This blog about a mixed day today starts with yesterday, in typical Wellsy fashion, when this Painted Lady appeared in the garden late in the afternoon. It is the first we've seen this year, although I am aware others been seen back in the spring round about. Anyway, from the look of the state of it's wings it's had a hard life so far and may well have travelled a long way to us, for it was very intent on feeding at the Verbena bodensae beside our patio
After a damp night including a few flashes of lightning and heavy rain, I found very few birds until I got to the South Foreland Valley where John Clements' nets were out, and catching tens of Blackcaps. Also ringed and released was this Lesser Whitethroat, lovely little bird
and this noisy female Great Spotted Woodpecker, which was eventually ringed after drawing blood from John's thumb
Then it was home to a late breakfast and a delve into the moth trap, finding fewer moths than recently, but this first for the year, a Feathered Gothic. That blob beneath it turned out to be a very worn Spectacle - so much so that it's flying officer Biggles "goggles" markings on its head were all but indistinguishable. Another moth that declined to stay and be photographed
After lunch we took Matt to Shepherds Well station in the rain to see Oliver Crumble come by heading a steam train to and from Faversham. Nancy came too and took this photo of me looking a complete pratt just to amuse you!
Oliver Cromwell is a BR built standard class 8 engine named after historical characters. We were discussing an earlier visit by this engine a while ago, again over lunch which had just included a superb apple crumble. Young Matthew heard the conversation and became muddled by Cromwell, and Crumble - understandably I guess. Anyway he piped up and asked could he and Grandad go to see Oliver Crumble - so thats what its been called ever since.
Here it is being dragged back up to Favvers by a Class 47 diesel after visiting Dover
Later Nancy and I had a very pleasant walk at Samphire Ho and watched the train go by on its way back to London