Friday, 18 July 2014

Dungeness moths & extreme weather

Lade - 0600hrs - warm, dry and sunny, e 3 - Despite a muggy night the brisk easterly kept moth numbers low, although a Toadflax Brocade was good to see. Very sultry over the pits with Yellow Wagtail and Mipit overhead and hundreds of Black-headed Gulls feeding on flying insects coming off the shingle ridges.

                                Toadflax Brocade, Lade

KRC - Joined Mrs Moth to check her traps where 30 species noted include more Toadflax  Brocades, Pale Grass Eggars and a Sussex Emerald the highlights; numbers were low here too.

                                   Pale Grass Eggar, KRC

                                Sussex Emerald, KRC

Dungeness - At the Patch a handful of Common Terns (including a 1st summer bird) and gulls over the boil, plus a 1,000 or more gulls on the beach, mostly Black-headed and Herring and at least one juv Yellow-legged Gull.
Lade - Sitting in the garden at lunchtime (hot and muggy) I heard a distant drone that I initially put down to a jet engine warming up on the airfield - until that is the sound appeared overhead and I realised it was a massive swarm of bees, that continued south towards Dungeness...
The wind slackened off this afternoon and on the high tide I went for a long swim off the boardwalk; most refreshing, and I even got a bit of birding in as a pair of Sandwich Terns fished nearby and scrutinised the human whale attempting front crawl...
As the evening wore on the wind dropped completely and storm clouds gathered from the south along with a great bank of rolling white cloud. What followed next was incredible - a typhoon-like wind whipped across the peninsula containing plant and soil debris causing havoc in the back garden and covering cars hereabouts. Looking up the sky was jet black, streaked grey as the white roll passed overhead, akin to something like you see in one of those Armageddon disaster movies. The wind then dropped and torrential rain commenced with thunder and lightening all around; it was the most spectacular weather phenomenon I`ve ever seen down here.

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