Saturday, 13 September 2014

Red Arrows, Devils and Admirals over Uckfield

What a summer it has been for aerial wonders.  In just a few weeks we have had an amazing series of flypasts by aircraft of all sorts. Closer to the ground, birds and tiny insects have been joining the display too.

Belgian Red Devils over Manor Park, Uckfield
On July the 26th the Belgian Red Devils display team flew over Uckfield to mark the unveiling of the memorial to Eugene Seghers. While I waited for them in the garden I enjoyed watching the butterflies, which I had been counting for the big butterfly count, fluttering round our flowers. 

Emperor dragonfly - similar to the one seen in our garden.
As we moved into August, we were honoured by almost daily visits by an emperor. It flew in glittering circles for several minutes at a time, bobbing and dipping as it hunted its prey.  Anything that escaped the attentions of the dragonfly and was still flying at dusk may well have ended up as a meal for the bats that fluttered and swooped round our front garden.

Hoverfly (Volucella Inanis) on our Marjoram

While I was waiting for the Red arrows team to come over, I was entertained by colourful hoverflies buzzing round our flowers.  I’ve been looking at them more closely this year and have identified 10 different species – and those are just the ones that are big and slow enough for me to get a photo.

The Red Arrows - not a great photo but I was pleased to get a camera on them at all.
Towards the end of the some days, swifts screamed overhead. Apparently they never stop flying, not even in sleep.  As summer drifts into autumn, these summer visitors have started their long migration to Africa.

Comma butterfly - a sign that autumn is on its way?
After the wonderful, idiosyncratic procession of aircraft coming away from Shoreham at the end of August, we start to see V’s of geese flying to and from their feeding grounds. Newly minted red admirals and colourful commas herald the coming of autumn.

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