Sunday, June 19, 2016

Heath Fritillary

Another great field trip led by the Kent Wildlife Trust to West Blean Woods for the Heath Fritillary.

Thankfully it was a warm sunny morning and there were plenty on the wing with six to seven flying around their favoured foot-plant the common cow-wheat.

Saturday, June 11, 2016


Kat's birthday weekend away and a long awaited trip to Brugge.  Only two and a half hours of road to rubber time with of course a Eurotunnel journey in between, it's a mystery as to why this trip hadn't been made sooner.

Brugge is a truly stunning city.  Despite the indifferent weather conditions, the city was a buzz of locals and tourists dining in the many restaurants and bars that line vibrant streets.  They entice you after a visit to any one of the striking historical buildings the city is renowned for.

The city's centrepiece is the 13th century Belfry of Bruges towering high over the market square.  The 272 feet tower offers great views over the city on all sides, and the collection of bells strike at fifteen minute intervals.  The metallurgical work to create the colossal bells and to then transport them up into the bell tower was an outstanding effort.

A real highlight on the Saturday evening was a recital of Queens Greatest Hits with the church bells and organ.

The city is a joy to wander round, but with the canal running through the heart of the city, boat excursions can be made to provide a different perspective to the city.

We had dinner at the charming Bistro Zwart Huis serving great food combining a suffused ambiance with a splendidly sophisticated service.  It was empty when we arrived and full to the rafters by the time we left.

Street-side musicians added to the atmosphere as groups of tourists ambled by, poking heads into quaint shops, or making the most of the many photo opportunities provided by this attractive city.

And of course it would have been rude not to have indulged in a waffle and a coffee.  They were hard to resist.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Strumpshaw Fen RSPB

A trip to Strumpshaw Fen RSPB for Swallowtail Butterfly.  What a treat and so very lucky to have happened across newly emerged specimens and such a beautiful thing too.  Today was the first day of real warmth for a while, so the butterflies were just enjoying basking in the summer sunshine.

There were at least seven Painted Lady on site today.

Plenty of wonderful Odanata and inverts too.  At least three Hairy Dragonfly were seen and half a dozen of these Scarce Chasers.

Then this brute parked up on the path - an emergent Black-tailed Skimmer taking in the warmth of the sun.

There were some interesting insects too like these Cinnamon Bug and Shield Bug.

An immigrant Silver Y was enjoying the sunshine too.

Damselflies seen today were the Large Red, Common Blue, and this Blue-Tailed.

The were plenty of Marsh Harrier on site with reportedly ten breeding pairs.  A Hobby shot through mid-afternoon.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Poland - 4

Before flying home, I took a two hour walk round the woodland close to Kat's parents house.  And it was fantastic considering this is suburban Warsaw barely 30 minutes to the airport.

At least six singing Wood Warbler were present, two Pied Flycatcher, three Common Redstart, two singing Golden Oriole, a Crested Tit, and a Common Buzzard.