Wednesday, 2 April 2014

I came cross this Small Tortoiseshell a couple of days ago and it struck me as being a bit unusual.

It was along the cliff top path and the bright white patches, especially those on the hind wing really stood out.

Today I photography one, in almost the same place, and although the differences on closer inspection aren't as marked as I first thought it definitely is a striking butterfly. 

First thing this morning I popped into the Obs at Sandwich. The actinic tube on one of my moth traps had died over night and I remembered they had some in the shop there. This also gave me the chance to see John Beugg, who runs the moth traps there, and chew the fat about mothing at the moment..

 Blossom Underwing (Orthosia miniosa)

Luckily John had kept a rather nice specimen of a Blossom Underwing for later release and I was able to photograph it. I've caught just three of these since I've been here, perhaps there will be more to come this year.

A walk along the cliff top produced very few birds, but I did see one on the way in, and one on the way out. A Wheatear flew along from Hope Point and landed on the fence, and not far away a Fieldfare chacked loudly before flying off, neither allowed close approach for a picture.  From a distance I saw the Peregrine land on one to his favoured perches and carefully made my way to the point at which I could photo him without disturbing him.

The one problem with modern cameras is the shutter noise, and there was no doubt that he could hear it. Obviously aware of the noise he moved round and I backed away, out of sight, so as not to flush him. Later I saw him cruising along the cliff towards Hope Point.

I got one of my favourite lens back from Canon, where they'd repaired its loss of zoomability. It's a 17-85 mm and great for shots of buildings and in this case cliffs from top to bottom. Much the same view as I put up a couple of days ago, with the low tide the extent of some recent cliff falls can be seen.

While I was walking I met a chap from Canterbury, who asked me if I knew anything about Hope Farm. Unfortunately I didn't but he was able to tell me some details. The small copse, seen here along the back of the big field, centre left, and know to local birders as the empty wood as it seldom has any birds in it holds some old ruins. These are in fact the ruins of the farm house of Hope Farm, where this gentleman's Grandfather had once worked. I had often wondered what the significance of the ruins were so a small gap in my very limited local knowledge was filled. I referred him to the local History Society and hopefully they will be able to tell him more about the history of the farm.

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