Lade - 0600hrs - warm, dry, sunny, ne 4 - A brisk wind off the sea ensured that not only moth numbers were lower than of late but also the afternoon temperatures were tempered by the north-easterly. Footman were once again most numerous and a tatty Toadflax Brocade was the only moth of note.
Being around the cottage for most of the day (entertaining our nearly-three-year-old grandson and listening to TMS) it`s surprising what you can observe, even in a small coastal garden. At high tide the Oycs and Curlews drifted over from the bay to roost on the shingle ridges while there was a constant coming and going of Sandwich Terns. A few Swifts passed south, probably on the way out, and a Hobby caused the Starlings to cease their chattering.
As the day warmed up Small Heaths, Marbled Whites and Meadow Browns fluttered over from the desert and a hawker dragonfly dipped across the pond all too briefly. Around midday there was a right old kerfuffle when a Grass Snake slipped across the parched lawn heading for the pond; Mrs PT`s cat was on the case and didn`t quite know what to make of it. Anyhow, I quickly intervened and put it behind the compost heap were it could find safe refuge from the Lade Tiger. Grass Snakes are common place down here, along with Slow Worms, while Adders are absent.
Cockles Bridge - En-route to the allotment this morning we pulled into the lay-bye to be confronted by a Red-legged Partridge with nine chicks. Ok, I know they`re plastic but at least this hen bird had performed successfully in the wild, unlike the poor buggers I saw in pens the other day prior to being released for `sporting` purposes. Still, hopefully the Marsh Harriers and Buzzards should profit from one or two...