Just how bad has spring been? Well I've got one measure that may not be conventional but I am pretty sure that it gives a good reflection of how dreadful the month of May was for wild life. During this, and the last six years I've run two moth traps on just about very night in May. In the previous six years I caught on average 585 moths of 76 species. This May I caught just 176 moths of 21 species. I can believe that this is just a freak result, 31 nights results is a lot of data. SO far June has started almost as badly, but at least a few new species have appeared, although they've been common and expected.
Now two pictures that amused me yesterday. I don't usually use very much bird food through the summer, bur so far this year it's being going quite quickly, so I went to Malibu Grains at Shatterling to pick up supplies. On the way back I popped into the Restharrow Scrape hide to see if anything unusual had turned up.
In front of the hide a Mallard family was feeding near the edge, but it all seemed to much for this little fellow who dosed off for about 5 minutes until mum came back and called him to attention.
This is obviously what the well dressed Drake Tufted Duck wearing this season, a rather nice, short green skirt!
And lastly, a not expected disappointment, but at least tinged with some good news.
Last Saturday Nigel Jarman found a Crested Lark on the undercliff at Kingsdown. It only stayed a short time before flying north, but long enough for Nigel to get a photograph. This is about the 24th record for the UK and fourth for Kent. I thought I'd take a stroll along there, just in case it had decided to return. The wall where Nigel got the photo was there, and with a LBJ (little brown job) on top. But it wasn't the Crested Lark, the apparent crest is a spider it's carrying in its beak, it was a Rock Pipit.
Although it was disappointing that it wasn't the Lark, it was also good news that there was a pair of Rock Pipits there carrying food, as that presumably means that they are feeding young.