A Week Away in Sunny Margate

Oystercatcher - Sandwich bay, Kent - A Week Away in Sunny Margate
A Week Away in Sunny Margate

As I mentioned in an earlier post I had a weeks holiday planned (ended up being 4 days), nothing exciting, but visiting my old man in Margate (Kent). I’ll be honest there wasn’t a huge amount of getting out and about. Normally we’d have a few days out or a few mornings at least. But our time was short and we wanted the kids to have some fun on the beach or in the arcades.

A Week Away in Sunny Margate

Anyway here is a quick post with details about my one morning out, the moths I caught in his garden and anything else nature related (I actually didn’t take my camera out for our trips to the beach as I wanted to give the kids my undivided attention for once).

Trip to Sandwich

Reed Bunting - Pegwell Bay, Kent
Reed Bunting – Pegwell Bay, Kent

No holiday to my dads is complete without an excursion out to Sandwich Bay Bird Obs, When we arrived we had a quick pit stop at the Obs to check the boards and then (as my father is disabled) we headed on down to the disabled hide by car (A hide in which he had a hand in the design etc in his guise as the chairman of Birding For All, formerly the Disabled Birders Association). Unfortunately there was not a huge amount about, the “scrape” by the disabled hide is flooded, so only produced a couple of waders, Snipe, Lapwing and Oystercatcher, and little else, bar a few summer plumage Little Grebe. and there was not much else about anywhere if I’m honest, a few distant Wheaters, some Blackcaps, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff, a distantly heard singing Nightingale.

Linnet - Sandwich Bay, Kent
Linnet – Sandwich Bay, Kent

On to Pegwell

Collard Dove - Margate, Kent
Collard Dove – Margate, Kent

After we left Sandwich bay we decided to move on to the other local wader hotspot of Pegwell Bay, again to check out the waders and see if anything else was about. This time the issue was not flooding but, unfortunately, as with pretty much every time I visit Pegwell the tide was out, and by out I mean a long, long way out.The only wildlife of note that I could make out on the mud were a few Little Egrets and the odd (very distant) Grey Seal there was not much else to see around the reserve area either, again just a a few of the commoner warbler species singing usually deep in the bushes.

And so concluded my only trip out of the Kent visit. I can’t say it was bird filled and I was a little disappointed that there were not more in the way of migrants about, but it is always nice to get out to a nature reserve (or two) at any time.


Knowing I was visiting a coastal location in early spring I decided to take my moth trap with me (I kind of regretted lugging it across London, we travel by train, as it weighed quite a bit but it was worth it) and I am very glad I did, while the numbers were much lower than I am getting at home (they were on a par with last years numbers for early April) I got a really exciting moth in the form of a Toadflax Brocade, a presumed migrant as they are not normally recorded till late May!

Toadflax Brocade - Margate, Kent
Toadflax Brocade – Margate, Kent

 Other Creatures

Other than the birds and Moths I was pretty happy to explore my old mans garden, with the Ring-necked Parakeets dropping in I got to looking at his micro wildlife and saw two hoverflies – a Epistrophe Eligans and a Marmalade Fly as well as an Early Miner Bee, a Common Green Shieldbug, a probable Issus Coleptratus and a Chloropid fly presumably a Thaumatomyia notata (although actual species my need a microscope etc to ID so that will have to do).

Common Green Shieldbug - Margate Kent
Common Green Shieldbug – Margate Kent


Epistrophe Eligans - Margate, Kent
Epistrophe Eligans – Margate, Kent


Marmalade Fly - Margate, Kent
Marmalade Fly – Margate, Kent


Issus coleoptratus - Margate, Kent
Issus coleoptratus – Margate, Kent


Possible Thaumatomyia notata - Margate, Kent
Possible Thaumatomyia notata – Margate, Kent

 Away from the Wildlife

Best of all we discovered a great new shop in town in the form of Bernies Chocolate Bar. They serve some great waffles (with Ice cream and a white chocolate sauce…mmmm….), and had the most friendly staff you can imagine. I went in with my two youngest one day and returned the following with them, and my eldest, as well as nanna and the staff remembered names and welcomed them with a free chocolate drink. As well as remembering what their other relatives were called even though they had not met them, excellent service in my eyes. And now no Week Away in Sunny Margate is complete without a visit.

Collard Dove - Margate, Kent
Collard Dove – Margate, Kent

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