Saturday 31 May 2014

Honey Buzzards & Rosy Wave

Lade - 0800hrs - mild, sunny, light airs - A calm night resulted in a decent catch of 20 species in the garden trap with four new for the season including Rosy Wave, a localised species which very little appears to be known about its breeding biology, and only my second.
Walked Mockmill this morning and already bird song had declined as the warblers and finches were feeding youngsters, some of which had already fledged. Also had further flight views of the female rufous Cuckoo; the rump showed vivid russet in the bright sunshine, while the brown tail, barred black, had one thicker band about mid-way, a cracking bird, if only it would perch up and allow a piccie.

                                Rosy Wave, Lade

Walland Marsh - 1100 - 1600hrs - Spent a very pleasant few hours touring the Marsh with Mr PT Senior. After getting the Rosy Wave confirmed at the KRC we moved onto the allotment at Lydd to pick strawberries. Whilst there the local Herring Gulls went ballistic and up above was a `kettle` of five buzzards, one of which was a Honey Buzzard, thermalling a few hundred feet overhead. I legged it back to the car to grab the bins and watched them soar out of sight over towards New Romney. Fantastic. After a few phone calls it was apparent that others had been seen locally and following a tip off from PB we saw another, much more distant bird over the ranges a short while later. Also, from the range road a Turtle Dove perched on a wire by the lookout towers was a surprise, whilst on a fence post amongst the barbed wire was the first of three Little Owls we noted during the afternoon. From Lydd churchyard the juv herons could be seen, and heard (what a din!) in their tree-top nests and it won`t be too long now before they fledge.

                                Grey Heron juvs, Lydd

                                 Little Owl, Lydd

Scanning Brett`s Pit we noticed a pair of Egyptian Geese with five well grown goslings, which a local fisherman told me were about a fortnight old. I`m unsure whether or not these `plastics` have bred successfully before hereabouts, in the Dungeness area, but I`m sure someone out there will know... so, if you do, please drop us a line.

                                    Egyptian Geese, Brett`s Pit

A drive out to Brookland via Midley and around the back lanes produced more Common Buzzards, Marsh Harriers, plus a handful of Lesser Whitethroat, Yellow Wagtail and one Yellowhammer. Goldfinches appeared to be doing ok, while Tree Sparrows and Corn Buntings were seen at their regular sites.
Called in at Dungeness VC on the way home for a natter, where Avocets and Blackwits were reported on the Hayfields. Two Hobbies, Green Woodpecker and a male Marsh harrier noted on the way out.

Friday 30 May 2014

A dead Sanderling

Lade  - 0700hrs - cool, cloudy, ne 3 - A poor night in the garden moth trap due to a chilly easterly airflow, although Light Emerald was new for the year. A circuit of the local patch yielded little of note apart from a dead Sanderling on the beach.

                                Light Emerald, Lade

                                Sanderling, Lade

                                Squid eggs, Lade

Dungeness - 1000hrs - Joined DW in the Patch hide for a scan of 50 or so Common Terns over the boil and several hundred larger gulls, mainly Herrings, loafing on the beach, otherwise it was pretty quiet. An afternoon visit was equally as steady.

Thursday 29 May 2014

Rufous Cuckoo & Dew Moth

Lade - 0700hrs - mild, cloudy, sunny later, e 2 - A muggy, overcast night made for a good catch in the garden moth trap with several new species for the year, including Gold Spot, one of my favourites.
I consider myself fortunate in that the Cuckoo, a species that is in terminal decline across much of its UK range, remains a familiar part of the birding scene on my local patch; indeed this morning we noted four different individuals going about their business, who are never ignored as they`re with us for such a short period of time. However, one that flew across the willow swamp got me most excited as it was an adult female of the rufous form, a rare variant that I`ve not seen here before.

                                Eyed Hawk-moth, Lade

                                Gold Spot, Lade

                                Leopard Slug, Lade

Kerton Road Café - Called in at the café for a second opinion on a moth and whilst
there BD turned up with a Dew Moth, a species that we think has not been recorded down here this century, and very smart it was too.

