Hot, dry and overcast, light airs - We appear to have moved into summer mode of late with the wind relenting and temperatures up into the 20`s during the afternoons, and staying muggy through the night, which is great news for moth activity. Tramping around the local farmland this past week there has been a noticeable increase in Sedge Warblers with at least three more singers joining the two established pairs, both of which are now feeding young; I also heard a few more Sedges elsewhere around the bird reserve and at Lade recently. The welcome rainfall of last weekend has resulted in a surge of plant growth, including fields of linseed and peas that are now in full flower. Butterfly numbers have also picked up with a number of Small Tortoiseshells, Red Admirals and even a few Painted Ladies on the wing along the sewer margins.
Visits to the bird reserve this week have yielded a male Red-footed Falcon yesterday from the access road feeding on flying insects over the shingle, much to the annoyance of passing Lapwings and a pair of Ringed Plovers! The falcon turned up on Tuesday where it showed mostly on the hayfields before moving to the shingle on Wednesday and eventually onto the Dungeness estate behind Jarman`s cottage this afternoon. The lakes are packed out with eclipse ducks; mainly Mallard, Gadwall, Pochard and Tufted Duck along with a few Teal, Shoveler and a Garganey on ARC this morning. The shingle islands are attracting breeding Little Ringed and Ringed Plovers, plus hundreds of post-breeding Lapwings. Also noted recently a Green Sandpiper on the Denegmarsh flood yesterday; three Spoonbills on Burrowes and a lone Common Tern on ARC today.