This was a four-bite weekend, with the worst ones in the Sandwich area (as you can imagine, they are particularly painful in the Sandwich area). There have been complaints about biting insects for years around here, but they seem to have reduced recently, perhaps due to various eradication measures.
Anyway, I was stupid enough not to put on the spray, and suffered the consequences.
I was tramping the saltmarshes of Sandwich Bay in search of Deptford Pinks, but I saw none (no-see-um hehe), but that doesn't mean they aren't there - just that I didn't find them.
There were plenty of pink blooms to be seen on the walk, but not the right ones - extensive drifts of Sea Lavender, and also some cultivated flowers grown by the farmers along the field edges, presumably to attract pollinating insects.
There was plenty of Sea Bindweed foliage but few flowers - Sea Holly by contrast is looking good at the moment. This one had attracted a Turnip Sawfly, which from reports seem to have swarmed in last week, but are now few in number - have they moved inland, I wonder?
More Painted Ladies were seen, and it will be interesting to know where sightings have been this year.
It was a good weekend for butterflies, but not good enough to provide me with a sight of the Folkestone Graylings (no-see-em either). Common Blues are frequent, even in my garden, and further sightings of Small Tortoiseshells are encouraging after its recent mystery decline.
Blackfly are being harvested by ladybirds and other larger insects, which in turn feed...
....the birds, now reappearing after their quiet time, with this juvenile Dunnock actually stopping for a photo-opportunity.