Sunday 22 July 2018

Orache Moth and Red Arrows

Lade - warm, dry and sunny - Another weekend of superb summer weather, ideal for sea swimming and moths. Although I`ve been running a moth trap down here for just a over a decade I still get a frisson of excitement when it is checked through the busy summer and autumn months. Yesterday morning I was late up at 0600hrs and our garden Blackbird had already demolished the Brown-tail moths around the summer house site. I don't mind it having some easy pickings as him and his mate are on their third brood, having lost most of the early fledglings to Jackdaws and Magpies.
  As I worked through the catch adding the likes of new-for-the-year Peppered Moth and Pale-grass Eggar into the notebook I noticed an unfamiliar, medium size noctuid in the final egg tray - an Orache Moth, a rare immigrant from the near continent and new for the site, a vision of green and black with distinctive markings on the forewing. Moth catching, it seems, continues to surprise even on this wind-swept coastline.

                                Orache Moth - new for the Plovers trap site

  Over the weekend a few new waders were recorded on the local patch including seven Snipe yesterday, Green Sandpiper and Grey Plover over, plus pulses of Sand Martins and a trickle of Yellow Wagtails today. Second brood Stonechats were abroad this morning along with numerous Common Blues and Migrant Hawkers in the hot sunshine. A count of 320 Coots was made on south lake and, at last, the first brood of Dabchicks was logged.

                                Common Blues were abundant today

                                First grebelets

                                         Stonechat on dead Foxglove

  Evening visits to the bay on a flood tide produced a record count of seven Grey Seals hunting flatfish, plus the usual hundreds of Curlews, Oystercatchers, Sandwich Terns, five Barwits, six Dunlins and a Whimbrel.

                                Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane over Folkestone

  A trip to Hawkinge Battle of Britain museum with guests yesterday and onto The Warren to watch the flypast also delivered a Red Kite over Capel-le-Ferne.
  On a similar note we finished the weekend this afternoon watching the Red Arrows display team over Folkestone from the end of Lade boardwalk. It was a terrific show, easily viewable through the bins in the distance, and at the end of the 30 minutes they flew across the bay and over our heads before heading off inland. In complete contrast the Dutch barque Alamy came into the bay under full sail. The things you see down here...

                                RAF Red Arrows display team

                                Dutch barque Alamy

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