Monday, 4 June 2012

Jubilee Weekend

Its Bank Holiday and the Jubilee weekend, so inevitably its cold and wet.

Saturday we took a snap decision to visit Kent as I had heard that Late Spider Orchids were coming into flower-we missed them the last few years. The only location I knew was Wye Downs, but I did not have any specific directions, but Colin had obtained a grid reference. We arrived at 0930 and found the wind to be rather strong, cold and very wet underfoot.
We walked down to the grid ref, finding a small colony of Common Fragrant Orchids on  a bank along a lane-there were a few Common Spotted coming into flower as well. Searching the location failed to find any sort of orchids, and none of the cages we expected to see for the Spiders. Several large stands of Deadly Nightshade were found though.
 After returning to the car we searched the hillside and I found many more fragrants, and eventually a single Bee Orchid. A couple of butterflies were seen-some Small Heath and a single Adonis Blue.

 Sunday was very wet, not ideal for the Jubilee Flotilla on the Thames but I stayed in to watch as there was little point going out.

 Today with better weather I spent the morning at Amwell. The cold northerly wind was not pleasant and we had several light showers too.
 Large numbers of Swifts feeding over the water-apparently 500 were counted, with similar numbers of House Martins and some Sand Martin and Swallows too.
 The Oystercatchers are still around, but the three chicks did not make it. Redshank are still displaying but wether anything will happen now is debatable-it seems a bit late. Lots of juvenile Herons too, though I don't think the Purple lookalike is around.
 Few raptors most of the morning but a few Buzzards, three Hobby and a few Kestrel and Kites did show eventually. The Hobbys were hunting the martins due to the lack of suitable insects

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