, 25 Gadwall and four Teal. On north lake 100 Med Gulls and five Little Egrets. 

With high tide around 1100hrs I arrived on the bay, opposite the Market car park, just after 1230hrs with plenty of juicy sandpipers close to the shingle, mostly Dunlins in all their differing sizes and plumages along with a good sprinkling of Sanderlings and Ringed Plovers. Over the next 90 minutes I was like a kid in a sweet shop as birds feeding down by the holidaymakers on Greatstone beach came my way in wave after wave to be scrutinised. I estimated there to be c2,000 Dunlins, c500 Sanderlings and a count of 160 Ringed Plovers, one of my highest ever. Scores of Mediterranean Gulls and Sandwich Terns on a sand bar flushed by a dog flew past me towards Dungeness along with five Little and three Black Terns as a flock of seven Greenshanks circled overhead calling frantically before heading inland; I guess with high water levels on the bird reserve there are few places for passage waders to drop onto. Eventually, the big `uns arrived back en-masse from their roost sites; c1,000 Oystercatchers and c400 Curlews, for me a spectacle I never tire of witnessing. Other shorebirds in the throng included five Barwits, three Knots, two Whimbrels, two Turnstones and a Little Stint, plus 10 Common Tern amongst the returning Sandwich Terns and at least nine Grey Seals further out to sea. Lade bay at its very best!

                                  Dunlin, Sanderling and Ringed Plover

                                  Bar-tailed Godwits

                                            Knot and Dunlin (by David Scott)

                                            Adult Little Stint (by David Scott)

Sunday - Lade - warm, cloudy, W2 - After a heavy thunderstorm around daybreak the weather settled down as the morning progressed with the sun occasionally poking through the clouds. Several small parties of Yellow Wagtails were grounded on the shingle ridges and a Pied Flycatcher was noted by the ponds. On the bay this afternoon I joined DS to scan the beach where the wader numbers were down on yesterday, although there was still plenty to see including many Sandwich Terns and Mediterranean Gulls. We couldn`t find the Little Stint, but agreed that there had been two birds present over the previous five days, an adult and a juvenile; and many thanks to Dave for sending through his superb pics.

                                  Pied Flycatcher, Lade ponds (by David Scott)

A visit to Scotney produced a motley bio-mass of feral geese, eclipse ducks, large gulls. a couple of hundred Lapwings on the front fields and thousands of Starlings heading inland. At Galloways I walked the road to the car park with RW where we eventually located a smart Whinchat amongst 10 each of Wheatear and Stonechat, plus 10 more Wheatears around the security hut, Golden Plovers and Yellow Wagtails overhead. On the bird reserve a Cattle Egret showed briefly and distantly on the Boulderwall fields amongst the stock, a Common Sandpiper was on Burrowes and the Glossy Ibis and a Black-necked Grebe were on the ARC.

                                  Wheatear, Galloways

                                  Glossy Ibis, ARC (by David Scott).

Friday 20 August 2021


 Lade - warm, dry and sunny, SW 2 - A thorough search around the willow swamp first thing delivered a juvenile Cuckoo on the edge of the main reed bed (hopefully one that was reared here) where plenty of Reed and Sedge Warblers were also chattering away. Juvenile Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers were noted along with a trickle of Sand Martins and two Swifts south. Both Little and Great Crested Grebes have had a good breeding season locally with youngsters in tow across both waters. Ten Mediterranean Gulls landed on north lake with many more heading inland having been forced off the bay on the flood tide, probably to feed on ploughing operations. A check of the bay around noon on the ebb tide revealed the Little Stint still present, plus three Blackwits and the usual Dunlins, Oystercatchers and Curlews. 

                                  Juvenile Great Crested Grebe, Lade

A mid-morning tour of the bird reserve produced the usual egrets, harriers, wildfowl and grebes, plus a Glossy Ibis and two Black-necked Grebes on ARC; five Wigeon on Tower Pits and a Golden Plover with 100 Lapwings on Burrowes, from where an Osprey was reported earlier; and ten Yellow Wagtails by Springfield Bridge and a Raven over.

