Friday - warm, dry and sunny, NE 3 - Spent most of the morning surveying the local patch and Kerton Road quarry for breeding birds. There were no real surprises at Lade where Dabchick, Mallard, Coot, Greylag and Mute Swan all had juveniles on the water, although I could find no sign of any Cuckoo activity for the second time in a week, so perhaps they`ve moved on... Things were much more interesting at the quarry where the barge and floating excavator have long since departed leaving most of the site to the birds. The four main islands are now well vegetated and unsuitable for nesting gulls or terns, however many pairs of Greylag and Canada Geese have moved in to exploit the cover and the proof of their success was plain to see with goslings everywhere. At least 10 pairs of Oystercatchers, four pairs of Redshanks and a pair of Ringed Plover have also nested successfully, while four Lapwings were presumably post-breeding birds from elsewhere.
Saturday/Sunday - hot dry and sunny, light airs - A welcome change in the weather to humid nights and hotter days, plus a slackening of the month long blasting north-easterly, heralded some long-awaited moths in the garden trap. The highlights of 21 species were a Red-necked Footman (new for the trap site) and 45 Green Oak Tortrix. This morning we walked the margins of Long Pits where several each of Emperor, Black-tailed Skimmer and Four-spotted Chaser were on the wing amongst many more damselflies, but only a few of Small Heath, Common Blue and Small Copper in the adjacent grasslands. Birdwise, a Marsh Harrier was noted along with a calling Sandwich Tern high over the area. A check of the hayfields revealed just the usual breeding waders and ducks, plus Corn Bunting and Yellow Wagtail by Springfield Bridge. The sward on the southern side of hayfield 2 was a delight to see and full of Grass Vetchling.