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6:12AM

From the Clifftop

A couple of overcast and warmer nights have boosted my Fairlight moth list to 101, with 35 species yesterday morning being a good score for May. All fairly common species, though Silver-ground Carpet was new for the house list, and it's always nice to see Cream-spot Tiger.

8:36AM

Hastings Country Park

An early morning walk through the Country Park yesterday produced a surprise singing Dartford Warbler, my first here for a year. Also surprising was the number of Stonechats, with no less than four males. and two and one fledged juveniles in widely seperated sites on the Firehills-they seem to be doing really well here. There were plenty of Yellowhammers on the Firehills, where a Meadow Pipit carrying food indicated breeding. A Peregrine was calling from the cliffs , while an unusual concentration of 600 Herring Gulls presumably attracted to fish was conspicuously noisy.

4:14PM

From the Clifftop and East Guldeford Levels

Warmer nights continue to increase my Fairlight moth list, though heavy rain one night got into the trap electrics [this isn't supposed to happen], burning out the controller and tripping everything in the house !

Thanks to very prompt service by Watkins & Doncaster I only missed a night. New species for the year  included the showy Cream-spot Tiger, Coxcomb Prominent and both Small Phoenix and Phoenix; as usual at this time of year, nothing unusual. Quite a lot of Cockchafers.

A visit to EGL this morning added to my zero Turtle Dove  results,  but just the short circuit produced 9 male Yellow Wagtails, all in Field Beans, also 4 singing Corn Buntings and a male Stonechat hanging around some remote bramble bushes. This is first time I've recorded one here in the breeding season.

6:47AM

From the Clifftop

At last !  After a sultry day yesterday and a cloudy night, my first attempt with my Fairlight  moth trap for some time produced a decent haul. These included two new species for the house: White-pinion Spotted and a nice Lime Hawk. In all there were 15 species and my year list rises to 59, including first cocoon of Brown-tail in our front hedge.

Birding improved too, with a Honey Buzzard flying rapidly east up the Brede Valley yesterday, while I toiled at our Winchelsea allotment

6:59AM

From the Clifftop

I've currently given up running the moth trap during this lengthy run of cold nights-a waste of elecricity just to catch two common moths !  Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible...

Birding has been hard work too [it seems to get harder every year], forays in search of Turtle Doves and Nightingales have been unsuccesful so far. Yesterday was notable for a passage of well-tracked Pomarine Skuas along the coast in the afternoon. As it happened, I was ready for these, espcially the flock of 11 heading my way past Bexhill. But despite the best that Swarovski can offer, I was unable to pick these out from the clifftop, as in previous years I suspect they cut across to Dungeness too distanly for me to see. I did see one distant Skua that looked like an Arctic Skua, and a party of 6 Knots-an addition to the house list. Closer to home , we were invaded by noisy groups of young Starlings.