                                  Dew Moth, KRC

Grass Emerald, KRC                                                               

Wednesday 28 May 2014

Blyth`s Reed Warbler & more daftness

Lade - 0700hrs - cool, cloudy, w 2 -Another poor night in the garden moth trap with only Riband Wave new for the year. Over the pits it was a case of as you were with large numbers of Swifts and hirundines forced to hawk for insects low over the water.
Dungeness - 1300hrs - On the way back from Ashford news came through from MH of a mega at Dungeness...
Blyth`s Reed Warbler - By the time I arrived at the southern end of the Trapping Area the bird hadn`t been heard for a short while, but after an hour and a half, at 1430hrs, it began to sing once more and continued for the next 20 minutes, more or less non-stop. A typical acrocephalus song full of rich and varied notes with clips of Song Thrush and Nightingale, much clicking and even a chacking like Great Reed Warbler note. I had a couple of brief views of what was a bland looking reed warbler, but really, as is often the case with this type of skulking LBJ, it was all about the song. So, my first lifer for a while, and many thanks to David Walker for yet another incredible warbler find at Dungeness.

                                Blyth`s Reed Warbler, showing like a good `un...

Springwatch - 2/12
Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I tuned into the latest episode from Masai Minsmere last night just as the Governor, Mr Chris Packham, was strutting around impersonating a Bittern. Oh dear, his credibility rating immediately plummeted, but then he was with Mr Silly Hughes-Games who proceeded to cavort about the reedbed, in a wet suit, to highlight where the predators were. Why?
On the plus side there were some nice shots of Bittern and Bullfinch at the nest, although poor fluffy- tail Michaela didn`t sound too good when commentating on a big old nasty crow murdering a cutesy, little Blackberry - now, it would've been a different story if the crow had picked on General Groundwort, Chief of the Efrafa from Watership Down...Oh, never mind...
However, our hero of the Maltese Bird Slayers, was down in Africa again on `his` Cuckoo hunt and they showed a clip of a local armed with a catapult who claimed to be a dead shot; well I`ll tell you what dear reader, he wouldn`t have made it my village gang - three attempts to hit a tin can at 20 yards, pathetic! The birds are safe.
Anyhow, I lost interest for while and on returning from switching on the garden moth trap a glance at the telly revealed a film being shown - Masai Minsmere had been usurped by Middle Earth, it was Lord of the Rings? One of my favourite films, it had to be, there was Bilbo Baggins, hang on a minute though he`d got a pair of Leicas round his neck! Oh, sorry, it was Bill....Oddie, of course, silly me, I`m getting me Bills and Bilbos in a muddle. I`ll have to pay more attention tonight... 

Tuesday 27 May 2014

Springwatch 2014

Lade - mild, cloudy, nw 2 - 0700hrs - Following heavy overnight rain a circuit of the local patch was predictably wet underfoot, but with plenty of bird song from the usual Cuckoos, Skylarks, warblers, finches and thrushes. The sky over north lake was thick with Swifts, plus all three species of hirundines, and several patches of the parasitic plant Dodder were noted on Wood Sage.
Elsewhere, the first Black-headed Gull chicks had hatched, while Med Gull, Sandwich and Common Terns, 40 Curlews, 30 Barwits and a Knot were all present.

                                Black-headed Gulls, plus chick

                                Dodder, Lade

ARC - 1600hrs - A wander down to Screen hide produced more Swifts, Common Terns and hirundines over the lake and a pair of Oystercatchers with two small juvs barely a week old. Also on the water a decent selection of wildfowl: Pochard, Gadwall, Shoveler and a drake Garganey, plus six Little Egrets.

