Friday, 24 April 2015


Two sedge warblers were in full song along the Strood seawall, this one pictured here showing particularly well, during the morning of Friday 24th. Full of song after the long flight back from Africa.

Sometimes sedge warblers can be real skulkers, but when they want to be they can also be really showy - like this one was on a bush halfway along the seawall walk. Here the orange gape shows well when it opens its mouth.

To emphasize its presence, several times the singing sedge warbler rose several metres into the air before parachuting back down, landing close-by amongst the thick stand of Alexander plants on the seawall.

Sedge warbler numbers have declined markedly on the Island in recent years with no birds seemingly holding breeding territory last summer. This spring three birds are singing on the Island, so let's hope they stay.

The first reed warbler onto the Island was also seen along the Strood seawall - one near the caravan site and a second bird in the reedbed halfway along. A pair of yellow wagtails perched up on telegraph wires at the back of the fields and there was also the faint song of a distant corn bunting. Two pairs of reed buntings, three singing whitethroats and a lesser whitethroat were also noted.

Along the channel a common tern hawked up and down while a greenshank was the most interesting wader - the first one noted this year on the Island, also two whimbrel. A couple of pairs of Mediterranean gulls were flying about calling over the fields and along the channel. A distant common buzzard was being mobbed over Copt Hall Grove by some crows.

Half a dozen whimbrel were seen by Andy Field during his walk along the Reeveshall seawall on Friday morning.

This speckled wood was seen along the footpath folly at the top of the Lane, enjoying the sunshine out of the breeze on Friday morning. Other butterflies noted on the walk included peacock, comma, small tortoiseshell, large white and small white.

Later on Friday an orange-tip and a holly blue were seen in the Firs Chase garden.

Long sections of the  Strood seawall have been taken over by large stands of Alexanders plants, most of it in flower at the moment. The plant seems to have spread rapidly into all corners, hedgerows and gardens across the Island in recent years.

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