Wednesday 16 February 2022

Pale Brindled Beauty

Dungeness RSPB - mild, sunny, SW6 - A dry morning with a blustery wind that increased as the day wore on made for a quiet circuit of the bird reserve. Most unusual was the lack of Cormorants on Burrowes (I guess they were still feeding offshore...) where seven Goldeneyes was about it amongst the usual wildfowl, most of whom were sheltering around the margins. At the entrance to the Visitor Centre the mild, damp weather conditions had encouraged several Smooth Newts to break cover from their hibernation and head for the breeding ponds. On ARC the redhead Smew showed from the causeway, while the four regular Cattle Egrets flew over the road as I passed Cockles Bridge. A drive out across the back lanes of Walland Marsh failed to produce much at all, and certainly no wild swans, while the `custodians of the countryside` seemed to everywhere clearing out drainage channels and ripping out any remaining bits of hedgerow and stunted willows that had survived the tractor flails, little wonder its a largely birdless wasteland out there...

                                  Smooth Newt on the move

                                  Pale Brindled Beauty, New Romney

On a brighter note we had our first moth of the year this morning at Thurne, which wasn`t a great surprise considering how mild it was last night. I say "we", it was actually Pat who spotted it in the garden whilst I was out; and I haven`t even unpacked and fired up the trap yet since we moved last October! 

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