Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Just like buses...

Things have been a bit hectic lately but the moth trap produced a newby for the garden on the 24th with the Grass Rivulet pictured above. Better was to come overnight last night though with two newbys'  - Pale Pinion pictured above and Grey Arches below!
The levels are full on with breeding activity at the moment and regular Hobby, Cuckoo, Redshank, and Tufted Duck. Recent highlight for me though was a new Hoverfly on the 29th while walking across White Dyke with Al Redman in the shape of the Long Hoverfly Sphaerophoria scripta pictured below. Choose Love.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Birds in mans world

It never fails to amaze me how birds will utilise any available niche to their benefit, whilst sitting at the Normans' Bay traffic lights the other day I noticed a pair of Starlings actively feeding young at their nest which was in a signal!
Lots of birding but no scarce or rare action to report, best of todays' (14th) WEBS was my first Lapwing chick of the year, only a day or so old, on Mappins. A walk around Wrens Warren on Ashdown Forest with Richard and Hazel was accompanied by the bell like song of Woodlark and the somewhat scratchier Dartfords.
Insect action has been quiet with the best of the garden moths being Scorched Carpet and Maidens' Blush on the 12th and the best of the butterflies being a Painted Lady on White Dyke on the 6th.
The Green-veined, or winged dependent on the vernacular you prefer, orchid pictured below was among the many flowering on Horse-eye on the 9th. Take care.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Anyone for racquets?

Racquet tails that is. Pom Sunday (30th) saw me at Birling for a sea-watch stint in the company of Al Redman, Lawrence Pitcher, John and Doreen Cooper, Roger Haggar, Roger Charlwood, Richard Butler et al for a quality 5 hours. I managed 41 Poms, as well as 7 Bonxies, 10 Arctics, 10 Velvet Scoter, and a miscellany of waders, Common Scoter, Gannets etc. There really is nothing better than watching Poms chugging up channel or loafing around on the sea like a flock of avian hyenas. A mid afternoon walk at Normans' Bay turfed up a Little Tern, along with a handful of Arctics.
The previous day (29th) I did my early season BBS visit to the patch. Survey work is always interesting as it involves a different mindset, and with the BBS you note absolutely everything on the transects of "your" square. The most noteworthy birds during my transects were a singing Grasshopper Warbler (second year running), and my first Hobby and Cuckoo of the year on the patch.
Elsewhere on the patch were another Hobby today (1st), and a singing Lesser Whitethroat on White Dyke. There were also 5 Barwit and 3 Whimbrel down Sluice lane and a Northern Wheatear showing Greenland characteristics near Lookers cottage. The Whimbrel pictured above was on the dam at Arlington reservoir on Thursday (28th) when, after a protracted wait, the rumper was seen. Also at Arlington a Little Owl near Chilverbridge house.