This time of the year is just when old friends are awaited eagerly for their welcome return. The warblers, Cuckoos and Nightingales have been here a little over a month already.

I saw my first Swift high over the reserve feeding on winged insects up on high last week, but today I heard my first screaming party as two males pursued a female with that classic summer sound,  shrill screeching, as classic as the song of the Cuckoo and the Nightingale. To this list should be added the Turtle  Dove now but almost gone, there was one seen around the office area 9 days ago, but it didn't hang around for long. 

Butterflies are beginning to show a little more with Green-veined White on the wing with Cinnabar Moths fluttering around the emerging Ragwort, in the blink of an eye the poisonous black and yellow caterpillars will be munching through the plant.

The first dragonflies are being seen around the watery sections of the reserve.

I bumped into two Dutch birders in the car-park who told me how much they'd enjoyed Northward Hill and how well managed and beautiful Northward was. Unsurprisingly I talked to them about the Cuckoos and Nightingales on site. I said the name Cuckoo is onomatopoeic, so what was it in Dutch,  they said it was Koekoek, similar to ours but sounding the k at the end. I couldn't resist asking, ''so what is Nightingale"? Nachtegaal was the reply!

On the way back home on the outskirts of High Halstow was a huge flock of Black-headed Gulls but I could see a couple were Mediterranean Gulls as I stopped they all flew off. I waited a short while and they all came back, through the scope I counted 75 of which an incredible 25 were Med Gulls! All in full summer plumage, so striking (for a gull anyway) and quite stunning to see close up. 

Anonymous