I have made 2 visits to Dungeness this week. On Monday I saw the American Black Tern but not much else. Today that was gone but the 8 Cattle Egrets on the Dungess RSPB reserve is the biggest flock I've seen in the UK. There were also about 7 Great White Egrets and a few Little Egrets too. Four Whinchats were on Galloways and 3 Wheatears were seen. A Great Green Bush-cricket was noted in the ARC car park. In the moth trap recently the best records have been my 2nd Red Underwing (slightly battered), Old Lady, Peach Blossom, and Centre-barred Sallow.
Dungeness on Wednesday was fairly quiet with highlights being 2 Wood Sandpipers, 3/4 Great White Egrets, Hobby, 5 Black Terns with 100s of Sand Martins and good numbers of Common Terns and a few Sandwich Terns on the reserve. Best records from the moth trap are the 1st Frosted Orange of the year and my 2nd ever Aethes smeathmanniana.
Moth numbers have crashed now the weather has changed-with just 12 species yesterday morning down from a maximum of 77 mid-July. However, I rescued a Wall Brown butterfly from the shed today and placed it on the buddleia where it fed for 5 minutes before flying off. This was a garden first for me and the first I've seen in Kent for 6 years. In the trap Dark Spinach was new for the year, and a Red Kite flew over the East Flood at Oare Marshes a couple of days ago.
The hot weather has kept the moth trap busy. In the last few days there have been 3 additions to the garden moth list. Best of all was The Mocha, a "Nationaly Scarce B" species. Next was Chilo phragmitella, a local species normally found in reed beds, gravel pits etc. Finally there was a 3mm long tiny micro, which was somewhat tricky to photograph: Phyllocnistis unipunctella.
We've reached the end of another month so I thought I'd take stock. Last year was my best ever for the number of moth species in the trap, and by the end of July 2017 I had reached 311 species. However, this year I've now already reached 327, thanks no doubt to the warm spell in April and the recent heatwave. Recently the migrant tortrix Cydia amplana was new for the garden and another tortrix Epinotia nisella was first record for 9 years. At Oare Marshes KWT Reserve the Southern Migrant Hawkers continue to show well along the track to the west hide.