Springwatch 2014
With the rain hammering down yesterday evening I thought I`d give Springwatch a look on BBC2. Now in its 10th season the circus has moved across country from Ynys-hir, on the west coast of Wales, to the RSPB reserve at Minsmere, all "10 square miles" of it, apparently. So you know what`s coming, lots of shots of Avocets, Bitterns, Marsh Harriers and Stone Curlews, which is great, and of course plenty of footage of Badgers and Blue Tits, which is ok, I suppose... dudes love `em... now, "stop that sort of talk straight away" I hear you say, and quite right too, that was churlish of me...
However, I must confess to having mixed feelings on this show over the years, although I was impressed with the nest finding abilities of persons unknown and camera work on breeding Water Rail and Gropper last spring.
So, what of the first nights performance, 1/12, well, let`s take a look at the presenters. The trio at Base Camp Minsmere comprised Michaela Strachan who came across as very light weight and twice lost her way; she also used the word "adorable" way too many times when describing, yep, you`ve guessed it, Badgers and Blue Tits, plus some, "adorable" Ringed Plover chicks, which have probably been snaffled by a Herring Gull or a rampant dog by now - there I go again, must stop this negativity... She also looked in awe of the leader of the gang, Mr Chris Packham, who baled her out when floundering. So, a slow start for Michaela, scoring 6/10, must concentrate harder in future and by episode 12 she may have sorted herself out.
Ok, the second of the trio, and mercifully sent out into the wilds of Masai Minsmere, was the cringingly dreadful Martin Hughes-Games (can you really take anyone seriously with a double barrelled surname!) who gamely (get it!) was holding court on the shingle beach and prattling on about the threat of German Panzer tanks landing on the shingle in WW2 and destroying the flora and fauna - I kid you not dear reader! So, as in previous series he continues to be the `silly presenter` and gets 2/10, there`s no hope for this bloke, I reckon he`ll just get sillier as the show progresses. 
Anyhow, moving onto the final member of the trio, the Governor himself, Mr Chris Packham, and at last someone who not only know`s what he`s talking about, but knows how to get his point across - and let`s face it anybody who chooses Billy Bragg`s, A New England, in his play list for Desert Island Discs is all right by me, a resounding 10/10 for the boss.
The final member of the gang is Welshman Iolo Williams reporting from north-west Scotland on Sea-eagles, Otters and that kind of thing, who probably has the best job of the lot. While I like his enthusiasm I`m afraid he`s not a natural presenter, particularly when he has to ad-lib, but still, he may improve with practice and gets a generous score of 7/10. Anyhow, the wildlife up there should speak for itself.
So, what about the content, well its the usual kind of fare, eavesdropping on the birds and the bees, both live and with plenty of pre-recorded stuff. All joking aside though there is often a nugget or two even for the cynics (what me? no, never) amongst us to enjoy and it looks as though the Governor`s quest to find out what`s happening to `our` Cuckoos in deepest Africa should be watchable, even if it eventually, or rather inevitably, does transpire that the likely cause of their demise is the usual combination of habitat destruction, and a burgeoning human population killing everything in sight in order to feed themselves and reproduce more and more horrible humans.
Anyhow, that`s enough for now, not really sure where this post is going, so I`ll pull up stumps, and as episode two is on soon, and its raining again, I`m off to get me fix of Springwatch. Love it!

Monday 26 May 2014


Lade - 0800hrs - mild, cloudy, nw 3 - A decent catch in the garden moth trap last night with Cypress Carpet new for the year and the first Dark Arches. With the wind swinging round overnight, and rain in the air, a large party of Swifts were feeding over the willow swamp along with House Martins and a single Hobby. Otherwise it was pretty quiet and with the rain arriving around midday the afternoon was spent catching up on long over due articles.

                                          Cypress Carpet, Lade

Sunday 25 May 2014


Lade -  0700hrs - warm, dry, sunny, sw 3 - Not such a good night in the garden moth trap with only a couple of year ticks, plus more hawkmoths and a Silver-ground Carpet.

                                     Light Brocade, Lade

                                Silver-ground Carpet, Lade

Dengemarsh - 1130 - 1330hrs - After saying goodbye to our guests we walked Dengemarsh starting at Boulderwall, out along the back track towards Lydd, across to the chicken sheds and back round via Springfield Bridge and Hookers. Without doubt the bird of the day was Hobby with at least 15 over the marsh along with hundreds of Swifts, Common Terns and Black-headed Gulls. Cracking birds Hobbies, definitely in my top ten of favourite birds, could watch `em all day.
Anyhow, at least three Marsh Harriers were noted, including an adult male hunting frogs behind Badgers and delivering two food passes to females over Hookers. It was good to see plenty of Lapwings in the bean fields, including sitting adults, but sadly no juvs; judging by the number of broken duck eggs on the track the crows had been busy earlier, at one stage I counted 18 Carrion Crows. A few years ago this walk would have delivered breeding Yellow Wagtail and Corn Bunting, in what is prime farmland habitat for both species, but none were seen or heard today. Hayfield 3 still looked good for waders, but I guess its getting late in the season now with just Shelducks (minus any juvs), Little Egrets, crows and gulls present.

                                 Mallard eggshell

Back at the ARC car park we swapped banter with SB, BP and PB. The main talking point was the elusive group of four Bee-eaters that have been leading everyone a merry dance across the Marsh these past couple of days and had been seen over the point earlier.
Lade - 1900hrs - The wind backed off this evening, so couldn`t resist a look over the desert, just in case those rainbow birds were out there sitting on wires, but there was no sign.

