Lade - Saturday - Humid, dry, cloudy, e 2 - Yesterday was perfect weather conditions for carrying out a butterfly transect, being muggy with light airs and milky sunshine poking through from time to time. The walk along the old railway line track from the quarry to the aerial mound (about 800yds) delivered 52 Common Blues on the wing, plus 12 Small Heaths and two Painted Ladies. I couldn't resist a few more close up pics of an exquisite Bee Orchid.
Sunday - warm, cloudy, rain, sw 2 - A fresher feel to the weather this morning with the wind swinging round to the south-west and rain on the way. However, there was a decent catch of 21 species of macro moths in the garden trap, but only Buff-tip new for the year.
A circuit of the site revealed little of note apart from Reed and Cetti`s Warbler chicks out of the nest, plus a 1st summer Little Gull hawking insects over north lake amongst a flock of Black-headed Gulls, plus a few Swifts and House Martins. Along the foreshore 15 Curlews and 25 Oystercatchers were present, while a trickle of Sandwich Terns and Med Gulls passed overhead.
I haven't quite worked out what`s been predating the waterfowl hereabouts as very few ducklings, cootlets and the like have fledged; the Great Crested Grebes pictured below the exception. Mink have not been seen here for many years, so I don't think they`re the culprits. It may be weather related of course, what with the recent cold periods and some of the torrential downpours flooding nests. Maybe repeat broods will be more successful.
All the `No Fishing` signs erected by RSPB have now gone missing and several fisherman were in the usual swims around the lakes and in the willow swamp.