Monday, 27 July 2015

Sensing my dissatisfaction?

I have to admit that, after a late winter and early spring spent stomping the local patches, I was a little deflated. My efforts had resulted in scant reward and I fled to my adopted shingle kingdom on the SE Kent coast which saw me alright with a couple of beautiful White-winged Black Terns and a self-found adult Bonaparte's Gull (not to forget 25 Hobbys in the air together plus the normal breeding specialties). But it is as if the local patch knew of my dissatisfaction and decided to make it better this summer...

The weather has been very hit and miss here in Surrey - a long warm spell (indeed one very hot spell) punctuated by dull periods but not much rain. This has resulted in a good butterfly summer plus a spectacular flowering. I can honestly say that there have been natural history moments spent, not three miles from my home, which will long live in that 'greatest hits' memory bank stored in my head:

The mass emergence of Marbled Whites and Meadow Browns that shimmered over the sward early one morning.

The orchid fields of Park Downs where thousands of Pyramidals and hundreds of Bees made my year.

The discovery of a field on Epsom Downs that was full of arable botanical gems and had a procession of admirers.

More Kidney Vetch and Dropwort in flower than I've seen before.

Maybe these local places and their wonderful wildlife sensed my disquiet and decided to put on a show - it has been enjoyed immensely. I do not take for granted such wonders and can count myself lucky that I live in such a richly diverse area.

Just don't mention the birding...

7 comments:

  1. Truly remarkable Steve, you are very lucky. My patch, The Swale NNR, is about as dead as it can be at the moment. Due mainly to the dryness, pre.weekend, you can count the bird life on one hand and flowers consist mostly of large stands of ragwort and thistles.
    This year you've cracked it mate, don't worry about the birds, just enjoy the botany.

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    1. Your time will surely come Derek, no doubt in the autumn and winter with a veritable raptor and wildfowl show...

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  2. I have enjoyed the botanical twang to this blog over the summer. Hopefully, it will carry on for another month at least.

    Ignore the 'special post' on my blog, it was an inside joke with a friend. I shall post a proper one soon I hope.

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    1. Glad you've enjoyed it Andrew. Also glad that my inability to work out the meaning behind your latest post wasn't just down to feeble mindedness...

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  3. I was going to make a joke about not mentioning the birds but thought better of it! It sounds like you've had a really satisfying time just a stone's throw from your back door. I'm looking forward to another stint of birding soon – haven't been for a wander around the countryside for about a month apart from 45 minutes at Oare one eveningon the way back from seeing my mum. Hasn't helped I'm currently suffering with shingles. Sympathy required.

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    1. Sympathy forthcoming! I had a mild dose of shingles back in January, that some kind wag said was appropriate seeing that I am always banging on about Dungeness. I need to get the birding quota up in this blog if I'm going to achieve a hat-trick of consecutive 'Ramblers'!!!

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    2. You're still favourite for the hat-trick! Not many rivals though apart from Jono. Maybe it's just that some blogs haven't reached my radar but I do get the impression there aren't many like yours (or mine, for that matter) to enjoy. A pity 'Not So Scilly' hasn't made a return – I'm genuinely sad about that – he would definitely have been a rival! Also Tom McKinney – to my mind the most creative birding writer of them all.

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