June has (as expected) been pretty poor at the patch, hence the lack of posts here. There have been a few signs of movement this month, though, with unseasonal occurances such as a singing Lesser Whitethroat (courtesy of Eagle), a flock of Lapwings and a Sand Martin. These things just about keep you ticking over but aren't anything to shout widely about.
Phil suggested a trip to Dungeness yesterday. We left reasonably early and dipped the Squacco Heron, not a bird that I need but it would have been a delight to see. We did get a few odds and sods including a Great White Egret fully draped in plumes and a close fly-by pair of first-summer Spoonbills. It was pretty cool to watch a first-summer Little Gull hawking with half a dozen or so Hobbies.
For me, though, one of the highlights of the last week has been the emergence of my favourite butterfly, the Marbled White. I was hoping to get a couple of snaps of one today to make this post look a little prettier but they were too quick. While I have always appreciated butterflies, I was reluctant to start trying to identify them until four years ago when a Marbled White dizzied my eye at Banstead Downs. A bit like how I started birding, I went and bought a starter butterfly book and identified it and my interest has since developed (with birds it was a Sparrowhawk over my primary school).