Monday 17 July 2023

Common Terns

Lade -  Cool, sunshine and showers, SW5 - We spent most of the morning on the local patch trying to best avoid the blasting wind that`s been blowing off the Atlantic all weekend; on Saturday night it reached gale force along the coast with some hefty showers that brought down quite a few tree branches, even in New Romney. However, back to today, and there has been a dearth of Common Terns locally this summer, so it was a good to see at least 20 over both lakes, all of which were adults successfully fishing alongside a host of Black-headed Gulls. Now that the Canadian pond weed has flowered and died back great baulks of rotting weed washed up on the margins of north lake by the tempest lured in  two passing Common Sandpipers and a Greenshank. Several huge carp floundering around in the shallows of the willow swamp spawing attracted the attention of several Cormorants and Grey Herons feeding on smaller fry. There were still plenty of grebes, Coots, Tufted Ducks, Mallards and Pochards on the water, although the latter species had declined somewhat since my last visit to around 150 birds. As the tide flooded Lade bay, 120 Curlews and a Whimbrel flew to roost on the desert. Also noted: 50 Sand Martins over the water, 10 Swifts through, an immature Marsh Harrier and  a Common Buzzard over, while Red Admirals continue to be abundant, having a particular affinity for bramble flowers.

                                  Common Tern

                                  South lake island Cormorants

                                 Red Admiral on bramble flower

                                 Great Mullein

                                 Lade listening `mirrors`

Moving onto Dungeness, where the wind was even stronger, and a walk down to the Patch produced a couple of thousand gulls on the beach, mostly Black-headed and Herring Gulls and at least 20 Mediterranean Gulls, although viewing the flocks was difficult due to the wind direction. The gulls on the power station went into meltdown as the resident male Peregrine put in an appearance, but they needn`t have worried as he seemed to be more concerned with enjoying himself riding the air currents high above the giant monoliths. Next stop a windswept bird reserve, where more Sand Martins and Swifts trickled through Burrowes and the usual host of gulls and wildfowl were present, but little else and certainly no terns. 

No comments:

Post a Comment