Sunday 17 June 2018

Marbled Whites

Saturday - Dungeness -  warm, dry, sunny,  SW4 - A visit to the Patch hide yielded the usual Common Terns and gulls, including an adult Mediterranean Gull over the boil and on the beach. Offshore in the brisk wind a few Gannets and Sandwich Terns drifted by, plus two flocks of Common Scoters totalling 60 birds.
  On the bird reserve, Burrowe`s resembled a wildfowl collection with feral Egyptian, Canada and Greylag Geese, plus a pair of Black Swans. A flock of 20 Curlews flew in with the long staying Whimbrel and a Blackwit. Redshank, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher and Lapwing all noted while post breeding flocks of Pochard and Gadwall continue to increase in number. A few pairs of Common Terns are nesting on three of the islands, although many of the Herring Gulls have now got young making for easy pickings when the tern chicks do hatch.

                                Black Swans and Little Gull, Burrowes

Sunday - Lade - Once the early morning murk cleared the Swifts and House Martins quickly departed and the sun broke through bringing forth a number of grassland butterflies along the old railway line track. Meadow Brown, Large and Small Skippers, Small Heath and Painted Lady were all present, plus our first two, freshly emerged, Marbled Whites, one of my favourite butterflies. Cuckoos were still active across the site, while an arrival of Reed Warblers from earlier in the week were in good voice in reedbed territories. Otherwise all was quiet.

                               Biting Stonecrop, a common Sedum of dry shingle ridges

                                Two pristine Marbled Whites, first of the summer

                                White Mullein, an abundant biennial around the aerial compound

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