After several days of uncomfortably hot temperatures, it was back to just having to endure a moderately 'hot' day, with the added bonus of a moderate easterly breeze. Yesterday afternoon, Gordon Hay took on the role as a 'Mad dog' or an 'Englishman' by going out to Holmethorpe in the midday sun, and finding a Lesser Emperor, a species of Odonata that we both thought long overdue at the sand pits. This morning, I tried to emulate him. On arrival there was not an awful lot yet on the wing, so I walked along the northern side of Mercer's Lake and kept one eye on the water's edge for any dragonfly action. A few were flying as I reached the north-eastern corner, so edged down to be closer - Black-tailed Skimmers and Emperor Dragonflies, with a few Common Blue Damselflies for company. A fallen tree, partially submerged and only 25m from where I stood, was acting as a perch for a number of Black-headed Gulls. I idly scanned them, realising that in the water alongside was a juvenile Mediterranean Gull (above) - I do believe that this is the first juvenile that I have seen in Surrey.
I didn't locate the Lesser Emperor, although I was pleased to find a good stand of Small Cudweed, a plant I first found on site over 20 years ago, but thought had gone. Also of note was this Pickerelweed, growing in the pond at Nutfield Marsh.