Sunday, 24 May 2009

Standing on the shoulders of giants

East Kent has been host to a cracking bird for the last fortnight - a Black-Winged Pratincole. I eventually twitched it (it would have been impolite not to) and it's a stunner. It gave an aerobatic display for half an hour, taking insects in the breeze, looking like a cross between a house martin and a tern.
The photo is not mine (I am unworthy) but by Dr Ray - who also took some excellent pics of three spoonbills that flew over Grove, shown here.

More pleasing visitors are spotted flycatchers, now back to a regular nestsite near here. Thanks to the Planet Thanet crew for the info some years ago.
Back at Campbell's Garage (small blue hotspot), they were busy egg-laying in the sunshine.
Greenie has got me looking for butterfly eggs - is that one on the leaf? A much better observer than I has reported 54 small blues at this site this week; I was particularly pleased to see individuals at separate sites up and down the coast today.
The first flowers of yellow-horned poppy, sea pea and tree mallow were seen along the beach at Walmer; last year I posted a picture of tree mallow seeds, and Ann commented that the flowers must be spectacular. I've waited three seasons to show her.

Finally, a few days ago we saw these strange clouds at sunset, and Kaddy explained that they are virga from altocumulus clouds, also known as 'jellyfish'. The trails are precipitation of rain or ice, which evaporate before reaching the ground.
Thank you, giants all.


Anonymous said...

Amazing (genie) clouds, Steve - several Aladdin's lamps must be just out of sight below the horizon.

Greenie said...

Steve ,
That last shot of the Spotted Flycatcher is great .
That is a really good sized colony of Small Blue you have there .
Their egg is small , white and disc shaped , quoting from the bible , looks good from here .
Superb cloud shot , unusual .
Disappointed that there was no picture of you , standing on someone's shoulders in the post !

Warren Baker said...

well wierd, that cloud formation steve. Good to see spot. fly's doing ok.

Mary said...

Really cool clouds! I've never seen anything like that. Glad you are finding your usual mix of wonderful birds and butterflies.