Friday, 25 February 2011


I dug out, cleaned and set my moth trap last night, encouraged by a milder night than of late, and not only was I not disappointed, but also a little suprised. This morning there were 2 Hebrew Character moths tucked away in the egg boxes, and very different each one was. Until I found them and looked-up their details in my book, I was unaware they could be active so early in the year. Both were in pristine condition 

Also present were these two March Moths - what makes these two interesting is that the one in this pic was well-worn, the second almost pristine. This suggests the first has been around for a while - cast your mind back over the weather for the past few days, and marvel at its survival

And finally, in the pond this morning, the first frogspawn of the year, but I didn't think you would appreciate a photo!!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Winter Atlas- late visit

Tuesday 8 February, one of very few fine days this winter saw me doing the BTO atlas survey again around Newchurch, beautiful day, a pleasure just to be out and about, not so well wrapped up this time!
Counted 163 birds of 27 species, compared with 161 of 21 species in December

Not much change from the early visit, as you can see

The main difference is the water level in the Brenzett sewer, which has obviously been reduced in anticipation of "February fill-dyke" - the tideline of debris which can be seen here is a good metre above the water today

I wondered why these trees are dead and as they are growing from the roadsite ditch then salt incursion via the marsh drainage system could be a possibility even tho' it is 10 miles or so from the Willop outfall at Dymchurch

This is a mature drainage ditch and is likely to be cleared, or "brished" before long to maintain the required flow of water - it will be home to lots of Reed and Sedge Warblers come the summer

This one just been done - don't despair, its been going on for years and the wildlife value which, it must be said, is secondary, will soon recover

No caption necessary - aahhh!

It was as stodgy as before, too, you can see where I trailed across this lot - hard work! By way of compensation I took my sandwiches to the ARC pit at Dunge and was delighted to see the Smew, or Smoo as the late Peter Makepeace used to call them - lousy pics but they were on the opposite side of the pit

The count was as follows

Carrion Crow -16
Mallard - 8
Grey Heron - 2 ; I shall be counting them again in April, no doubt at Lympne Heronry
Skylark - 12, some were singing, lovely
Lapwing - 2
Wren - 4
Green Woodpecker - 1
Jackdaw- 1
Woodpigeon - 35
Chaffinch - 15
Great Tit - 6
Robin - 8
Blackbird - 10
Blue Tit - 10
Dunnock - 1
Collared Dove - 1
Magpie - 1
House Sparrow - 12
Yellowhammer - 1
Reed Bunting - 6
Pied Wagtail - 1
Pheasant - 2
Song Thrush - 2
Sparrowhawk - 2
Mute Swan - 2
Common Gull - 1
Starling 1