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.