This afternoon on the way home from Bethesden we crossed the Marsh farmland and I was staggered at the amount of land that not only had been harvested but already tilled and drilled for next years crop; little wonder then that the countryside is so devoid of wildlife. Worst of all are the heavily treated turf fields which seemed to have proliferated between Ivychurch and new Romney.

Thursday 19 August 2021


Lade - warm, dry and sunny, W3 - The garden moth trap hasn`t been particularly busy of late but did include a migrant Gem on Tuesday night, only the second site record; Jersey Tigers continue to be numerous with eight last night. Bird wise the bay has been decent for waders; this morning I went down on the outgoing tide where the Curlew flock had just returned from roosting and was conveniently lined up not too far out and just begging to be accurately counted - all 395 of them! I reckon it`s best not to take this long-lived wader for granted as it is in serious decline as a breeding bird in Britain and Ireland, due to habitat loss, and no doubt in the not too distant future will tumble off a cliff-edge numbers wise and become something of a rarity. On a more positive note Dunlins had increased to c700 and the Little Stint was still present for its third day. Passage Yellow Wagtails continue to drop in along the beach where they appear to find plenty to feed on amongst the rotting Sea Kale. 

                                  Gem - only my second trap site record

                  Great White Egret - a common sight across the Dungeness wetlands

Called in at the ARC this morning where three Great White Egrets were present along with a distant Black-necked Grebe amongst the wildfowl. The bushes were noticeably devoid of birds although the wind had started to pick up. Elsewhere today an Osprey was reported at Lade and was probably the one seen at Dengemarsh this afternoon, while the Glossy Ibis was back at its usual haunt on ARC (DS) and a Black Tern flew past the fishing boats (MC).

Tuesday 17 August 2021

Little Stint

Lade - mild, cloudy, W 2 - We`ve stuck pretty much to the local patch these past few days, checking and rechecking the pits and bay for signs of autumn migration. With high water levels waders have been at a premium on the lakes with singles of Common Sandpiper and Dunlin being about it. Two Whimbrels flew over yesterday whistling away, while the bay Curlew flock continue to roost on the desert shingle. A walk outback to a known Marsh Harrier nesting site confirmed successful breeding with two fledged juvs flopping about in cover, where a Brown Hare also noted (scarce here now). Yesterday afternoon a large Starling flock feeding on blackberries and flying ants on the shingle was promptly relieved of a juvenile bird by a passing Hobby in spectacular fashion as it was taken from atop a bramble runner. Willow Warblers and Common Whitethroats have both been seen in the back garden and around the ponds, plus  Reed and Sedge Warblers at the latter site.

                                 Little Stint, Lade bay (by David Scott)

                      Little Stint with Dunlin for size comparison  (by David Scott) 

Good numbers of migrant shorebirds have been passing and pausing through the bay of late with the adults now being joined by this season`s crop of youngsters. The highlight of this afternoons count was a first Little Stint of autumn feeding amongst the smaller waders just out from Derville Road, and by no means a regular bird on the salt. My camera has been playing up lately, but fortunately David Scott managed to get a couple of pics at range, and many thanks to him. A four figure Oystercatcher count at 1,150 was also of note, plus: Curlew 390, Dunlin 550, Ringed Plover 65, Sanderling 55, Knot 12, Bar-tailed Godwit 5, Whimbrel 2 on the incoming tide. Two Wheatears and 10 Yellow Wagtails were also on the shingle amongst the Sea Kale and two Grey Seals at sea.

Saturday 14 August 2021

Dungeness RSPB: an update

Lade - warm, dry and sunny, SW 3 - Its been a bit of a struggle to get motivated on the local patch these past few days as apart from a few passage Willow Warblers (including several through the garden), Whimbrels over calling and Sand Martins over the lakes there has been very little evidence of migration. On the water a brood of Tufted Ducks was the first of summer, along with several broods of  Great Crested Grebes. On Thursday evening 20 Mediterranean Gulls and 50 Sandwich Terns were on the beach at high tide; whilst we returned at 2300hrs to view the Perseid meteor shower from the boardwalk, and pretty spectacular it was too against the backdrop of Jupiter and Saturn in the southern sky.  

