Since my last post the micro A. alstromeriana has been the only new species for the year in the trap. Struggled round Dungeness in a gale last Wednesday after which there was nothing new to report although the 4 Cattle Egrets were close to the road near the Lydd roundabout. The previous weekend I made the effort to visit Pencester gardens in Dover where the Yellow-browed Warbler has over-wintered.
Since my last post there have been a few more moth species recorded: Small Quaker, Early Grey, Clouded Drab and Common Plume, bringing the total to 11 for the year so far. At Dungeness I've been struggling to see anything new. Yesterday gale force winds there made life difficult. A Wheatear and a couple of Swallows were seen but not by me. The Smew and Black-necked Grebe are still present on the RSPB reserve. Two Great White Egrets were noted. Reed Buntings were common around the reserve too.
A few species ne for the year have turned up in the trap in this spell of fine weather, although cold nights haven't helped. Common Quaker, Dotted Border, The Chestnut, Agonopterix heracliana, and Acleris cristana have taken the year list to 7. Nothing new seen at Dungeness, but there was a pair of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers in Bossenden Wood at Dunkirk this morning, and I was lucky enough to get a picture of the male. A Little Grebe also showed well at Stodmarsh yesterday.
Since my last post a Pale Brindled Beauty was the 2nd species of the year in the moth trap. At Dungeness yesterday the Smew was again visible distantly from the Visitor Centre. A Merlin flew over Boulderwall Farmhouse, where the Tree Sparrows were back around the building and feeders. One of the 2 Whopper Swans in the area showed very well in front of the Dengemarsh Hide. Three Marsh Harriers and 3 or 4 Great White Egrets were noted. As I left 2 Cattle Egrets were near the road back to Lydd.
Had the first moth of the year in the trap this morning: Hebrew Character. At the weekend I visited Mountain Street, Chilham where at the top several Bramblings were feeding on the Beech Mast along the public footpath. Yesterday I failed in a search for the Waxwings reported in Folkestone, but spending the rest of the morning at Dungeness I eventually caught up with the recently arrived drake Smew-the first of ths species to be seen at Dungeness this winter. A walk round the reserve produced a Great White Egret and a couple of Marsh Harriers, while 2 Cattle Egrets showed well in a small horse paddock nearby.
Struggled to find anything new at Dungeness last week. The Cattle Egrets were still around with around 3 Great White Egrets. However, I did manage to see a few Common Crossbills at Hemsted Forest near Benenden, together with a few Redpolls. A Tawny Owl called there too. This morning the previously reported Whimbrel was just west of the slipway. The Highland Cattle are back on the West Flood.
Still no moths. Last week at Dungeness I did manage to see the Woodlark at Pigwell and 2 Goosanders on the RSPB Reserve. The 4 Cattle Egrets were still along the road between Lydd and Boulderwall and about 3 Great White Egrets were seen around the area. A couple of Goldeneye were seen. Today I went looking for Crossbills at Challock-failed to see any but 2 Marsh Tits, 20+ Siskin and a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker were nice to see. Failed with Penduline Tit at Grove Ferry but a Kingfisher was the first I've seen this year.