Sunday, 24 July 2016

Lade Open Day

Lade - warm, dry, sunny, sw 2 - A weekend of proper summer sunshine brought forth the crowds to the local beach, but as high tide was in the afternoon it enabled me to get in my first sea swim of the season along with several Grey Seals further out that were fishing for flatties as the tide receded.

                                Tufted Ducklings

  Birdwise it was predictably quiet with early morning sorties delivering the usual Sand Martins and Yellow Wagtails overhead and a few more broods of Tufted Ducklings on the water. A Hobby was slumped on the Desert powers lines yesterday, while three Marsh Harriers and a Sparrowhawk enjoyed the thermals over the airfield this morning.

                              Gatekeeper and Red Admiral were numerous this weekend

  Good numbers of butterflies and dragons were on the wing around the willow swamp and in the back garden, including plenty of Red Admirals and Gatekeepers, plus several Black-tailed Skimmers, Brown Hawkers and Emperors. The moth trap delivered a meagre 23 species this morning with only Blood-vein, 10 Marbled Greens and 12 Lackeys of any note.

                                Female Emperor Dragonfly

                                Male Black-tailed Skimmer

                                 Marbled Green

                               Meadow Brown, a common grassland butterfly                  

  On Saturday the RSPB held the Lade Pits Open Day affording access to the `Sound Mirrors` via a swing bridge. These structures regularly attract hundreds of visitors from far and wide on open days, and although I see them on a near daily basis it made a change to be able to access the island and look back across the site from a different angle. On a botanical note there were plenty of clumps of Ragged Robin and Hemp Agrimony in flower in the marshy ground in front of the 30` mirror.

                                Lade Open Day

  The only other local news this weekend was a Bee-eater briefly over the bird reserve on Saturday and the first post-breeding Great White Egret of the summer back on Dengemarsh.

Brown Hawker

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