New Romney - warm, dry and cloudy, SW3 - This morning`s Ted walk around the farmland tracts to the north of town produced a similar range of birds to my last post. The hedgerows and scrub continue to attract plenty of passage Chiffchaffs and its been a pleasure to watch these tiny waifs bathing in the garden bird bath; everyone of which has to be checked for a possible Yellow-browed! Hundreds of Swallows were also on the move today, hurrying south over the turf and arable lands amongst large mixed flocks of gulls; one roughly ploughed field off Hope Lane attracted 50 Meadow Pipits, 20 Skylarks and a scattering of Reed Buntings, Linnets and Goldfinches. Sparrowhawks and Common Buzzards are being noted daily, some of which are probably continental migrants, while on Tuesday a flock of 26 westward bound Grey Herons was noteworthy. Due to the night time humidity the garden moth trap has been ticking over nicely with an increase in typical autumn species such as Lunar Underwing, Black and Autumnal Rustics; recent highlights have also included six Clancy`s Rustics and four Delicates two nights ago, and a Vestal and a Barred Sallow last night.
Visits to the bird reserve have yielded nothing new with the long-staying Little Stint, a few Snipes and Golden Plovers still present from Hanson hide, plus three Glossy Ibises and up to eight Cattle Egrets on the Boulderwall fields/ARC. Yesterday afternoon an hour at the fishing boats delivered a few Sandwich Terns being harried by Arctic Skuas, several passing Gannets and a flock of 12 Common Scoters, along with a steady passage of Swallows heading out across the Channel.