Wednesday 18th August 2021

Peter came down to stay with us for a few days. We spent most of Wednesday on the reserve and then set up three moth traps overnight. There were lots of Willow Warbler and Blackcaps moving through with some snatches of song from both species.

De L’Orne scrape was pretty active with newly arrived migrant waders. A juvenile Little Ringed Plover kept a low profile at the back of the scrape and 2 Knot waded and swam in the deeper water, a red adult and a lovely pinkish and scalloped juvenile. There were also eight scampering Dunlin, seven were juveniles.

adult and juvenile Knot

A flock of 18 Black-tailed Godwit touched down several times, they were all juveniles which is great, they’ve obviously stayed together since Iceland. A flock of 13 Shoveler flew over Black Water while a Yellow Wagtail called overhead as we stood at the De L’Orne Screen.

juvenile icelandic Black-tailed Godwit
juvenile icelandic Black-tailed Godwits, part of flock of 18

Greenshank have been a regular sighting on the scrape since multiple counts started in mid-July, 11 was the peak count on the 23rd July, there were six today. We later viewed the scrape from Two Bridges Gate and watched two distant Spotted Redshank on the De L’Orne Roosting Stones. Lesser Black-backed Gulls are a fairly unusual sight on De L’Orne with an adult and a juvenile present.

Hare’s-foot Clover and Fleabane

The hide at Venner was almost finished and the contractors will be moving over to De L’Orne in the next few days. Other than seeing the new hide other highlights included watching a group of 4 Whinchat on the fence line which runs along the north side of Three Fields North, the first time I’ve seen more than one Whinchat on the reserve.

Three of the four Whinchats (the third partly hidden on the lower wire)

Unusually coloured Field Grasshopper and Lesser Marsh Grasshopper

A slightly odd colour form of Field Grasshopper was in the beach gorse and a lovely Red Admiral was basking with flat wings.

Red Admiral

Great Marsh was quiet although a Hornet resting on the gravel track towards the Beach House was good to see. Hare’s-foot Clover is flowering on the shingle and there were two Wheatear on the fence line at Wheatear Corner.

Wheatear photo by Ian Williamson

We set the moth traps in the Pullen area. Two of Peter’s MV Robinson traps and my MV Skinner all on Peter’s generator. As we were leaving a Nightjar floated past and I saw my first Dark bush-cricket on the reserve.

Tree Pipit overhead

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