Thursday, 30 May 2013

Once more unto the beach, dear friends

A new house, a new patch and a new transect. And just to make it interesting, a new technology ..... a tablet, so we'll see how we get on. And just for the record, I'm using a new version of ACDSee which, while not free like the previous one, is much easier to use.

Anyway, back to the transect.......

I had mapped out a butterfly transect that covered the shingle beach, varied grassland, chalk downland, mature trees and suburban gardens.
As luck would have it, however, on my very first walk I met a local chap who I knew had covered this general area for years, but whom I had never met.
He confirmed that he already does a transect that incorporates part of my planned route, so that I can reduce my treks by about half in the safe knowledge that the other half is in good hands.
Fortunately, the remainder covers a shingle hollow that holds kidney vetch and small blues, and I'll spend a lot of time here this summer I hope. A count of 11 small blues made it into the notebook, which was a pleasing start. Nearby, two male common blues fluttered together, out early on the razzle, presumably.

The rest of the walk included holly blues, a selection of whites and two speckled woods promising a reasonable amount of interest in the coming months. [As a point of interest, 33 small blues, a small copper and a small heath were reported at the Campbells Garage site by the "local chap" on the same day].

On the botanical front, further up the beach were 16 early spider orchids, the "early" part of the name being somewhat of a misnomer this year.

Later in the weekend, a cool breeze but bright sunshine prompted a long-overdue visit to Monkton Nature Reserve, which turned out to be a little gem. Recovered from a council plan to turn a chalk quarry into a landfill site, it is a wonderful natural oasis hemmed in by busy roads. It also has an astronomical observatory and an excellent second-hand bookshop - we immediately became members, and shall return in a couple of weeks when the orchids should be out.

A few man orchids were starting to bloom, but the prize for me was three green hairstreaks that hung around to be photographed. Unfortunately I haven't yet found a software package that removes pesky blades of grass, darn it.

So dear friends, after many changes.... here's to the future!


Phil Smith said...

hi steve good luck with your new patch looks promising,assume you met mike sykes.never been to monkton ,looks well worth a visit.

ZielonaMila said...

Great post, wonderful photos:) Greetings