Warm, dry and sunny, NE 4-5 - Not a great deal has changed to the local birding scene since my last post, apart from a very elusive Purple Heron that has been seen intermittently around Dengemarsh on Thursday and Saturday; I`ve given it several goes over the weekend without success, although its probably still lurking somewhere in the wetlands, while the brisk wind doesn`t help matters. Having said that, despite the wind, I did manage some good views of Bearded Tits from the viewing ramp and a Cattle Egret on the hayfields on Friday, plus two Cuckoos at Lade. A couple of visits to St Mary`s Bay with Ted revealed a few Curlews and Barwits with the Oystercatchers at low tide and several singing Skylarks over the golf links.
Otherwise its been a case of tramping the local farmland around New Romney with Ted noting the usual breeding birds. A couple more Sedge Warblers have moved in along Hope Lane, with most of the Lesser Whitethroats having moved on, while the Belgar Farm area delivered a couple each of Yellow Wagtail and Corn Bunting on territory. The town park Mistle Thrushes are now on their second clutch with the male singing throughout the early mornings along with Goldfinch, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers activity. Blue Tits are busily feeding youngsters in one of our garden nest boxes while Blackbird and House Sparrow have both fledged young hereabouts. I still haven`t seen any House Martins or Swifts around the town, although there`s still time for a late arrival, hopefully. Yesterday afternoon whilst working in the garden the HGs regularly went into meltdown mobbing Common Buzzards and once a Sparrowhawk, and then about 3pm they alerted me to a Honey Buzzard that drifted off eastwards towards St Mary`s Bay, my first record over the town, along with Red Kite and Marsh Harrier this spring and an Osprey last summer. I`m ashamed to admit that due to the inclement weather the garden moth trap has not been in operation; maybe later this coming week, if the wind eases off and the temperature rises. Butterfly numbers continue to be pitifully low everywhere this spring.