Carol had arranged to visit her friend at Camber , on the coast between Rye and Dungeness . Always looking for brownie points , I offered to run her down , and , as it was close to Dunge , I put my gear in the back .
We arrived earlier than expected , so had a quick look around part of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve . We walked to the first hide , the pathside very colourful with Viper's Bugloss , Yellow Horned Poppies and Everlasting Pea all in flower .The scrape in front of the hide held just a few Avocets , both adults and well grown juveniles , now fending for themselves . A couple of Oystercatchers and a pair of Ring Plovers , pictured , were the only other birds seen . Walking back to the car , a Black-headed Gull followed us overhead , and it definitely looked as if it was taking aim . I dropped Carol off at her friend's house , and carried on to Dungeness RSPB Reserve , arriving about 1030 , and it was already very warm . Phil's mate was standing guard at the entrance , more of that later , but very little else was found along the track apart from the odd , Common Whitethroat , Reed and Sedge Warbler calling . It was the same on leaving the visitor centre apart from 3 Grey Herons squabbling with the BHGulls . The odd Reed Bunting , then a family of Great Crested Grebes passing by , in line astern . A splash of yellow around one of the small pits had me down on my knees checking Biting Stonecrop-Sedum acre . Just a bit further along the path , a splash of pink this time , Thrift-Armeria maritima . Just before Hookers Pit , tiny spots of pink amongst the grass and the large numbers of Burnet moths , one of my favourites , the delicate Grass Vetchling-Lathyrus nissolia , a member of the Pea family . As I walked around Hookers Pit , within a matter of seconds , I had sightings of Cuckoo and Bittern , both in flight . The Cuckoo was too quick to get on to , but I managed a distant shot with the 100mm lens of the Bittern , passing the middle pylon . The viewpoint was crowded with people hoping to see the Purple Herons , and the Visitor Centre had set up a sub Centre , with information , and of course , items for sale . I headed on , to find a smart male Linnet , calling
from the top of a stand of Gorse . Then he flew off , and a couple of seconds later , a female landed in almost the same spot , that's life . Several Cinnabar moths were seen , but I watched this one searching all the vegetation , until she found a Ragwort plant . She immediately settled on the shaded side of the plant and remained motionless . I marked the spot and left her for a while . Ten minutes later I went back and she was gone , but on the underside of the Ragwort leaf , the food plant of the caterpillar , were 12 of her eggs .
Butterlfies were in very short supply , but Small Tortoiseshell , Red Admiral , Small Heath , Small Copper and Meadow Brown were recorded . Odonata did even worse , with a few Common Blue Damselflies , 4 Emperor Dragonflies and what looked like a very over mature female Hairy Dragonfly .
As I left to pick Carol up , Phil's mate was more active , but the Tree Sparrow , nesting in one of the holes in the triangle had a worried look on it's face .
More on the Kestrels Tuesday or Wednesday , if nothing of interest urns up whilst volunteering up on the Greensand Ridge .
1 day ago