Saturday 8th July 2023 - Steps & Handrail, Swifts and Gatekeepers
Seeing sections of the promenade fenced off, prior to repairs, where the concrete has broken away on the edge of the sea wall, I wondered if the steps at the west end had been restored and the handrail replaced. Yes they have, in good time before families arrive armed with everything needed for a spell on the beach. All looking very solid now, with no trip hazards, as can been seen in the photograph.
After initial concerns about the small number of swifts in the village, following the cold start to June, numbers have increased. We now have screams (the collective noun for a group of swifts) wheeling and squealing in the skies. I love to watch them above our garden and they particularly like flying above the village shop, where there must be good supplies of the insects they eat.
Gatekeepers are, I understand, the last of the butterflies to make an appearance in this area. I saw the first one for 2023 the other day, near the allotments’ field. Other years, by now, we would have seen, brimstones, commas, small tortoiseshells and painted ladies but I haven’t seen any. It’s only early July, so still time to see them. I have seen orange tips, red admirals, peacocks, reasonable numbers of speckled woods, holly blues, a skipper, and more recently, whites, meadow browns and ringlets. The crickets and grasshoppers are chirping and there are various types of bees, particularly bumbles, visiting flowers. To me, nothing epitomises summer more than walking, on a sunny day, through long grasses, peppered with wild flowers, in the presence of butterflies, bees, crickets and grasshoppers.