A Saturday morning jaunt around the ‘Patch’ with Bernie Weight and Sue Morton produced very little with the only areas with anything on show were the Ramp at Grove Ferry and the lake at Stodmarsh. Everything in between was either overgrown and un-viewable or dried up and lifeless. Sue and Bernie had trouble seeing over the almost six foot high reeds while hides were looking over pools hidden by vegetation. What was seen were 2 Green Sandpipers and 2 Ruff from the Ramp, which appears to be the best place for any potential vagrants at this current time, along with 6 Little Egrets, 58 Teal, 1 Shoveler, 15 Gadwall and several Mallards. Also there were 2 Water Rail including an immature bird and a small black fluffy juvenile and a large(ish) flock of 270+ Sand Martins over the reeds early morning. The first Marsh Harrier today was an adult male and throughout the morning a further 9 birds were seen including 5 juveniles, another male and 3 females. Other birds noted from the Ramp were 26 Black-headed Gulls, 1 Pochard and 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls. We heard no Whitethroats or Cetti’s Warblers today and the Reed and Sedge Warblers were notably quiet although many were seen feeding young. The Water Meadows were all dried up and produced only 2 juvenile Pied Wagtails while the lake held just 4 Common Terns, 15 Tufted Ducks, 11 Pochards and 3 Great-crested Grebes.
|Marbled White Butterfly|
On Sunday I arranged to meet Mark Chidwick at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve in East Sussex where there had been two Roseate Terns present for a few days and on Saturday a 1st summer Bonaparte’s Gull had been seen. Meeting Mark in the car park at 6.00am we proceeded to the first hide along the seawall where the Boney’s Gull had been seen but as the tide was still coming in there was just a few distant large Gulls in front some Sandwich Terns to the right and a Curlew in the pool in front, also around here there was a male Wheatear looking a bit ragged plus 3 juvenile Wheatears.
We moved on the Stephen Denny hide where the Rosey Terns had been seen but at that time in the morning the sun was low and right in our faces plus also reflecting of the water surface so we had a little wander round for an hour or so. Plenty of Avocets were seen as were Redshanks, Common Terns a plenty and good numbers of Sandwich Tern despite breeding failure. There were several Dunlin, at Least 2 Common Sandpipers and 2 adult Mediterranean Gulls.
A message from Keith Privet, whom we spoken to earlier, informed us that a Roseate Tern was on show and we connected with it as soon as we sat down, after a while we located the second bird and had great views of both birds together but they never came close and stayed just out of reach of the camera lens. A very obliging summer plumaged Sanderling walked in front of the hide and allowed us to fire of a few shots of this smart little wader.