I drove down to Shellness Hamlet earlier today via the usual track and was most impressed, not with Shellness Hamlet but the track - no more is it a roller coaster ride and no more head-butting the windscreen - the Hamlet residents have filled in the pot-holes and levelled the track and its now a nice smooth drive. Its just a shame that despite the track being used by the residents of chalets halfway along it, the Kent Wildfowlers, Swale Borough Council advertising the nudist beach as one of their amenities, and even Natural England, that funding of the track repairs is left to the Hamlet residents. There is a suggestion that they might gate off the beginning of the track as has been done in the past, seems fair enough to me.
I primarily went down to Shellness Point to check out recent reports of some Little Terns on the beach, hoping that we might be seeing some belated breeding but a patient watch from the blockhouse saw not one sighting of a Little Tern and I firmly believe that this is going to be the third year of non-breeding there. There were still a couple of pairs of breeding Ringed Plovers on the beach with around twenty more also feeding on the mudflats, alongside a pair of Blackwits in beautiful summer plumage. Some flower species were nicely in flower however with Vipers Bugloss being the star turn, it has lovely colours and was attracting plenty of bees. There were also Yellow-horned Poppies and Sea Campion but the newly arrived and yellow flowered Dragon's Teeth of the last couple of years seems to have died out again. Its a real shame because it is a lovely and prostrate member of the pea family that loves dry, shingly places and is much loved by bees as well.
It was quite enjoyable sitting out there but the sky was darkening and a chilly wind was getting up and fortunately the impending rain didn't begin until I got back to my car, which was lucky because boy did it rain hard for about twenty minutes. And how those "we don't like it hot and sunny" killjoys must of been jumping for joy right then. I wonder what cold country they spend their summer holidays in? Perhaps they all go together and sit round camp fires to keep warm, play "pass the parka" and tell stories of how lovely and cold it was on their last holiday. Mmmm - I don't know whose saddest, me or them.