'Bumbarrel' is an old name for the Long-tailed Tit, everyone's favourite garden bird. And the reason they're called that is for the shape of their nest. It's almost spherical, with a little hole at the front, and made from a special weave of moss, lichen, spiders' webs and feathers.
Spent the day on the marshes at Rainham today and boy was it hot, the reserve on the north bank of the River Thames is a proper suntrap, and with little to no wind it was hot!
Whilst waiting for the reserve to open and the drawbridge to be lowered an Italian destroyer passed going up river.
Italian naval destroyer Luigi Durand de la Penne was en route for Canary Wharf and the public are invited onboard on tomorrow from 9.30am to midday and from 4.30pm to 7.30pm, on Saturday from 9.30am to midday and between 3pm and 6pm, on Sunday from 3pm to 6pm and on Monday from 9.30am to midday and 3pm to 5.30pm.
I spent probably too much time on the northern boardwalk and managed a whole 4 second view of the Spotted Crake, not only that it was distant at the back of the pools and viewing through a heat haze! Was it worth it, probably not, but it was my first one this year. Another year-tick was also frustrating with rubbish views. A Whinchat was showing sporadically and briefly behind the dragonfly pool.
On the other hand the Little Grebe family did show well, and what big feet this juvenile has!
Plenty of Dragon & Damselflies around including these Migrant Hawkers.
Migrant Hawker female
Migrant Hawker male
And these Ruddy Darters
Ruddy Darter female
Ruddy Darter male
Two Clouded Yellow butterflies led me a merry dance and I never managed a single shot, but this Cinnabar Moth caterpillar was far more obliging!