Apart from a brief visit from a pair in spring, there seemed to be no kestrels at the usual nesting site on the cliffs this year. This morning, however, two birds were seen flying at the hole, with a great deal of noise. Soon, a youngster flew a little way along the cliff and clung to a small outcrop.
One can imagine Johnny Morris giving words to the fledgling's cries.
I have a question.......
...in mid-May this year the great influx of Painted Lady butterflies started, peaking towards the end of the month with estimates of millions flying across the channel and up through the country. Most of these were ragged individuals, understandably so after their flight from north Africa, and the number of sightings fell to single figures in subsequent weeks.
For the last week, however, fresh individuals are all over the place, with ten or so being commonplace on a single buddleia bush. Now....since we all know that none of the insect's life-stages can survive a European winter, do we surmise that these new arrivals have developed from eggs laid by the first wave two months ago, or have they flown in from elsewhere?
I blithely expressed the former opinion to Jack, who asked 'are you sure?' which is his gentle way of saying 'you are probably wrong, so go and check your facts - but I'm not going to exclude the chance that you might be right'. A true gentleman.
Ploughman's Spikenard. Spikenard was mediterranean herb used by Mary Magdalene to anoint Christ's feet before the last supper, so presumably this is the poor ploughman's substitute. It is 'a singular remedy to heale inflamations,' according to Gerard 'and the smell therof povoketh sleepe'.