                                 Jersey Tigers are commonplace this month

A circuit of the bird reserve on Friday morning produced a Dunlin and Garganey of note on Burrowes, plus two Pintails and Wigeon amongst the throng of ducks on ARC. Across the site there was a steady passage of Sand Martins, at least four Great White Egrets, two juvenile and an adult Marsh Harrier and a flyover Greenshank. With bird song all but over and most warblers now moulting and preparing for  the long journey south the bushes were relatively quiet.

Dungeness RSPB Reserve - In pre-Covid times the staff at Dungeness RSPB would normally run regular evening meetings to update volunteers on progress across all aspects of reserve activity, including current and future developments at both Dungeness and Lydden Valley; although for obvious reasons these meetings have not been possible since March last year. Following a number of recent negative comments online and general discontent from some local birders (including me) and visitors about the situation at Dungeness I took it upon myself to speak to the reserve manager and seek out the facts as summarised below.

Hides - Probably the most contentious issue of all at the moment is the state of the hides with only Screen, Dennis`s and Christmas Dell hides currently open. Firth and Makepeace hides overlooking Burrowes pit have been condemned and will not reopen; Firth will be replaced by the Firth Lookout (which may have screening fitted to prevent it being a wind tunnel) while a new top-of-the range hide will eventually be erected in place of Makepeace; although funding will have to be applied for which may take a while. Down the line then, Burrowes should be viewable throughout from Dennis`s hide, the Visitors Centre (when it reopens without Covid restrictions), the replacement Makepeace and the two viewpoints at Firth and Scott. Dengemarsh and Hanson hides will reopen sometime in the near future once the access ramps have been replaced and overhanging trees have been cut back from the latter and when work on the replacement Willow Trail is complete.

Tern Rafts - All three tern rafts (two on Burrowes and one on ARC) are unlikely to be towed in for the winter due a combination of grounding and damage making them difficult to move, but staff are looking at covering them in situ to prevent the gulls/geese nesting before the terns arrive next May. Little can be done to deter the Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls nesting on the islands as they are Red Listed species.

Predator Control - This is a contentious subject and while it is legal to humanely control corvids the only predator control carried out on the reserve is on Foxes and Mink. The Badger is a legally protected species.

Access - There has been some comment on the reserve open hours. Until further notice the main gate will be open daily from 9am - 5pm for vehicular access to the main car park and toilets; this will be extended from 8am until sunset when interns return to site at Boulderwall farmhouse. The ARC car park will remain open throughout.

Visitor Centre - While the shop is open from 10am - 4pm Covid protocols remain in place and as such there are few activities planned for the rest of this year. However, this will be subject to an ongoing review and the hope is that things can returned to normal as soon as possible. 

Tree Sparrows - Numbers have declined/crashed across southern England and the Marsh of this popular species which ceased to breed at Boulderwall and elsewhere across the site in purpose built boxes three years ago. Due to harassment from dominant House Sparrows and the fact that numbers of Tree Sparrows were so low, staff were advised by ecologists to stop artificial feeding. There is some evidence to suggest that climate change may be one of the causes contributing to its decline as it is faring better further north.

These past 18 months have certainly been a difficult time for many of us, including the RSPB who have had to comply with the Covid restrictions that has affected not only their income stream in the Visitors Centre and shop, but also a loss of volunteers and work party activity throughout. This summer has been one of the wettest on record which has resulted in high water levels and a lack of wader habitat which has been frustrating for many (myself included) and exacerbated by restricted access to parts of the reserve. However, I hope the above details have cleared up a few misconceptions and I would like to thank Gareth the site manager for taking the time to have a chat and answer all my queries. Hopefully I`ve given an accurate account of our conversation, but if there are any errors (and I`m sure I`ll be told!) then I`m at fault. 

