Tuesday 1 September 2020

In search of Ospreys - 1st September 2020

I tend not to go far on Bank Holiday Weekends and with the Numptyometer still in the red around here there was time to sort out a few bits in the garden as well as a little surreptitious Rede Common scrumping of Damsons and Brambly Apples. There was a chill autumnal feel to the grey air but there were still insects to be found including Volucella inanis and pellucens, Episyrphus balteatus and Myathropa florea representing the Hovers and Bombus pascuorum and terrestris still visiting flowers.  There were many Common Wasps around and Speckled Woods and Small Whites while Migrant Hawkers zipped around the lee of the Sycamores.

Volucella inanis

Volucella pellucens

A Chiffchaff called and a Siskin headed over along with a solitary House Martin.  The female Sparrowhawk terrorised the House Sparrows and two Ravens kronked over.

The winds had dislodged quite a few cobnuts which I collected and I extricated my new potatoes that I tub planted in the spring from two old ones that had developed the power of sight.  My tub of Carrots gave me a few for dinner and even the Grapes are beginning to ripen but it was the giant Tomatoes that needed the most help as they are so laden down with enormous beefsteak fruit and some extra creative support structures were required.

Toms, Carrot and Cobnuts from garden and my scrumped Damsons and Apples

Carrots and New Pots

This morning was a new month and it dawned clear and bright so after a few chores I headed out along the Medway in search of a walk.  I chose well and parked up in Lower Halstow at the entrance to the old Brickfields and enjoyed a very pleasant walk for a few miles along the river wall back towards Otterham Creek.  

The tides was well on the way back in and I hoped that this would push any waders closer to me.  It was quite disappointing to discover that almost without exception they were humble Redshanks and I ended up with singles of Grey Plover, Whimbrel, Turnstone, Oystercatcher and Black-tailed Godwit along with a few Lapwing and a distant raft of Avocet.

Black-headed and Common Gulls and Redshanks

Golden Samphire


Hazy Whimbrel

A single Common and six Sandwich Terns fished on the incoming waters and two wildfowling boats were tearing up and down in an effort to find something to shoot on the first day of the season.  Ninety-two Wigeon were an early surprise and thankfully well out of their way. I inherently do not have a problem with wildfowling but pushing waders from their high tide roosts in your camo boat is not really on.

The Thistle

Black-headed Gull

Disturbed Little Egrets

I was on the lookout for Ospreys but had no joy although there was a constant swirl of activity of Chetney with about ten each of Marsh Harrier and Buzzard often all spiralling together and several hovering Kestrels.

Whitethroat and Chiffchaff moved along the bramble and briar patches as I walked along and two Whinchat left the ditch reeds and headed for a mid-field hedge. 

I do like a spotty Starling

Yellow, Grey and Pied Wagtails called overhead and a few Swallows twittered away. It had a nice autumnal feel to it.  the local Pear and Apple orchards were heavily laden with fruit and it will not be too long before the thrushes arrive to feast on the windfalls.

the oilrig structures are growing

And I found this strange and slightly freaky thing in the woods

I decided to pop into Queendown Warren on the way home to see if anything was still on the wing on this lovely warm day. I was not disappointed with Adonis, Chalk Hill and Common Blues, Brown Argus, Small Whites, Small Heaths, Gatekeepers and a host of Meadow Browns still flicking around. Most however were very tatty and males were still chasing down the last females in the hope of a final roll in the Marjoram.   

Adonis Blue

Adonis Blue

Chalk Hill Blue

Common Mangled Blue

Brownish Argus

Brownish Argus

Muddy Brown

Square Spot Rustic
Dancing Chalk Hill Blues


I was hoping for Clouded Yellow but once again it eluded me. Big clumps of one of the Boletus mushrooms were pushing through the sward. I think they may be Penny Bun but happy to be advised!

Lunch beckoned and I headed for home and with grub in hand I was entertained by three Hobbies overhead as I sat up the garden. A Red Admiral came to visit me and bask in the sunshine. 

Red Admiral

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