Saturday, 28 May 2011

Up to date : Wedding, Moths, birds and Dragons!

Ok then it's nearing the middle of the year, it's a Bank Holiday it's dull outside, Louise is up North having seen Take That in Sunderland, I've got a bit of spare time and in order to prevent Mr Faulkner abandoning me forever I've decided to post. When I first started this blog a few years ago I used to spend huge amounts of time updating it, but I rarely seem to find the time to update now though do enjoying reading many blogs especially the Thanet based ones, Sheppey and my second favourite county in Britain, those from Devon.

To re cap the last few months then, I'll take you back to Dengemarsh and Springfield Bridge where Phil Saunders and Josh Jenkins Shaw started off a mini twitch with the Odonata Elite of the UK (well Dragonfly twitchers really)!

Vagrant Emperor was the target and very smart it was too looking rare as in vagrant but without a vagrants bottles of whiskey! This really is a Dragonfly meag and was widely tipped as about to set wing on UK soil as a result of huge numbers recently seen across other parts of Europe. On arrival on Bank holiday Monday all was looking pretty grim as the quarry failed to show in the slightly cooler temperature compared to the day before but luck was on our side when a timely phone call from Terrington Laws found JT and myself rushing back to Dengemarsh from the ARC and there it was winging it's way up and down the Pike ditch, a corking Vagrant Emperor yet another Odonata UK lifer. It wont be long now before someone achieves a full 50 species for the UK if the Dainties show this year and a few other new UK species turn up.

The small crowd above shows Phil Heath and Steve Whitehouse just before they left the site to twitch a local fridge for a few new Moth ticks !!
The Vagrant..........MEGA

Another trip to Dunge found JT and myself dipping on Crane and a Collared Prat, but once again the birding Gods were on our side when Steve Broyd then Mike B found two Red rumped Swallows on the RSPB reserve which gave good views for the next hour or so amongst the Swifts and other hirundines. Dunge really is having a cracking spring, and with Roseate Tern, Hobby, Little Gull and BTD made the day a great success despite the no show Prat!

April 28th 2011, the day I thought would never come and my childhood statement of 'I'll never get married' was broken!

Anyway it was a cracking day, everything went like clockwork thanks to our families and other guests, and especially to the staff of Leeds Castle who were simply superb. Now me being me, you wouldn't expect to attend even my own wedding without my bins and this paid off with a cracking pair of Spot Shanks and LRPs on the main lake, plus Peregrine, Med Gulls and stacks of hirundines. I never knew weddings could be so much fun and bird filled!! Our honeymoon was to be based in Devon at Crowdy Mill, Harbertonford with Tawny Owl outside and Dipper on the river viewed from the window.

Ok, the wedding went without a hitch but the car rebelled at Budleigh and we were towed to Exeter to exchange for a courtesy car called Kirsty ( a honeymoon with two girls) !! The steering rack had gone on the car and lots of money later we were reunited with our car. Anyway, our dog Forrest (not the little one in the picture above, that's a local) enjoyed being in a people carrier for a few days.

I had to take a photo of this, if you've watched Little Britain you'll know what I'm talking about.

Despite all my attempts I never did manage to see Ring Ousel on Dartmoor but I did find this photo om my memory card, that someone found very funny indeed!! Cheers Wifey!

No trip to Devon is complete without seeing Cirl Bunt, will we ever all see one on Kentish soil again?
Back home, another sighting of Red Kite, they are becoming extremely regular in Kent these days and reminds me of my first at Dunge in Dec in the early 1980's when it was still very rare in Kent.

The mothing continues this year with my first ever spring and it really has been both taxing on ,my ageing brain and great fun with loads of new lifers, just like when I first started birding way back in 1978. Above is White Satin

The Snout, a really great looking moth with a nose to be proud of.

Small Magpie

Big Magpie

Corn Bunting at Cliffe
Finally I will attempt to keep things up to date, (you've heard that one before) It's now 1pm, I'm hungry and I need to get the mansion ready again for the Take That wanderers arrival later today.