A lovely Summer morning found me visiting the tern colony at the Long Nanny, where the walk through the dunes revealed 2 pairs of Stonechats, each with 3 fledged youngsters.
This species gladly now well recovered from the decline after the harsh winters earlier this decade. Skylarks now into their last month of glorious song were much in evidence with many feeding along the grassy tracks here. Two above stopped me in my tracks for ten minutes of listening pleasure! Meadow Pipits were common with 30-40 seen, many display-flighting. The fields to the west held a post-breeding flock of around 80 Curlews.
Then as a Buzzard floated past, a pair of Kestrels were mobbed noisily by a large flock of Arctic Terns. The falcons having been predating the nesting tern colony on the beach, an annual problem here.
Arriving at the wardens hut, I was greeted by the noise of 1,800 nesting Arctic Terns (warden’s count). Many bringing in Sand Eels to their young . A few dead youngsters could be seen, a result of last week’s three days of rain and cold winds from the East. Great, close views of the terns can be had here.
Also nesting here is the rarer Little Tern, with this year 25 pairs, all incubating eggs and one hatched youngster at the moment. A small flock these birds were overhead, calling loudly as they circled in what seemed like play. The warm sun and a riot of colourful wild flowers revealed many butterflies , with my first Dark Green Fritillaries of the year seen along with dozens of Common Blues, Small Skippers, Meadow Browns and Ringlets, Small Heath and Red Admirals.
On down to Boulmer, deciding to miss nearby Low Newton where shortly afterwards a splendid White Winged Black Tern was discovered! Another rare county visitor, once common, has been frequenting the weedy ground to the north of the village , a Corn Bunting and it showed well, singing constantly in a vain attempt to attract a mate or establish a territory late into the summer!