Wednesday 17 May 2023

Wednesday 17th May

An evening visit for the hide tide saw little in the way of migrants, but a Reed Warbler singing at the Golf Course was a new arrival. In the estuary the Icelandic Oystercatcher was one of a flock of 98 birds, with other counts including 51 Sanderling, 40 Dunlin, 19 Ringed and five Grey Plover, 18 Curlew and 11 Turnstone.

Also present six Black-headed and a Mediterranean Gull, four Sandwich Tern, two Knot, including one in brick red summer plumage, two Bar-tailed Godwit, two Whimbrel and single Redshank and Dark-bellied Brent Goose, both unseasonal.

Offshore eight Manx Shearwater south, the seven Eider, four Great Crested Grebe and two Common Scoter

Wildlife News: Possibly the most striking and certainly most gruesome sighting was a fly infected with the 'zombie' fungus Entomophthora muscae

Entomophthora muscae - Kevin Rylands

The fungus slowly infects the unfortunate fly, eventually causing it to climb high onto vegetation, where it then grabs hold and opens its wings with its last movements, ensuring that the spores are dispersed as widely as possible!

Entomophthora muscae - Kevin Rylands

Other notable discoveries included the first Smith's Pepperwort since 2019, with a good stand on the Golf Course and although the evening was too cool for many flying insects a new sawfly was recorded nectaring on Hemlock Water-dropwort, Arge melanochra.

Smith's Pepperwort - Kevin Rylands

Arge melanochra - Kevin Rylands

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