Sunday 3 September 2023

Grey Partridge

 New Romney - warm, dry and sunny, ENE 2 - With the harvest well underway the farmland scene hereabouts changes on a near daily basis. The rape-seed is now in and the fields already ploughed and drilled for next year`s crop, whatever that may be, while most of the short-stemmed spring barley has also been combined leaving a few stubble fields for the time being. Harvesting the pea fields is also underway with the linseed to follow shortly. This morning a long circular walk out past St Mary-in-the-Marsh was the first this autumn without any Reed Warbler presence in the reed-fringed sewers and ditches, so I can only assume that most, if not all, local birds have hit the airways south. Infact, apart from a few Reed Buntings and Yellowhammers, a couple of Yellow Wagtails over, two Wheatears along the New Cut, several hedgerow Blackcaps and 50 odd Swallows it was very quiet on the migrant bird front. Mediterranean Gulls continue to haunt the turf fields, which they appear to use for the sole purpose of roosting. However, one day last week whilst picking blackberries at the back of a turf field, Ted flushed a female Grey Partridge and five well-grown juveniles that promptly flew into an adjacent hayfield and out of sight; these were the first I`ve seen on the Marsh for about five years! 


                                  Portland Ribbon Wave

                                  Melanistic Box-tree Moth

                                  Large Thorn

                                            Reed Bunting

The humid nights of late have produced a decent crop of moths in the garden trap with the undoubted highlight being a first Portland RibbonWave, although apparently there has been something of an influx of this former rare migrant recently. Other goodies have included: Old Lady, Burnished Brass, Large Thorn, Delicate and a bumper catch of 20 Box-tree Moths that included two of the somewhat beautiful purple, melanistic form.

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