Friday, 23 March 2012

Stodmarsh in the fog

This morning was a rare treat, no volunteer driving or other commitments, so I promised myself an early visit to Stodmarsh. When I mentioned this to Phil at the Bay last night, he was keen to come along. So him and me went off there, approximately 38 years since we first went to Stodmarsh together when he showed me the place for the first time, soon after Nancy and me moved to Folkestone from Romsey. Unfortunately the nearer we got today, the ficker the fog, oh well. Hoping to see newly arrived Garganey, we headed for the Marsh Hide, enjoying the foggy atmosphere 


I found it irresistible to photograph these foggy tree pictures

There was some early blossom too, very strongly fragrant in the still moist air

When we got to the Marsh Hide the view was more than somewhat restricted
Consequently birds were few, not helped by the herbert already in the hide when we got there, dropping things and clattering about generally, so after a while, having seen the fog lift enough to show no Garganey in view (but several Snipe and Redshank, I'm pleased to report) we set off for Harrison's Drove, with more arty crafty photos en route

This shadowy figure in the murk was Phil

Just a few Shelduck from the hide there, so we went down to David Feast's hide, where this stroppy jalopy Swan was doing his macho thing. According to Phil he was doing the same a few days ago - today he was giving a Greylag Goose a hard time, what a poser

Misty picture of a Little Grebe was rather nice

Heading back up the river bank I found these delightful milkmaids, the first of the spring, super delicate flowers

Then came a male Marsh Harrier overhead, wonderful views in the sun now the fog cleared, have a look at Phil's blog (Kearsneybirder) for even better pics of the birds today

To compensate for not finding Garganey; in the car park having a reviving coffee my eye was taken by this superb specimen Silver Birch, probably overlooked or ignored by every visitor to the place!

And finally, moth trapping most nights produces more typical species for the time of year - see previous blog - with the addition of this lovely Shoulder Stripe, complete with sticky-up bum. Not in the trap, but tucked away nearby, exactly as Waring and Townsend say they do!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Moths and other spring things

At last moths are coming to my trap, starting with this Early Grey

 The first Dotted Border

and this lovely pristine Common Quaker

This Beetle made young Mathew jump when he lifted the eggbox out with it in!!

This Clouded Drab was a beauty, too, and so very purple with that fine red line, handsome

This one was a bit darker 

Best moth this morning was this Oak Beauty

Sadly the cold spell has killed dragonfly nymphs in the pond, there were 3 dead ones yesterday

There are more frogs in the pond now than in all of Calais! 

Theystarted spawning yesterday

This bloke has been showing off again, he does a superb bicycle bell impression

The Junipers in the garden are producing literally clouds of pollen too