Friday, 18 July 2008

Thursday 17th July

On possibly the worst day of the week in tersm of weather I snatched the opportunity to go off patch and down to New Hythe to see if any Purple Hairstreaks were barving the wind anad rain. With some directions from Steve Nunn, Mike Easterbrook and managed flitting glimpses of 3 (or maybe just the same single) Purple Hairstreak high up in a Ash tree at the south end of Abbeymeads. On the way back to the car Mike pointed out a couple of plants of White Mullein, but no camera with me to record the fact!

After the early evening rain I was still itching to get out, and taking a major detour on my way to East Malling for a party, I found myself walking along the River Medway east from Tonbridge. I'd be prompted by Carol Goulden's report of a Grasshopper Warbler near a lock east of the town. I arrived late, 20:30 to be precise, and having ticked off a Kingfisher I loitered, listening for the distinctive reeling that would give my quarry away. Nothing. I noticed a Barn Owl box acros the river, and as the light died hoped to get a glimpse of a quartering owl. Nothing. About to give up, I suddenly heard a light, faint reel. Moving across the lock, it intensified and very soon I'd located it's position. There it was, a Grasshopper Warbler, gap wide open reeling away - I though they were a hard species to spot! It took flight after a minute or so and perched across the stem of a Hogweed, pausing momentarily before go full blast again. Too dark for photos, but an excuse to appreciate this fantastic little bird.

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