Lade - 0700hrs - cold, frosty, sunny, nw 2 - A bitterly cold start to the day with a light frost on the roof-tops hereabouts. However, there was plenty of activity around the local patch with a host of Linnets, Reed Buntings, Whitethroats, Sedge, Cetti`s and Reed Warblers belting it out along with several Cuckoos, two Lesser Whitethroats, a Chiffchaff and Blackcap. Two pairs of Teal and Shoveler were still present on the lakes, plus a Black-necked Grebe, while four Whimbrels flew over calling.
Walking across the Desert it felt more like August underfoot with not a drop of moisture in the desiccated mosses and grasses. The storm ridges do have splashes of yellow from the fading Gorse and emerging Broom, but the underlying colour is brown. We`ve not had any serious rain here since January 16th and as a result many of the plants, like Lady`s Bedstraw, have simply wilted away to nothing in the drought.
The Warren, Folkestone - I was on granddad pick-up from school duty today so spent a couple of hours this afternoon puffing and panting around the chalk hills looking for plants and insects, but due to the cloud cover and cool wind there were few butterflies to be found. I was particularly searching for Horseshoe Vetch, the host plant for the Adonis Blue, which I managed to locate in a couple of suitable south facing chalk hollows, so hopefully next month when I visit on a warmer day there maybe some of these gems on the wing.
Bird-wise several Lesser Whitethroats, Bullfinches and Long-tailed Tits were noted, plus Raven and two Fulmars soaring around their nest sites on the chalk cliffs.