Thursday 25 June 2020

Thursday 25th June

Billed as the hottest day of the year so far and with a UV Index predicted to reach an unprecedented level 9, it was indeed uncomfortable even from relatively early in the morning.  On the rising tide in the estuary there was the usual Oystercatcher flock, 174 Curlew, 15 Whimbrel, 15 Redshank, a dozen Sandwich Tern, nine Bar-tailed Godwit, five Little Egret, four Great Black-backed Gull; also two each of Greenshank, Shelduck, Mute Swan and Canada Goose still with three goslings, and a single Grey Heron.   

A flock of 17 Mediterranean Gull (of mixed ages) had among them two colour-ringed adults, yellow '2L50' was ringed as a chick at Langstone Harbour, Hampshire on 25th Jun 2018, since spending a lot of time around Weymouth, Dorset, also Scolt Head, Norfolk on 6th July 2019 and Portscatho, Cornwall on 17th Dec 2019.  The other, green 'RV2K', is from Polder de Sebastopol, Vendée, France, from where this is about the 15th ringed Mediterranean Gull to be recovered here.  This particular bird was ringed on 1st July 2018 and since seen in various locations in France, Portugal, Spain and in Kent. Also noted were the first juvenile Black-headed Gull and Sandwich Tern of the year here.

Wildlife news: butterflies were active in the hot sunshine with lots of Meadow Brown, several Red Admiral, Small Skipper, Gatekeeper and Ringlet. Two fresh Small Copper and a scarce sighting these days of a Small Tortoiseshell.  The highlight was an Orange-spot Piercer Pammene aurana, a showy tortrix moth of which its larva feeds on Hogweed; it was a new species for the site.

Orange-spot Piercer Pammene aurana - Alan Keatley
Gatekeeper and Small Copper - Alan Keatley
Small Tortoiseshell - Alan Keatley
Emperor Dragonfly - Dean Hall

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