Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Summer Days

The weather continues to yo-yo to and fro, this week it is very warm to hot, sunny days amd most appreciated.
Yesterday I made one of my irregular visits to the extreme eastern end of the reserve and the eastern end od Sheppey as a whole, Shellness beach. This long and narrow strip of sand and shell beach with it's old WW2 building looks quite beautiful on a sunny day such as it was. The tide was out otherwise it would of looked even better.

It'll be another month or so before the wide range of seashore wild flowers that it's known for, come into bloom but there was at least many clumps of Sea Campion, the maritime cousin of the Red Campion.

 Back on the main grazing marsh part of the reserve and it is worth mentioning again the efforts of the neighbouring farmers in respect of wildlife friendly strips round field edges. Wide strips of this purple flower was absolutely humming with the amount of bees swarming all over it.

Another farmer has these wide strips of weeds and long grass around his wheat fields, hopefully they'll be left until at least harvest time.

 Below, you see Ellie's favourite place on the whole reserve........

 ........and here's the reason why. She spends hours being led a merry dance by the rabbits, but yesterday her hard work and optimism paid off, she caught two.

Who remembers from childhood, this wild weed, barley grass. When it yellows up in the summer it tends to be home to tiny black beetles that look like fleas and we nick-named it "flea grass". As young lads we used to pick the yellow darts and throw them into girls' hair shouting "fleas in your hair", to much screaming by the girls. Boyish fun, I doubt youngsters know about such things these days.


  1. A lovely path. I'm itching to run on it!

  2. It's only about 500yds long Gwil and then you end up at the sea and have to turn round and come back.

  3. Thanks for this little tour Derek. I would love to take a few pictures of that WWII bunker in its peaceful, natural context. The contrast between those two worlds is poignant. War and Peace.

  4. It wasn't actually a bunker YP, it was an observation/communication post, linked by phone to military HQ at the other end of the Island. It's reason for being there is too long to comment on here.

  5. Fantastic that farmers leave those strips round fields Derek. Here our fields are all quite small and so it is really not an option.
    Beautiful pictures.

  6. Thanks Pat. Yes, some things the farmers get right and some they get wrong, like allowing the fox hunt and hare chasers on their land, so it's a 50/50 thing.