The holiday abroad to visit relatives in Germany started (as always) with the Dover-Calais sea crossing, something I’d been looking forward to for a while. Thanks to the offshore winds from France, the sea passage was almost non-existent with 3 Common Scoter and a prob. Bonxie making the highlights. Even the Gannets decided to stay distant and the sea was too calm for any shearwater activity.
My brother and I decided to choose Platier d'Oye as a half way stopping point and with kind consent of the driver (Mum) we had two or three hours to explore the place. Butterflies were the obvious high-point with double figures of Painted Lady, 7 Grayling, 2 Clouded Yellow and something that appeared to resemble the aegeria subspecies of Speckled Wood (something to check out in more detail on my next visit). Other commoner butterflies included Essex Skipper and Red Admiral. Southern Emerald Damselfly was another insect I was keen to get record shots of. Unfortunately, after double checking the ID on the pic of the damselfly below, it turns out it is in fact a Blue-tailed Damselfly of the form infuscans.
Blue-tailed Damselfly, form infuscans
It’s probably about time birds got a mention. Unfortunately, not much to report thanks in part to the hunters prowling the edge of the wetland but we still managed to clock up a total of 8 Whimbrel, 11 Common Sandpipers, 1 Green Sandpiper and a Snipe. The nature reserve was a little more productive and held 3 Avocet and 12 Spoonbill whilst 2 Little Terns hunted offshore.
As we pulled up outside my grandma’s house that evening a Black Redstart was already perched on the overhead wires.