Tuesday, 29 June 2010


Help, I need somebody,got a bit of trouble with one of my memory cards,it wont download,just get card error come up, anyone else had this problem?and is there a solution please.In the last week I have counted 774 common spotted orchids at Samphire Hoe,had a poplar hawk moth,ghost moth and buff tip in my trap,saw my first marbled whites on the cliffs also ringlet and small skipper but photos are sadly locked away.Here are some taken earlier though.

Monday, 21 June 2010


As midsummers day draws near my attention turns more to butterflies dragonflies and flora and last week was quite successful as there were bee orchids,adonis and small blues at Samphire Hoe,Lizard orchids and Southern Marsh orchids along with a small totoishell at Sandwich Bay.Whilst in the hide at Rest Harrow scrape a surprise pair of Barnacle Geese arrived.On friday Paul Holt phoned to ask if I wanted to go to Blean for the Heath Fritillaries,the sun had disappeared by the time we got there but we eventually found two at rest.Later as we returned to the car park there was a brief burst of sunshine just as we walked through the coppice,at the flick of a switch a dozen or more were on the wing providing a fine air display(better than the noisy one at Margate).Looks like the weather is improving so hopefully England will too but I m not holding my breath.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010


On the journey home I planned a small diversion to Collards Hill in Somerset where the Large Blue has been successfully reintroduced after becoming extinct in the UK in1979
Since 2001 it has bred here and is doing very well,conditions seem to be perfect for them with hundreds of ant hills present.The caterpillars trick the ants into believing they are ant grubs and are taken into the ant colony where they live for the next ten months by eating the real ant grubs before emerging in June as an adult.I was lucky to find a mating pair that provided the perfect photo opportunity.This site was also pretty good for orchids,appropriately the Butterfly orchid was among them.It has been a busy week with fair weather,good accommodation, good food, but above all good beer in good pubs.GOODNIGHT.


The Lizard has always held a fascination for me and as choughs have returned here it was a must on this visit,however the young birds fledged two weeks ago and were nowhere to be seen on saturday.The scenery is fantastic  and Annies pasties did not disappoint.A stroll along the clifftop to Kynance Cove was exhillerating and several Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries were on the wing despite the bracing breeze,but still no choughs.On the walk back my first Large Skipper of the year was seen,and the cliff faces were smothered in colourful mediterranean flowers.It was my intention to visit the light house but for some reason it is closed on fridays and saturdays,too many visitors I suppose on those days.It is a disappointingly small and very white lighthouse for the most southerly on the mainland,it should be large and red and white like Plymouths in my opinion.Towards Penzance there is a little known nature reserve at Windmill Farm where Marsh Fritillaries breed,none were seen today and according to the sightings book,two seen the previous weekend were the first for three years.It was a fine place for dragonflies,and damselflies though with hundreds on the wing.There were several willow warblers still singing here and lots of Speckled Wood butterflies.Another full day ,time for a beer.


 When we left Tuckenhay on the Dart estuary my car was covered in Egyptian Goose droppings!a pair of them have nested here and they had spent the night on the lawn of our guest house,mother goose and ten goslings with the male standing guard on my car.Their status is uncertain,maybe escapees from Paignton zoo,but they are certainly living wild now.The lighthouse on Plymouth Hoe once stood on the Eddystone Rock,when it was replaced it was dismantled and re erected there along with statues of Drake and Britannia.Whilst I was up in the lamproom HMS Ocean left the dockyard bound for America for ten weeks on exercise with NATO,dressed overall with officers and ratings on deck she was guided by tugs to the harbour entrance.Over theTamar Bridge into Cornwall ,an hour later we were in the Eden Project,what a marvellous experience,one I enjoyed anyway,the Rainforest domes were superb with lots of exotic plants and even a couple of geckos and two birds possibly, african yellow white eyes,living almost freely.There were lots of common garden birds there and ravens and buzzards soaring overhead.A full day indeed I need a beer.


South Devon is the only place in britain where the Cirl Bunting breeds,last week I was lucky enough to find Prawle Point,you need a degree in navigation or a good sat nav to find it,amongst the maze of narrow steep sided country lanes.Having found the NTcar park down a long even narrower lane we set off along the coast path toward Start Point.It was not long before the first bird was heard singing but this one remained unseen .A few yards further and there he was sitting up proudly proclaiming his territory.Moving on ,as they say,and  on a hedge not a few yards away were four more and one of them was more than happy to be photographed,unfortunately against the light,but never mind.There were other birds about too, a couple of buzzards,ravens,yellowhammers and goldfinches to name a few.Back in the field near the car park some seed had been put down and another pair of birds were feasting alongside house sparrows and chaffinches.Cirl Buntings used to be much more widespread and were last recorded breeding in Kent in 1958 near Maidstone and a male bird was seen annually near St Margarets Bay in the sixties,so who knows they may return one day.

Monday, 7 June 2010


Sunday,Rolls Royce cars of every style and vintage rolled onto Dover seafront as part of the centenary celebrations of Charles Rolls first return flight across the channel in 1910.Here are just a few of the older ones.After this I ,went to the Danes to watch a bit of cricket, we were getting a bit of a hiding but the cumulo nimbus had some promise.Later at home there was another shower this one producing a good rainbow.