My day got of to a great start early this morning when I found an E-Mail on my PC from an ex-Sheppey-ite living in Melbourne, Australia, who wrote to say how much he enjoyed the blog - thanks Maurice, it was much appreciated.
And then off to the reserve and the joy of walking across it in hot sunshine, it was absolutely superb, perfect weather, I do love the heat.
Walking across some baked grazing marsh Midge suddenly shot up in the air like a Harrier jump jet and began circling at some distance and very warely, the Grass Snake below. He was a lengthy specimen which quickly sped off and disappeared down a dis-used rabbit burrow.
(Double click on the photo and enlarge it and look at the eye - scary).
I made my way to the best part of the reserve again, the grass banks below Harty church, which in the heat and sun were alive with butterflies and moths. These low-tide photos look across The Swale from the banks towards Faversham and Oare. (Double click on each to enlarge them and better see the view). The sandbank in the middle is known as Horse Sands and most weeks of the year is a favourite laying out spot for Common Seals.
Along the banks the Spiney Restharrow is still giving good displays of its pink-purple flowers.
Once again, as I said the other day, Burnet moths were much in evidence, see this 5-Spot Burnet on thistle.
On the way back along the Harty Road I stopped at the top of Capel Hill and took this photo looking down across the marsh and Capel Fleet.
And this one looking across the corn fields to Eastchurch in the distance.