Friday, 6 July 2012

Shingle minded

It's been a while since I posted. The reason being, my mid-life crisis - a cry for help, call it what you will. Back in february I fancied taking the whole of July off and 'doing' natural history. My boss - aka my wife - said yes, (how Katrina puts up with me I don't know) so selecting anywhere in the world to go I settled on... Dungeness! I know, I could be watching hummingbirds in the Amazon or gorillas in Rwanda, but instead I have elected to stay on the shingle of my youth. So far, a week in, it has been a good choice. Cheap accommodation and marvellous weather while everyone else seems to be getting wet.

Because of the wet spring and even wetter early summer the shingle has flowered like never before. There are literally millions of blooms colouring the peninsula, like a grand desert extravaganza. Nottingham Catchfly, a local species, is abundant. Sheep's-bit is strewn across the pebbles. Viper's-bugloss is vibrant. I have managed to photograph quite a few new species for my 'photo list', including Yellow Vetch, Small-flowered Catchfly and Sand Catchfly.

It has not been conducive for big catches of migrant moths - or small catches of migrant moths for that matter - but I have still seen Langmaid's Yellow Underwing and Evergestis limbata, although both are considered colonisers here.

My pan listing is rumbling along, although I am acting laid back and have decided not to chase everything. And if I'm being honest not feeling nearly competent enough to start calling the lichens, mosses, beetles etc that have come my way. I've taken pictues of bugs that will be looked at several weeks from now. Internet connection is slow, so no images I'm afraid. They will appear later. Much later.

By the way, Dungeness Bird Observatory has had a major upgrade, with a new kitchen, flooring and a wall-mounted f-off TV. It helps while away the down-time...


Gavin Haig said...

Good post title Steve :o)

I once took the whole family to DBO for a long weekend. My wife still dines out on the anecdotes. She swears to this day that the bluebottle which staggered slowly out of the bathroom was the size of a fist, and that you could comfortably have stuffed a mattress with what was lurking in the shower tray...

Give my regards to DW ;o)

Jerry said...

Nice one Steve, just hope the weather improves a little fo us all (envious of the Langmaid's Y U)!