Monday 16 October 2017

Orange skies over Lade

Dungeness - 0730hrs -  warm, cloudy, s 3 - A circuit of the point in unseasonably mild weather with a warm southerly airflow delivered a steady flow of overhead Goldfinches, plus a few Mipits, Skylarks, Swallows and other assorted finches, but none of the heavy-billed variety that have been noted elsewhere across the south-east. However, the surprise migrant was a superb male Dartford Warbler in scrub by the Britannia pub that posed briefly atop the brambles before skulking deep and occasionally uttering its scolding alarm call. Nothing much was happening on the sea apart from fishing Gannets, a few Common Scoters and a Red-throated Diver down. A check of the beach for jellyfish drew a blank.

                                Delicate, a migrant that now also breeds locally

                                Mallow,  a scarce visitor to the Plovers trap

Lade - With overnight temperatures barely going below the mid-teens centigrade and light winds it was no surprise to find the garden mv stuffed with moths. All the usual autumn species were present including 35 Black Rustics, but tucked away in the bottom of the trap in the last egg tray was a Delicate and a Mallow, both new for the year.

                                Mid-afternoon sun

    6pm sunset over Lade made for a weird, ethereal atmosphere

  A couple of visits to the local patch were largely uneventful apart from the weird weather associated with Storm Ophelia that had pushed a plume of warm air up from the Azores. The afternoon temperature peaked at a humid 23 C along with dark skies and a hazy reddish-orange sun occasionally poking through the clouds. As sunset approached the sky turned orange, giving a spectacular, almost end-of-days feel to the place which apparently was due to a combination of Saharan dust and ash debris from wildfires in Iberia.
  Weird weather indeed. 

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