Thursday, 15 July 2021

Birthday Barney

Lade - warm, dry and sunny, N 2 - At last the return of summer with a high pressure system moving in from the Azores delivering settled weather and welcome sunshine after a dreary first half of July. So far on the local patch butterfly transects along the old railway line track have been disappointing but I`ve got high hopes of a decent count over the weekend; already this morning a few Marbled Whites were on the wing. One benefit of the recent high rainfall though has mean`t that the wild flowers and grasses on the shingle ridges are in terrific condition with great swathes of floral colour everywhere. Two Whimbrels were heard today, one over Lade with the Curlews and another over St Mary`s Bay. Like most locals I spent a fair bit of time regularly scanning the skies this morning as a Black Stork reported flying over Dover and Folkestone may have been heading our way. 

                                  Fresh Painted Lady on bramble flower

On the bay gull numbers continue to be attracted to the gloopy mud at slack water and yesterday 10 Sandwich Terns dropped in; quite an event as they`ve been few in number this year, while at high tide fishing Grey Seals are still present. I was considering having my first sea swim of summer over the coming days, but after learning of the outrageous performance of Southern Water dumping tons of untreated sewerage into the rivers and sea along the Kent coastline I may well reconsider...

                                 Barney at 15, still enjoying his daily outings

On a brighter note my trusty birding companion Barney is 15 years old today! You may not see him out and about as often as in the past but he always accompanies us on our daily two mile tour of Lade pits. 

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