The heat wave has finally ended and it is now cooler, cloudier and wetter - and it is quite a relief! At least it is easier to sleep at night now and a shift at work isn't quite the sticky and uncomfortable experience it has been.
I had the moth box out in the back yard on Wednesday 28th July and on checking it out the next morning there were fewer moths as expected following the drop in the temperature. A total of 12 moths of 8 species were in the trap with a Flame Shoulder new for the year and 3 smart looking Knot Grass the pick of the bunch.
Thursday 29th July was a rare day off together and so we headed up onto Dartmoor for a cream tea at Badgers Holt and a walk along the River Dart. The cream tea was OK but with new owners now running the cafe the scones were light and bready and not the usual cakey wedges and the jam wasn't the usual home made jam but came in a jar from a company based in Lifton.
It was a mostly overcast day but warm with brief sunny spells and our walk along the river was very enjoyable with Beautiful Demoiselle, Golden Ringed Dragonfly, Silver-washed Fritillary, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Nuthatch, Grey Wagtail and Marsh Tit all seen. We also found a few bilberries which were very tasty but stained our fingers purple with their juice.
Storm Evert lashed Cornwall and Devon overnight and so I decided to visit Rame Head for a seawatch on Friday 30th July. It was windy and showery when I arrived at Whitsand Bay off the bus and I wasn't hopeful of seeing much and so it proved to be with just 10 Manx Shearwater, a Fulmar, Gannets, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and 3 Harbour Porpoise seen along with the usual Shag, Herring Gull and Great Black-backed Gulls.
A Peregrine, 2 Kestrel, Stonechat, Swallow and Whitethroat were also noted along with Dodder growing on the Gorse and despite the weather I managed to see a Red Admiral, 2 Gatekeeper, a Meadow Brown and 2 Whites.
Saturday 31st July and with the calm after the previous days storm I decided to head out to Wembury for a walk. It was warm but mostly overcast and was overly busy due to it being a Saturday in school holiday hell time and with the ongoing COVID foreign travel restrictions but I enjoyed my wander along the coast path anyway.
The tide was coming in and feeding along the beach were mostly Black-headed Gulls including quite a few juveniles along with 14 Mediterranean Gulls (5 juveniles) and Herring Gulls. A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was a nice surprise as it flew along the beach before heading out to The Mewstone, showing the whitest and least marked rump I've seen before.
Out on The Mewstone a Fulmar was flying around the cliffs where a pair were resting on a nest with a well developed looking chick. A few Gannets were picked up offshore but there was no sign of any Shearwaters.
Also along the beach were 3 Whimbrel, a Little Egret and 58 Oystercatcher and along the footpath the usual land birds were also seen - Chiffchaff, Cirl Bunting, Stonechat, Whitethroat and Linnet - with a Willow Warbler and a Greenfinch also noted.
A total of 7 Common Lizard were basking in the occasional sunny spells including 2 small and dark youngsters and a very confiding individual at the bus stop.
Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, a Ringlet, a Small Skipper, a Red Admiral and a Green-veined White were flitting about and 3 male Beautiful Demoiselle were jostling together over the water by the bridge.