Saturday, 16 August 2014

Wartime planes over Romney Marsh

Lade - cool, sunny, light airs - Single figure temperatures overnight suppressed moth numbers yet again although Mullein Wave and Cypress Pug made a reappearance for the first time in ages.
An early morning foray over the pits before doing breakfasts revealed a pair of Ruddy Shelducks on south lake, which is about normal in August, and a juv Cuckoo was enjoying the sunshine on the fence line by the caravan park. Several Yellow Wagtails went south and a scattering of Willow Warblers were already feeding in the usual sun-traps.

                                 Mullein Wave

Dengemarsh - 1100hrs - Mrs PT joined us for a circuit of Dengemarsh this late morning, where there was little of note apart from a Great White Egret that flew from Gun Club field towards Hooker`s. A few Yellow Wags passed overhead and a Wheatear was noted by the chicken sheds. From Springfield Bridge the last of the Common Tern chicks were being fed on the rafts, six Little Egrets stalked the margins and a Bearded Tit showed briefly. The hayfields were a disappointment with only a dribble of water on No 3 attracting a lone Green Sandpiper. Along the way we also saw Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Green Woodpecker, Mistle Thrush and a Weasel.  By the time we returned to the ARC car park the wind had picked up considerably from the west.

                               Hayfield No. 3, Dengemarsh

Lade  - Back home this aft we were treated to a once-in-lifetime spectacle (thanks to a tip off from CP and NB) as two Lancaster bombers (flanked by two Spitfires) flew imperiously over Marsh skies. We picked them up as they flew in from the west over Hythe, after which the four planes flew out over the bay, banked and came in over Littlestone where large crowds were enjoying the RNLI open day. The formation then flew down towards us at Lade boardwalk, where a number of locals and holidaymakers had gathered, before swinging over Lydd airport and back across the bay on towards Dover.
Phew, what a sight, and something I shall never forget. It certainly bought a lump to my throat, and on a glorious summers day admiring these iconic aircraft as they traversed the blue skies of Romney Marsh, it got me thinking how lucky our generation is, and of all the young men that died a horrible death in those flying machines many years ago.

                               Lancasters & Spitfires over Lade


  1. Paul ,
    Couldn't agree more re. those who gave all for us .
    All four took off from Biggin Hill airport this morning and flew over me whilst I was doing my butterfly transect on an adjoining LNR .
    With 4 blades on one prop and 5 on the other , I think it was one Spitfire and one Hurricane with the two Lancasters .

  2. Certainly quite a sight, and apparently there was also a Dakota in the air, which we missed.

  3. Brilliat display, sun shinning. Visiting the mother in law. Added authenticity. To the age of the the spitfire with the clipped wings was a mark18 with five prop one of the last upgrades of the many of ww2 period. Good photos.

  4. Also managed to see the dakota with its distinctive white stripes D DAY markings......pleasure and privelege to see these iconic planes a flying, testiment and living reminder of all that generation who sacrificed much.

  5. Thanks huggs, certainly makes you realise how lucky we are