I arrived at Northwatd Hill RSPB Reserve about 10.30 this morning and bumped into a couple scanning the brambles on the track down to Bromhey Farm office, being nosey, of course I asked them if there was anything of interest. They said a male Redstart had just landed on the road with a load a finches a short while ago, but had not bee seen since. Parking my car I off loaded the muddied ropes and grappling hooks we'd used a couple of days previously to remove several bags of plastic and 25 assorted casr and lorry tyres from the tidal creek at Queenborough on the Isle of Sheppey.
Afterwards I made my way to Sweeney Veiwpoint (keeing an eye out for the Redstaart of course). On the reservoir, so noisily evident were a few hundred Greylag Geese. On the veiw benches I met the couple who'd actually seen the Redstart a short while earlier.
A hawthorn bush had a half a dozen small brown birds flitting through it, The bins reveiled them to be mostly Whitethroats doing thier characteristic dart up and down flights, maybe after insects, I guessed them to be juveniles fattening up for their massive migratory passage to tropical Africa, Arabia or even Pakistan. So talking of migratory birds, quite a few Swallows were overhead
Aloft was also a Buzzard giving its' distictive mew, so ear-reaching and unmistakeable, I love to watch them riding the thermals scanning the vista below with their incredible eyesight. Every now and then as if they have gained too much free height or spotting something warranting closer scrutiny they fold their wings losing lift plummeting like a sky-diver for a few hundred feet, then opening the 'parachute' to continue (at a more conveinient level) the visual search for the next meal.
Still a few butterflies were on the wing in the cloud strewn intermitant sunny periods, Whites Large and Small, Tortoiseshells, Red Admirals and Gatekeeper.
After another quick squiss along the track for the Redstart I copped a couple of interesting Hoverflies. Eureodes luniger and Chrysotoxum festivum, both common but immensely entertaining and real demonstration of the theory of Batesian Mimicry, i.e. looking similar to a dangerous or distastfull species to ward off potential predators, maybe not for the attacked individual, the deterent effect, saving future generations.
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