Sunday 19 May 2019

Cup Final v Eurovision

Saturday - warm, dry, cloudy, E 3 - We kicked off at the point where precious little was happening, although the early seawatchers had recorded a Pom and a few terns through. At the Patch a lone Black Tern paused awhile amongst 50 Common Terns and a host of regular gulls. Black Redstart, Wheatear, Mipit, Stonechat, Whitethroat and Linnet were all in song on the land, while the male Peregrine sat atop its usual vantage point on the power station. After tea and a natter at the Obs the sun broke through long enough to encourage a few butterflies on the wing including Small Copper, Small Heath and around the old lighthouse several Brown Argus.

                                Loafing Common Terns, the Patch

                                Fading male Brown Argus by the old lighthouse

  Following on from my recent success with Poms crossing the bay a high tide seawatch hour from the boardwalk at Lade in a freshening easterly delivered five Manx Shearwaters heading west, plus 20 Common Terns, five Black Terns and two Little Terns east. More Sandwich Terns and Gannets could be detected further out.
  It was then back home to watch the most one-sided Cup Final I can remember. Watford are my `second team` after QPR, so it was an unedifying spectacle watching them getting a thrashing from probably the best Premiership team of all time. Enough said...
  The latter part of the evening however was far more entertaining as we hosted a fun Eurovision party at Plovers, as always a bewildering spectacle of primary colours and rubbish songs with a voting system that defies logic - and from a country, Israel, that's not even in Europe! None of that matters though as you`re transported into a surreal world of Euro-trash pop complete with the most outrageous costumes and sets; the Australian act (I know...) were singing from atop a swaying pole!! Many of the acts were simply barmy, but as the evening wore on and the alcohol kicked in it certain gave us all a good laugh. We scored Sweden the winner (The Netherlands won, but who cares!) and put the UK bottom propping up the rest as is now traditional, right and proper - why is everyone so beastly to us! A cracking evening all round though that eventually finished at 1am.

Sunday - mild and overcast, NE 2 - Ran the moth trap last night, for the first time in three weeks, due to the cold nights, and had a pretty decent haul with over 100 macros of 16 species. Tawny Shears and Light Feathered Rustics were in the ascendancy, while it was good to see Mullein and Satin Waves, Buff-tip, Light Brocade and the micro-moth Ethmia bipunctella. I was ably assisted by my 8 year old grandson Albert who reminded me of some of the names I`d forgotten from last year! 
                                Ethmia bipunctella
                                Light Feathered Rustic

  Sitting in the garden this morning in warm sunshine supping tea and watching Holly Blues mating I noticed a brown butterfly settle on one of the wall flowers; it was a Speckled Wood, and rather surprisingly the first I`ve recorded in our coastal garden.
  A check of the pits this morning was notable for Cuckoo activity around the willow swamp and a Greenshank over calling, while an afternoon check of the bay on a falling tide drew a blank apart from the usual waders.

                                Speckled Wood, new for the garden

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