Saturday 24 May 2014

QPR 1 Derby 0

Lade - 0700hrs -  cool, cloudy, rain clearing, s 3 - A surprisingly good catch in the garden trap this morning with 30 species, ten new for the year, including hawks and tigers and Silver-ground Carpet, something I don't often get.

                                Cream-spot Tigers, Lade

                                Poplar Hawkmoth, Lade

                                Small Elephant Hawkmoth, Lade

After doing breakfasts we walked the local patch where a large flock of some 200 Swifts and, mainly House Martins, were hawking insects over a blustery north lake. On the beach at least 100 passage Sanderlings and 25 Barwits amongst the regular non-breeding shorebirds.
Dengemarsh - 1230hrs - A scan from Springfield Bridge for a reported Red-footed Falcon drew a blank, but 10 Hobbies over the reedbed was the largest number of the spring so far, along with hundreds of Swifts, House Martin, Common Terns and Black-headed Gulls hawking emerging insects in the brisk wind.
Greatstone - Watched the Championship Play Off Final this afternoon in the company of the Joker and despite all the odds - playing crap, man sent off, defending for most of the second half - Queens Park Rangers eventually prevailed 1 nil against Derby with a classy Bobby Zamora  (I`ve always rated him!) goal in the 89th minute. Derby must be gutted, but its all about putting the ball in the net as they say, so its goodbye Yeovil Town, hello Man City! Oh, happy days.

Friday 23 May 2014


Lade  - 0900hrs - warm, dry, sunny, S 4 - Another poor night in the garden moth trap due to a brisk overnight wind keeping temperatures down. On the local patch an increase in House Martins over the willow swamp was the only noteworthy event, while on the bay many of yesterdays waders had moved on.
Romney Marsh - 1600hrs - Whilst cutting the grass at home this afternoon I missed a couple of calls from an excited Marshman with news of four Bee-eaters - in his back garden! By the time I raced out onto the Marsh I got distant views of the flock leaving high to the north-east, just about enough for a year tick, if only I was keeping one of course. However, if I`d have heard the phone and arrived half an hour earlier the rainbow birds were hawking insects around the garden, trilling away to one another and generally showing like good `uns. One wag was heard to comment, "I`ve now seen more Bee-eaters this spring than Turtle Doves"!
NB: Another Bee-eater was heard over the reserve this morning (BP).

Thursday 22 May 2014

Lade Bay waders

Lade  - 0700hrs  - dry, sunny, showers later, s 3 - Following a deluge of rain it was good to see the sun shining this morning; goodness knows how many birds nests got swamped out last night. No surprise to see several small parties of Swifts and House Martins over the willow swamp dodging the rain further inland. The walk back along the beach yet again delivered a host of waders and throughout the day I attempted to get a more accurate count from several locations around the bay.
Couldn't quite manage the 10 out of 10 as Redshank eluded me, but there was plenty to see with many of the Arctic waders in their red, nuptial plumages, some half and half and others in non-breeding immature dress.
Oystercatcher - 278 - most were probably non-breeders.
Ringed Plover - 62 - many of the tundra race. 1pr on the beach with two juvs.
Grey Plover - 4 - all in cracking summer plum.
Knot - 12 - four completely red adults.
Dunlin - 205 - majority with variable black bellies, but too distant to racially split.
Sanderling - 275 - surprisingly large count for this time of year.
Barwit - 36 - including some absolute red stunners.
Curlew - 157 - presumably non-breeding birds.
Turnstone - 18 -  the summer plum birds were gorgeous.

                                Another hefty shower on the way, Lade

                                                  Southern Marsh Orchid, Lade

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Arctic waders & terns

Lade - mild, overcast, e 2 - 0730hrs -  Mrs PT joined us this morning for a circuit of the local patch. On south lake two Common Sandpipers flitted around the margins, three Shelduck were new and a Sparrowhawk flew over carrying prey heading towards Lydd. Several Swifts came and went and all the usual songsters were belting it out in the still, muggy conditions. Walking back along the foreshore it was apparent that quite a few Arctic waders had dropped in to feed en-route to their northern breeding grounds, most of `em in summer plum. Apart from the usual several hundred non-breeding Curlews and Oystercatchers there were 50 Ringed Plovers (mostly tundra race), 45 Dunlins, 28 Sanderling, 25 Turnstones, 15 Barwits and two Grey Plovers, plus three Greenshanks that flew over calling. Ten Sandwich Terns and four Shelducks completed the picture.

