Scarce Emerald (Lestes dryas) and getting down to the hard-grasses, looking at the diminutive anthers of Curved hard-grass (Parapholis incurva - left) next to Hard-grass (P. strigosa - right).
Following the Essex theme, last week provided the opportunity to look around a rarely visited south-east corner of the county. The seawalls and borrow-dykes provide the habitat for some local botanical specialities; Slender Hare’-s-ear, Sea Barley, Stiff Saltmarsh-grass and Curved Hard-grass were all duly noted. The saline borrow-dykes supported Spiral Tasselweed and the specialist lagoonal isopod Idotea chelipes, whilst the more brackish pools had Scarce Emerald Damselfly and Hairy Dragonfly. The bird highlights included 5 Short-eared Owls and 6 Whimbrel, as well as breeding Redshanks and Shelduck.