Wednesday, 23 September 2015

A few moments in the life of a Tornado, and other stories

During recent unsettled weather (which included the wettest September since we came to St Margaret's 21 years ago) this mini Tornado appeared over the church, and for a few minutes looked as though it might develop further

It didn't last long, became a bit wispy

and then fizzled out, probably just as well. Those passing gulls don't seem to be impressed

A few days later this rabbit appeared in the same bit of sky

Last weekend Samphire Hoe hosted a Big Migration Watch. Yours truly contributed reports from South Foreland and Langdon Hole. Mark was trapping and ringing that morning, including this nice and brown Song Thrush, probably therefore a UK bird, not continental (see later)

This Robin is a "this year's bird"; that is to say a "3" in ringing terms, or one hatched this spring

This Chiffchaff was also a "3" and one of many around just now

There were also the first tiny little Goldcrests of the autumn, including this female

and also this Male, with the lovely rich red colour in his crest

smashing little bird

In the search for more migrants to report in, I made my way to Langdon Hole to cover it in Mr Smith's absence. There were large numbers of Swallows and Martins there, swooping around and perching on the fence

It wasn't until I downloaded the pictures from my camera at home that I found this intriguing sight

among the Swallows in this frame was a bird with a very rusty-coloured chest. It's perched beside the post next to the Sand Martin. That may well be  a Scandinavian bird, by my reckoning. I suppose Sweden to UK isn't much compared with all the way to South Africa

In Mr Smith's absence it fell to me to photograph this unusual thing being dragged down channel 

Today we went to Covert Wood to enjoy a welcome bit of sunshine

and a hatch of pristine Commas

The sunlight on this last flower on the Rosebay Willowherb was irresistible

This afternoon in the garden there were solitary bees of unknown species (for me) busy about their business excavating holes to lay eggs, deposit food parcels, and leave next year's generation to fend for itself - fascinating stuff

Also had my attention drawn to these caterpillars on a Rose, will look them up when I get my book back from Matthew. (Thanks to Bill, they are Buff-tip Moth caterpillars)

And finally, on the subject of seeing things after downloading the pictures, this Field Grasshopper on the wateringcan handle a few days ago appears to have lost a leg!

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