Rye Harbour NR - 1030-1330hrs - A circuit of the beach reserve delivered a feast of waders and breeding seabirds. From Lime Kiln Cottage the creeks and lagoons opposite were packed with both breeding and migrant waders, highlights of which were 85 Ringed Plover (at least 30 tundra types), 50 Dunlin, 30 Turnstone, two Whimbrel, two Grey Plover, Greenshank and best of all a summer plum Little Stint. With around 25 pairs of Avocets on site many chicks were noted, along with breeding Redshank, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, and Lapwing.

                                Ringed Plover, Rye Harbour

                                Avocet, `sorting out`a pair of Shelducks

                                Turnstones, Rye Harbour

From the John Gooders hide the scene was more of the same with shorebirds scattered across Flat Beach, plus Little Egrets, Shelducks, two Brent Geese and a Wheatear feeding young at the entrance to a rabbit hole. At least 15 Little Terns were displaying and settling on the shingle ridges, while it was good to see plenty of small fish and sand eels being brought in.

                                Black-headed Gull chicks, Rye Harbour

                                Common Terns, Rye Harbour

     Sandwich Tern colony, Rye Harbour

On Ternery Pool the main Sandwich Tern colony of over 100 pairs was on the closest island to the hide and provided a fantastic spectacle, along with nesting Black-headed Gulls and Common Terns on Quarry Beach. On the negative side (but perhaps not...) the nesting Med Gulls had cleared out, yet again having failed to breed, although several were seen and heard. The new lagoons on the walk back yielded Wood Sandpiper and a pair of Little Ringed Plovers amongst more Avocets and singing Skylarks. Other birds noted on the circuit included, Cuckoo, Kestrel, Whitethroat, Shoveler, Pochard, Dabchick, Yellow Wagtail and Mipit.
Combining Lade and Rye we managed to clock up 18 species of waders today, and as these delightful creatures are my favourite family of birds I was well satisfied, even though I was half expecting to find a Temminck`s - set the bar high, I say!
It was also good to bump into Barry and Chris on the way round and have a natter, and all credit to them and the team at Rye Harbour for making this one of the best bird reserves in southern England for waders and terns.

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Skuas, dolphins and plovers

Dungeness - 0530-0800hrs  - warm, dry, sunny, se 2 - Managed to haul myself out of bed for an early seawatch at the point. From the hide, together with TG and SG for the first hour and a half, we had a large feeding party of upwards 300 Common and 100 Sandwich Terns coming and going from the Patch and beyond, some of which moved through.  Also up-Channel a steady trickle of seabirds: 11 Gannet, 10 auk sp, 4 Kittiwake, 9 Oystercatcher, 45 Common Scoter, 12 Shoveler, 30 Dunlin, 4 Little Terns and best of all a stunning close, light phase Arctic Skua.
Moving down to the concrete road with SG to join MH and almost immediately a light phase Pomarine Skua powered through trailing an impressive set of `spoons`; what fabulous birds they are, I don`t think I`ll ever tire of watching this `prince of seabirds`, and personally it was the latest Pom (20th May) I`ve seen at Dungeness after nine consecutive springs of seawatching.
However, the excitement did not end there, whilst watching two Harbour Porpoises and a Grey Seal just offshore news came through from DW back at the hide of a small pod of White-beaked Dolphins near the Patch, a species of cetacean that is increasingly being seen in the English Channel by local fishermen. By the time we`d yomped along the foreshore to the hide all that could be seen was a couple of views of breaching animals, which were noticeably larger than porpoises.
Elsewhere, the usual singing Black Redstart, Wheatear, Whitethroat, Mipit and Skylark.

                                Blood-vein, Lade

                                Toadflax Brocade, Lade

                                  White-point, Lade

Lade - Back home after breakfast I checked the moth trap which held the first decent catch of the spring with some 50 moths of 15 species, several new for the year including Toadflax Brocade, Blood-vein and White-point. Two Med Gulls flew over calling as we did a circuit of the local patch where ten spikes of Southern Marsh Orchid were counted; last year there was over 50. Plenty of common butterflies and damsels were on the wing in the warm sunshine along the main track beside south lake.
Cutting back along the beach and a flock of 40 odd waders comprised 35 Tundra Ringed Plovers, tundrae, in a tight flock along with several Sanderlings and Dunlins; the plovers were noticeably slimmer and darker than the local birds, hiaticula, of which there were several nearby.

