Apparently it's Thames marine mammal watch weekend although I cannot say it is the most heavily advertised event, I only knew because Lisa my wife caught a brief announcement on the London news on Friday. So it had to be a good time to see harbour porpoise on the Thames especially as there is not that much wind today. I'm pleased to announce that this trip to Shorne marshes has managed to maintain my 100% dip rate on trying to see any marine mammals from the fort shoreline. Still i'm not that downhearted, i'll keep trying as you never know. I only walked down the tarred road from the business park east of Shorne to the fort and back but had some nice wildlife encounters and a bit of photography fun.
A few marsh frogs were in evidence, mostly keeping quiet except when I went too close to the dyke edges and then they leapt from the bank into the ditch making some great plop! sounds.
I then managed to see 2 grass snakes in the water of one ditch, the first I have managed to catch up with this year, too quick for any photos though.
In my few visits to Shorne I had never noticed just quite how many pylons there were in the vicinity of the marshes.
A few butterflies were managing to make the most of the odd sunny spell, including red admiral, small white, gatekeeper, common blue, comma and this holly blue. When I first saw it sheltering on a bramble I fired off a couple of photos with my 300mm x 1.4 lens and then thought just how close could I go maybe with my 60mm macro. As the sun was behind some clouds I don't think it wanted to fly as I managed to get so close I couldn't focus.....
I think the holly blue had the last laugh though as I must have been a bit of an odd site to any passer by (and a few people did) with my head stuck into the adjoining prickly hawthorn bush.
You know autumn migration is happening when you start to see birds out of habitat and this 1st year reed warbler was no exception, looking for food amongst the branches of a hawthorn. A nice fresh individual.