June is not the most exciting month for birding, so I usually spend my free time enjoying casual trips out around east Kent to see butterflies, dragonflies and a bit of birding away from Reculver.
This year, however, the weather has been miserable through most of June, with strong winds most weekends, and little warm sunshine. Add to that Euro 2012 has been on most evenings, and my time out has been rather limited.
Below are a few photos from some of my walks, starting with a picture of an adult male Blackbird sunning itself on the garden lawn.
These Heath Fritillary butterflies were taken in East Blean Woods:
and a little later the same day the Speckled Wood and Variable Damselfly were taken in dull light at Stodmarsh:
On June 13th the weather was lovely, so after work I went for a walk in Thornden Woods. There was a big match on at 7:45pm, so I made my way home just in time for kick-off. The match had just started when I had a call from Marc Heath to say he had found a Norfolk Hawker in Chislet. Not only a new dragonfly for me, but possibly only the 3rd recorded in Kent. Needless to say, I made a hasty trip over, and thanks to Marc's patience in waiting for me to arrive, I was lucky enough to see the hawker hanging from a small branch of some bushes, and a little later enjoyed it hunting along the hedge. Rather an orange glow in the photo, which was taken around 8:30pm. I also enjoyed superb views of a hunting Barn Owl at the same location.
The following week I had a trip up to Shuart to look for Small Blue butterflies, which Julian Perry had found along the railway embankment. Sadly I think I was too late in the evening for them, though a few had been seen flying around earlier in the day. On the way back there were a couple of Small Tortoiseshells and a Red Admiral enjoying the warm evening sun.
On Sunday 24th June I had another walk at Thornden Woods in the late afternoon. The sun was out after another dull day, and the wind was easing slightly. There were loads of Heath Fritillary butterflies, some landing by my feet along the edge of the path. There was also a cracking immature Broad-bodied Chaser sitting on some bramble in a little sun-trap:
The month ended with an afternoon walk after work on Saturday 30th June. Again, there was a strong southwesterly wind blowing, but out the wind it was quite pleasant. I had a walk at Reculver, and where I found some shelter I had a really lovely few hours watching the insect life. I managed to find Red-eyed, Blue-tailed and Common Blue Damselflies, my first sighting of Banded Demoiselle this year in the area, and a couple of Black-tailed Skimmers, which took some capturing on the camera.
There were also several butterflies, including Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Meadow Browns and a few Large Skippers