                                Tundra Ringed Plover, Lade Bay

    Tundra Ringed Plovers, Sanderling & Dunlin, Lade Bay

Dungeness - 1600hrs - Back at the seawatch hide for a dolphin scan drew a blank, with just the expected terns, gulls, scoters and Gannets coming and going offshore.

Monday 19 May 2014

Red Kite & Monty`s

Lade - 0800hrs - warm, dry, sunny, se 2 - A stunning morning to be out and about in the field with warm sunshine from the off. The undoubted highlights were two raptors, first a very smart Red Kite that flew low behind the `mirrors` and was seen again over farmland towards Romney Salts. Apparently there`s been something of an influx along the south coast recently, while birds have been noted around Brookland and Ivychurch of late, so no great surprise really.
However, the second one was a surprise, but to be fair if it was not for a phone call from OL warning me it was coming my way I doubt I would have seen it. A female Montagu`s Harrier passed along the coast at some height - even the Herring Gulls only gave it a cursory look - before heading inland over New Romney. Also noted from the aerial mound, three Buzzards, two Marsh Harriers and a Kestrel, while three Common Sandpipers were present on south lake.
A search for butterflies as the morning wore on resulted in several Common Blues, Small Heaths and Small Coppers. The display of Southern Marsh Orchids at Lade is very poor this year, probably as the area was under water until a month ago. However, the Foxgloves are looking most spectacular.

                                Common Blue & Foxgloves, Lade

Dungeness - 1500hrs - Following on from this mornings Pom sightings I gave it 30 minutes from the seawatch hide without any joy apart from a steady stream of Common and Sandwich Terns, two Med Gulls and a raft of 100 scoters on the sea.
NB: A Bee-eater flew over the Trapping Area mid-morning (DW et al).

Saturday 17 May 2014

Swan rescue

Lade - 0900hrs - warm, cloudy, light airs - We walked Mockmill in muggy conditions where all the usual scrub warblers, Linnets, Reed Buntings and Stonechat were in good voice. Unfortunately, there wasn't a sniff of a Bluethroat in the tussock grasses... Behind the `mirrors` Cuckoo, Lesser Whitethroat and Cetti`s added their voices to the cacophony of sound with Marsh Harrier and Kestrel over the farmland.
I scanned across to the airport and wondered what the scene could be like in a few years time, given the recent High Court decision to approve the Lydd Airport expansion. Call me an old cynic, but I find it an odd coincidence that on the day Manston closes, Lydd gets the go ahead.
Quite how Mr Hani Mutlaq thinks he can make a commercial success of this project we shall just have to wait and see.

                               Nottingham Catchfly, Mockmill Sewer

Dengemarsh - Scanning from Springfield Bridge I noticed a large flock of Mute Swans gathered around one of their kin, in distress, that had become entangled in a strand of wire with 12 volts of electricity about to electrocute it. I called the VC and SB for back up but as the bird was about to succumb off came the boots and socks and using my tripod as a stick I waded out to help. The reaction of an old cob was fascinating as he continued to fuss around her even while I was fiddling around with the wire. Anyhow, eventually after getting a couple of shocks myself I managed to free the unfortunate bird which I then ushered back to shore in a torpor. Incredibly after ten minutes or so it swam out into the middle and rejoined the flock apparently none the worse for its ordeal.
Thanks to SB and DB for checking the fence and contacting staff to get the offending wire removed.
Raven, Peregrine and Greenshank noted flying over, plus the usual terns and harriers over the reedbed.

                                Caught on 12 volt wire

                                Old cob shows concern

                               And nearly gets caught himself

                                Free and swimming

                                Caught in the act! (by Dave Featherbe)

The only trouble with being immersed in water for 15 minutes in a Dungeness lake is that you`re bound to attract the attention of leeches!

                                Medicinal Leech, my right foot

Galloways - A circuit of the range road produced very little apart from further views of the Raven, two Stonechats and plenty of patches of Vipers Bugloss in full flower.

                                Vipers Bugloss, Lydd