In the trap this morning: 6 Hebrew Characters, 2 Common Quakers, 1 Twin-spotted Quaker, 1 Small Quaker and a Clouded Drab. Yesterday at Dungeness the male Bluethroat was still present and, in better weather, was showing on the grass by the roadside in front of a massed audience. Several Firecrests and a Wheatear where nearby. Elsewhere there were 2 Black-necked Grebes on the ARC pit, a Little Gull at the patch, and around the main part of the RSPB reserve: 1 Marsh Harrier, 1 Great White Egret, 1 Slavonian Gebe, and 1 Knot. No sign of the regular Glaucous Gull.
Too cold for moths again-so I made a quick visit to Dungeness this morning to see a Bluethroat in the Dengemarsh Gully. Firecrest also present. The first Bluethroat I've seen in Kent and the first I've seen in the UK for 30 years.
Nothing exciting to report from the trap. However, I had a much better day at Dungeness today. We started at the ARC pit where 2 Firecrests were seen from the Hanson Hide. A further 4 Firecrests were in the Old Lighthouse garden, with 3 Black Redstarts nearby. At the patch a first winter Glaucous Gull flew out the seaa and appeared to head off in a Southerly direction and a few Brent Geese came past. After lunch the 2 Long-tailed Ducks showed well with a Black-necked Grebe on the Lade south pit. Finally on the main part of RSPB reserve another first winter Glaucous Gull was seen from the visitor centre, and another Black Redstart was nearby. The Slavonian Grebe, 2 Smew and another Great White Egret were also around the reserve where I also saw my first Butterfly this year: Small Tortoiseshell which I liberated from the Christmas Dell hide.
Not a great deal to report since my last post. In the moth trap a few Common Quakers have arrived and my first example of the Satellite for 4 years. At Dunge last week we struggled against a gale force wind. Highlights were limited to a Bittern again on the ARC pit. A Glaucous Gull at the patch and a very nice male Brambling with Chaffinches near Springfield Bridge.
Earlier in the week on a mild but very drizzly night I put the rap out more in hope that expectation, but next morning there were 5 species of moth in the trap or nearby: Hebrew Character, Pale Brindled Beauty, March Moth, Light Brown Apple Moth and a tortrix which I can narrow down only to one of two species, so has to be recorded as Acleris ferrugana/notana. However, this still is the 600th species recorded in the garden.
At Dungeness today in a very strong freezing North-Easterly it was a case of seeing the usual suspects, with a Glaucous Gull at the Patch, Drake and Redhead Smews, Slavonian Grebe, Black-throated Diver, Great White Egret, Little Egret and Buzzard on the RSPB reserve. On Walland Marsh there 40 Tree Sparrows at some feeders and another Buzzard or two.
First moth of the year in the garden trap-a Hebrew Character. At Bossenden Wood, Dunkirk,this morning, I did manage to see a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker but still didn't manage to photograph this elusive species. However, a Treecreeper posed in the sunshine.
Spent another sunny day at Dungeness yesterday. At the ARC pit a Bittern and Great White Egret were on show but a long way away from the hide. At Scotney a walk behind the farm produced very little apart from a couple of Buzzards and a Hare. After lunch, and some searching, a Dartford Warbler showed along Kerton Road, and on the main part of the reserve the Glaucous Gull and Black-throated Diver showed well from the Dennis Hide. The Slavonian Grebe was stil present from the Christmas Dell hide but we failed to see any Smew. A 2nd Great White Egret was on Dengemarsh.