Thursday, 28 August 2008

Always check for yourself!

Wandering through the lanes, on my way from Sandwich to Grove Ferry I came to one of the small villages, of which there are many in the Stour Valley.

I can't recall noticing Elmstone before. It is a "scattered" village and at a cross roads stands an interesting Norman Church.

The flint building has a flat topped west tower, nave, aisle and chancel. It is early Norman and according to Syms its provenance can be confirmed by the structure of the windows. Although I really like looking at these old buildings I know little about the architecture and will take his word for it.

One thing that really surprised me was this notice. I don't think I have ever come across a church before that isn't dedicated to some saint or another. I'm sure there are others but none that I know of.

It was interesting to see that Elmstone was mentioned in the Domesday book and that it has gone through so many name changes Aelvestone, Ealmestane, Elmerstone and Elmeston all proceeded the current name.

According to a WEB site about Church Bells in Kent, the 13th century Tower has three bells that were originally cast in 1758, two of which have been recast one in 1808 and one in 1962 when the tower was refurbished. Although the Church is basically in the "back of beyond" according to Syms, it's certainly worth a look if your interested in the history of the area.

At Grove I decided to have a wander down to the turf hide and walked down with another birder. We'd been told there was a Greenshank there. When we got in the hide I saw it at the back of the pool with a Little Egret and told Malcolm. As I looked it dawned on me something wasn't right. At this moment Malcolm said "have another look at the Greenshank" and I replied "your going to tell me it's a Spotted Redshank, I've just noticed that myself". So although one shouldn't be sceptical about what people tell you, it does pay to check!

Today I spent a ridiculous amount of time going through my moth traps. After a poor few weeks today there were a lot. Not a huge diversity but all together I had about 680 macro moths of which 280 were Large Yellow Underwings and 108 Setaceous Hebrew Characters. The star of the show was a somewhat worn Jersey Tiger. This is a species that seems to be expanding its range and its the third one I've caught. Hopefully there will be a picture tomorrow.

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