Sunday 30 June 2019

Moths and butterflies

Lade - warm, cloudy, sw 2 - A mixed weekend of weather with a hot, sunny Saturday tempered somewhat by an easterly breeze off the bay and despite all the warnings about covering up from the sun`s rays there was still plenty of grockles stripped semi-naked on the beach the colour of poached lobsters. The temperature and humidity peaked in the evening as the wind relented, while the garden moth trap was abuzz with insects as small bats flickered over the fir trees.

                                Beautiful China-mark

  I was expecting a bumper catch this morning, but I awoke at 5am to cover the trap only to find the local House Sparrows had already been busy... However, 36 species of macros were logged including Common Carpet and Lesser Common Rustic, plus the smart pyrale, Beautiful China-mark.

                                Marbled White along the old railway track

  Across the weekend several visits to the local patch delivered good numbers of grassland butterflies on the wing; a wander along a 400yd section of the old railway track logged 48 Marbled Whites and 21 Painted Ladies, while skippers and browns were in the hundreds.
  The wind had swung around overnight bringing with it fresh Atlantic air to clear the southern plume from Africa. With the water level falling rapidly on south lake the usual summer island has begun to appear at the southern end attracting a few gulls and Coots. I didn`t hear the Cuckoos, so maybe they`ve already done the off having hopefully raided the numerous Reed Warbler nests.
  This afternoon was spent with family in Folkestone attending the Armed Forces Day festival on the Leas where the highlight was the ever popular RAF Red Arrows displaying over the Channel.
  Elsewhere this weekend the Serin was still at Littlestone and two Black Terns were noted on Burrowes yesterday.

                                Red Arrows over Folkestone

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