I've had a couple of short trips to New Hythe lakes recently. Bird wise it's been very quiet as is to be expected I suppose. Alongside Abbey Mead a Chiffchaff was singing and was pre-occupied enough to let me take a quick picture.
Talking of Abbey Mead, there was a Buff-cheeked Trembler standing in the fisherman's swim in the south east corner of the lake. No, not a rare species of wader but a naked man. I kid you not. A discreet squint through the bins revealed what I think was a towel and a pile of clothes nearby so I think the intention was nothing more sinister than a very chilly swim. A bit risky swimming alone in a gravel pit though, people lose their lives doing that each summer.
Other than the 'Trembler' a Common Tern on Brooklands and a couple of juvenile Nightingales, above, were the main highlights really. Having said that, large areas are inaccessible now due to burgeoning undergrowth. The sunken marsh being one area, there could be all sorts of goodies unseen there. Or not.
With the Ragwort just beginning to flower, the Cinnabar moth caterpillar numbers are growing too. Don't know if they get predated, yellow and black generally says watch out!
Talking of dragons, I paid a quick visit to my local Quarry Wood reserve to see if any were on the wing there. Around the small ponds were just a few red and blue damsels and a single Beautiful Demoiselle. Still no dragons but things are moving as you can see by the pictures above and below. Sorry the bottom one is so poor, it was a bit distant.
I did find another couple of White-legged damselflies away from the ponds though and managed to get a picture. This is only my second record of this species, both from Quarry Wood. I also saw just one Brown Hawker along one of the sunnier tracks.
I struggle a bit with the white butterflies. I think this is a Small White, a female who has just been set upon by three males. The raised abdomen is a rebuff. The gang of three eventually got the message and moved on.
Lastly for Quarry Wood was this colourful little Sloe Bug I think. As ever i'll stand corrected.
Just a couple of pics taken in the back garden this afternoon after returning from the joys of the Bluewater Retail Experience. Mmmm, don't know about the joys bit.
Surely Small Tortoiseshells must be having a bumper year, they seem to be everywhere (I forgot to mention them on the New Hythe round up). Our garden is full of them, all day long. The Preferred flower, by a mile, is Lavender. They can be a bit territorial, I watched one in particular, twice see off a large Bumblebee which had the nerve to enter the Lavender patch.
And finally, my first Common Darter of the year and I think the first in my garden since we moved here. Three Kestrels high overhead this afternoon, calling loudly, a family group probably. Loads of Mistle Thrushes around too, which is nice.