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Allotment Wildlife

Yesterday morning was partly spent underground in Winchelsea, looking at the ship graffiti in Blackfriars Barn, and a couple of cellars. Emerging, we made our way to our allotment, noting quite a few Silver Y moths on garden lavendar and also Black Horehound. The light seemed very bright, even allowing for our time in the underworld.

There was  more Silver Y action  on our lavender -we have one bed planted with bee /insect attracting flowers- but more impressive was the large number of Common Darters.

These were perching on tops of bamboo canes and fences everywhere, one landed on top of Jill's head and had to be photographed. I didn't notice the bizarre eight wing effect  until I looked at the image on the computer screen- strong light needed to produce such a crisp shadows


Castle Water

Late news for yesterday, an Osprey in flight over the main pit at 7.15 was the highlight from a mornings birding at Castle Water, additional interest was provided by a Common Buzzard over Castle Farm, Kingfisher, 3 Garganey, 2 Greenshank, a Ruff, 300 Swallows and 2 Whinchat.


Winchelsea Beach

I had not noticed previously the crescent of Sea Aster growing along the edge of the old ox-bow. I guess salt must be leaching through from old saltmarsh.

Lots of Whitethroats, Lesser Whitethroats, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs in the scrub this morning, plus Yellow Wagtails, Willow Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Redstart, Whinchat & Wheatear.

Hundreds of Starlings & hirundines.

But the most unexpected bird was a calling Nuthatch, which flew across the Beach Field to the gardens of the Front Ridge.

Read more on RXbirdwalks.



Shrill carder bee on fleabane

One of the Lydd shrill carder bees photographed on fleabane.  We managed to collect DNA samples from 25 bees in N Kent and a further 25 more from Wales this week as part of an attempt to determine where the colonising stock of these insects on Dungeness originated from.



Pett Pools

A short trip to the pools resulted in few birds. The only hoped for migrants in any number were loads of Silver Y feeding on the grassy bank particularly on knapweed. There were a handful of Yellow Wagtail and one very small pulse of hirundine headed eastwards. Wigeon numbers are slowly increasing and there are still a fair number of Little Grebe and Tufted Duck on the pools. The sea was virtually empty but on the shore there were a number of juvenile Sandwich Tern and two Bar-tailed Godwit.