Wednesday 11 August 2021

Rye waders

 Lade - warm, dry and sunny, W2 - At last the strong winds of the past week or so subsided, affording the chance of finding a few passerines. Early this morning the east facing scrub line beside south lake supported a decent cast of Common and Lesser Whitethroats, Willow Warblers, tits, House Sparrows and Dunnocks soaking up the sunshine. There was no change to the wildfowl and grebe numbers on the lake, while a Common Sandpiper flew over south lake looking for somewhere to land. On the bay a few more Ringed Plovers have started to appear, while most of last weeks Mediterranean Gulls seem to have moved on.

                                 Bar-tailed Godwit on the beach

                                  Common Whitethroat, Lade

With Dungeness RSPB reserve rendered largely unwatchable due the hide closures and high water levels we took ourselves down to Rye Harbour for a wader fix. Amongst the numerous Redshanks, Oystercatchers on the beach reserve were 10 Curlews, Six Whimbrels, four Avocets, five Ringed Plovers, two Common Sandpipers, two Dunlins, two Turnstones, a Ruff and a Greenshank. Also, there was still plenty of Common Tern breeding activity in front of Denny hide, plus four Sandwich Terns, 12 Little Egrets, Kestrel, two Swifts over and a Wheatear by Gooders hide. 

                                  Discovery Centre, Rye Harbour

                                  Wheatear, Rye

This afternoon a visit to ARC from the Screen hide revealed the usual large numbers of eclipse wildfowl, including our first Wigeon of autumn, two Great White Egrets and a few Willow Warblers in the bushes. There was no sign of any tern activity on the raft.

Sunday 8 August 2021

Sooty Shearwater

Sunday Lade - warm, sunshine and showers, SW 5 - The unsettled weather conditions continue to make it pretty much a waste of time running the moth trap; although I did last night, attracting just 20 moths of ten species, including three Jersey Tigers and a late Sussex Emerald. The local patch produced a steady flow of Swifts and Sand Martins on their way south and a few more bright Willow Warblers by the ponds. Before the rain arrived a flurry of butterflies in the garden sun traps included Painted Lady and Holly Blue, plus a Hummingbird Hawk-moth on the buddleia. Viewing the bay is difficult in such strong winds, but plenty of gulls, terns and waders from earlier in the week were still present. Forays out to the Trapping Area and ARC/Tower Pits over the weekend produced little of note due to the weather.

Saturday - Sooty Shearwater

I`ve been fortunate during my lifetime to have sailed across the Seven Seas and seen countless thousands of Sooty Shearwaters, but yesterday`s lone bird was a bit special! A typical sighting of this `Greyhound of the Ocean` at Dungeness is usually in late autumn as a distant speck seen on the horizon from the fishing boats, careering down-Channel at breakneck speed on swept-backed wings, shearing and gliding wildly - a couple of minutes viewing then, if you`re lucky. However, after grandstanding in front of the regulars in the seawatch hide around 9am on Saturday (checkout: for stunning pics) one particular individual Sooty Shearwater, untypically, proceeded to settle down and feed amongst the gulls and terns at the Patch for the rest of the day, something I`ve not experienced before in my time at Dungeness. I watched it for about an hour around midday during which time it mostly sat on a choppy sea in front of the Patch hide, occasionally taking short flights back to the boil after drifting eastwards and showing off its silvery under-wing coverts; when it flew it was all elegance and control making the gulls appear almost clumsy. Born on a remote, storm-lashed, sub-Antarctic island and destined to spend most of its life roaming the world`s oceans this magnificent seabird, and a wonder of evolution, was a privilege to watch at such close quarters.  

ps: On Sunday afternoon the Sooty was seen off the fishing boats where it came to bread thrown for the gulls - extraordinary !

