June soon came and went, with a mixed bag of weather it was hit and miss throughout the month but definitely a month of quantity and some quality stuff.
On the birding front I saw family groups of Common Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroats, young ones in tow following the movements of the parents as they zig zagged through the bushes feeding. I was now seeing more Sandwich Terns offshore feeding, their loud calling giving themselves away over the waves. A female Marsh Harrier flew past the garden mid month, they are becoming more regular past. And then there were the Swifts, how lovely to see them flying overhead again, but this brings me onto a worrying concern for these birds, on the television I heard numbers were down by 50%.....not good to hear, so to see hundreds of them all heading south/southeast during the month and only just after they've arrived in the country is confusing to say the least. Reports of 1000's of Swifts moving past Yorkshire and Lincolnshire coasts is good in respect that hopefully numbers getting here are still healthy as opposed to the report of a huge drop! but what are they up to moving like this, surely too many to be failed breeders but why head off so early?
Other snippets close by were Bee-eaters seen over Sidestrand and Northrepps and a possible Eagle species near Southrepps?
On Sunday 2nd June I noticed at least 6 Painted Lady butterflies pass through the garden within an hour, another mass invasion was perhaps on the cards?
As the days passed I was still seeing a few Painted Lady butterflies, but with the changing weather they were not showing every day, by mid month they were everywhere, a mass invasion of these beauties had been spreading across Europe and they were definitely here, on a few flowering bushes along the side of the church I counted over 30 butterflies and there were more flying around. They are a long distance migrant but do not always turn up 'en masse'.
Last year it was Large and Small Whites, this year it is the turn of the Painted Lady's.
As the month moved on there were more and more Red Admirals around, and a couple of species of dragonfly were seen, this Four Spotted Chaser (below) was along Church Lane and a Broad Bodied Chaser made a flight over the garden.
It seemed to be a good year for Common Spotted Orchids, I found the first one of the year behind the Pilgrim Shelter and then days later they started to show along the clifftops, and this year there appeared to be many more west of the clifftop wood with over a hundred counted in one stretch alone.
A special orchid to see was this Bee Orchid (below), there were just 2 plants on grassy area near the clifftop where the bottle banks are located past Middle Street.
IS IT A BIRD-IS IT A BEE-NO ITS A MOTH!
I love to see the Hummingbird Hawkmoths return to the garden, such energetic little things always on the move feeding.
And as the month moved on and the weather got warmer the moths started to arrive and one species I look forward to getting are the Hawkmoths. So far I have had 4 species and hopefully soon will have the Convolvulous returning to feed on the Nicotina plants.
This Eyed Hawkmoth was a new addition for the garden list, theres no mistaking where it gets its name from, look at those eye markings on the underwings to ward off predators.