Monday, 11 August 2008

Saturday 9th August

With my parents down and keen to spend some time with the kids and my wife at work, I made my escape, and went off patch, inland, to follow up an earlier report of a flock of 25+ Crossbills at Hemsted Forest, nr Sissinghurst. The sky was still blue when I arrived with no sign of the impending rain, and it was nice to see good numbers of Brimstone, Peacocks and singles of Large Skipper and Common Blue. Migrant Hawkers dominated the dragonfly count. After an hour, and with strained neck, I was glad to I see a flock of 20+ Crossbills fly high across one of the tracks. Scanning the tree tops with the scope I located 3 fine examples, a male and 2x juveniles. They moved on quickly flying into the sun and lost to sight. Buoyed up by this and the continiuing good weather I cut cross-country to Dungeness. The ARC pit was my first port of call, and from the viewing ramp saw a juvenile Wood Sandpiper looking rather elegant alongside it's rather dumpy counsin, Common Sandpiper. A couple of Little Stints scurried around the feet of the static Lapwings and Snipe. A trip to the fishing boats in the hope of seeing the adult (?) Yellow-legged Gull proved to be a no-show, although 3x Artic Skuas gave reasonable views as they harassed the Common Terns in the bay. Large flocks of Swifts flew at head height along the beach, battling the SW wind that eventually brought in the heavy rain forecast. Time to go home!

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