Friday 6 August 2021

Glossy Ibis

Lade/Dungeness - warm, dry, sunny, SW 6 - A breezy old day made for difficult birding conditions on the local patch where the first Kingfisher sighting of late summer was the highlight. Several Willow Warblers filtered through cover in the shelter of the ponds while 50 odd Sand Martins hawked insects in the lee of the willow swamp along the causeway to the `mirrors`.

                                 High tide at Dungeness

Moving on to Dungeness (and into a near gale force wind) an hour in the seawatching hide with MC and CP et al produced a trickle of Gannets, Kittiwakes, Sandwich and Common Terns making their way up-Channel along with a single distant Balearic Shearwater. On the bird reserve the only surprise was the reappearance of the Glossy Ibis after a three week absence as it flew across Burrowes pit. With Firth and Makepeace hides now seemingly condemned for the foreseeable future, Scott hide dismantled and the two new viewpoints like wind tunnels, the only shelter is now from Dennis`s hide. This means that most of the lake is difficult/impossible to view on a day like today; how on earth has it come to this at what is one of RSPB`s Blue Riband reserves? A Common Sandpiper was the only wader on offer along with a few feeding Common Terns, hundreds of Sand Martins over the lake and a few Swifts, plus the usual Great White Egrets and Marsh Harriers across Dengemarsh, where the hide there is still closed. Over the road on the ARC it was more of the same, although it was good to see several fledged Common Terns on the distant raft. Hanson hide also remains closed though, meaning that everything on the water is miles away and pretty much a dead loss from a birding perspective. 

Thursday 5 August 2021

Gulls and terns

Lade - warm, dry and sunny, S3 - The main point of interest of late has been the bay where large numbers of gulls, terns and waders have been coming and going. This morning on the incoming short tide we counted a record 220 Mediterranean Gulls (and that was very much a minimum count) along with 240 Sandwich Terns (including plenty of juveniles) and 30 Common Terns. Most of the waders had dispersed by slack water, apart for a couple of hundred laggard Oystercatchers that soon flew to roost as the holidaymakers arrived on the beach.

                                 Mediterranean Gulls, Greatstone beach

                                  Sandwich and Common Terns on the beach

                                  Oystercatchers flying to roost

With a southerly airflow and the smell of rain on the way we joined MC and TG at the fishing boats for an hour staring at the Channel this afternoon. A few Gannets and Kittiwakes drifted by, plus 20 Sandwich Terns, two Common Scoters, a Common Tern and several pulses of Sand Martins out. A Grey Seal gave us the once over but best of all was the brief emergence of a Thresher Shark leaping out of the sea.

Tuesday 3 August 2021

Passerine flock

ARC - warm, dry, cloudy, light airs - Following overnight rain we elected for a change of scene this morning so walked down to the pines where a large mixed flock of warblers and tits was busily feeding around the canopy and lower down in the buckthorn bushes; infact, it was probably the best such flock I`ve encountered here for a while. The majority comprised Willow Warblers, Common and Lesser Whitethroats, Blue and Great Tits, plus several Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, a few Long-tailed Tits, two Great Spotted Woodpeckers, a Garden Warbler and a Spotted Flycatcher. There was about 50 birds in all and it was one of those occasions when you thought just about anything could pop its head up.

                                  Backless Screen hide

                                  ARC pit looking towards Hanson hide

                          One of several diseased Rabbits seen this morning

There was plenty of activity on the lake too which was full of waterfowl spread right across the still waters in the calm conditions, probably a couple of thousand strong, mostly eclipse ducks such as Pochard, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Shoveler and Gadwall, along with Mute Swans, Greylags, Great Crested and Little Grebes, Cormorants,  Black-headed Gulls and Common Terns, two Great White and Little Egrets, Grey Herons, Oystercatcher, a Garganey and a Black-necked Grebe; a veritable bio-mass of birds. The only down side was that with Hanson hide still closed the shallows in front could not be seen from the bund by the now backless Screen hide, although with high water levels everywhere in this wettest of summers, there didn`t appear to be any islands visible.  

Monday 2 August 2021

Rye Waders

Rye Harbour NR - warm, dry and cloudy, light airs - Had to go to Rye this morning, so called in at the beach reserve early on where a superb suite of waders was on offer. Passage waders included 10 Common and two Wood Sandpipers, five Whimbrels, three Red Knots, 60 Dunlins and a flyover Spotted Redshank, plus the expected Curlews, Oystercatchers, Redshanks and Ringed Plovers. A Peregrine flying over Flat Beach caused mayhem amongst the breeding Common Terns with over 150 in the air screaming their heads off. A few Little and Sandwich Terns also noted, plus five Little Egrets, Grey Heron, Teal, Shelduck, a Wheatear and several flocks of Linnets and Goldfinches.

                                  Rye Harbour

                                 Barney on the beach

Following a report of a Caspian Tern seen briefly over Dengemarsh this afternoon I checked the bay and lakes just in case, but there was no sign. Wader numbers on the sands were similar to yesterday, although Sandwich Terns were up around 150 in number. The only other oddity today was a Jay flying in off the sea about noon time.

Sunday 1 August 2021

A Brace of Tigers!

Lade - warm, showery, W 2 - A weekend of sunshine and showers, some of them this morning on the hefty side, but mercifully delivering the wet stuff just as we`d returned home from our circular walk of the local patch. A single Common Sandpiper flying across south lake was the only passage wader noted, but with the highest summer water levels since I`ve lived here it looks like being a lean autumn for these birds. Thankfully the bay waders are unaffected with several small parties of Dunlins widely scattered amongst the Curlews, Oystercatchers, gulls and Sandwich Terns yesterday afternoon, plus an Avocet flying across the bay at high tide which was a first for me here. Also this morning a Great Spotted Woodpecker and three Willow Warblers by the ponds.

                                  Hedge Brown
                                  Common Blue
                                  Small Copper

However, moving onto Lepidoptera. Yesterday morning we had a mooch around the Trapping Area at Dungeness and as birds were largely absent spent some time searching for butterflies in the many sun-traps amongst the bushes and grass swards; and there was plenty on offer, nothing particularly unusual, just lots of good old trusty, bread-and-butter wayside species. Amongst the numerous Large and Small Skippers, Meadow and Hedge Browns were a number of smart second brood Small Heaths, Common Blues and Small Coppers, several Marbled Whites and a single Brown Argus, while higher up on the sallows and bramble flowers a few Red Admirals, Painted Ladies, Peacocks and a Small Tortoiseshell. Thinking back to the 80`s (in my twitching days) I spent several summers charging across Britain attempting to photograph (with an Olympus OM2n on Kodachrome 64 film) all our butterfly species (I never did catch up with that darned Mountain Ringlet!) and at the time it seemed so important. Funny how you mature and change in life; now I`d consider such a challenge frivolous and pointless and get far more enjoyment now out of rummaging around and find my own stuff, just as we did yesterday, even if Barney did disturb the Brown Argus just as I was about to capture it in the Box Brownie!

                                  Poplar Hawk-moth
                                 Garden and Jersey Tigers
                                  Sycamore - new for the trap site

The garden moth trap was also full of interest this morning with plenty of quality on offer including a splendid Sycamore, new for the Plovers trap site; even after 15 seasons the new `uns still keep trickling in. Also, a migrant Dark Sword-grass and 10 Silver Ys, a Poplar Hawk-moth and two each of Garden and Jersey Tigers.   

                                 Red Knot from 2015 on Burrowes

Finished the weekend counting the bay waders on the incoming tide this afternoon, with additions from Dave Scott who was counting towards Greatstone: Oystercatcher 410, Ringed Plover 2, Red Knot 6, Sanderling 15, Dunlin 110, Bar-tailed Godwit 2, Whimbrel 1, Curlew 335, Turnstone 1. Also noted: Sandwich Tern 85, Common Tern 5, 2 Little Tern, a Shelduck and five Grey Seals. There was no sign of any Med Gulls.