Sunday, 30 March 2008

Cowslips at Beachy Head

During a visit to Beachy Head at this time of the year, you can hope to see the first swallow, early wheatears and cowslips by the side of the road. Oh yes, and long views.

Sure enough the Cowslips are emerging, a lovely sign of Spring.
They can also be seen on the verge of the A20 between Folkestone and Dover, presumably sown by the Highways Agency when the road was built.

Although no swallows were seen, there were two male Wheatears, appropriately enough on a flint wall, as both the bird and the stone are closely linked with Sussex.

To quote the RX Rye report,

A return to form at Ternery pool this morning, 138 Mediterranean Gull, 155 Sandwich Tern and at least 1000 Black-headed Gull created lots of noise and activity.
I'd noticed that the Kingsdown flocks of Black-Headed Gulls had left for their breeding sites, and this is one of them. And yes, the noise is tremendous.
Part of their courtship routine appears to be paddling away from each other, spreading the wings slightly and seemingly ignoring the other. I've seen similar displays on the dance floor.

Quietly dibbling at the side of the gravel pit, away from the chaos, was a male Little Grebe in breeding plumage.
dibbling -(oe) a combination of dabbling and diving


NW Nature Nut said...

Wow, I'd love to take a stroll on those cliffs. Here in the states, they'd probably have them all fenced off with caution signs, so people wouldn't fall off! Beautiful lighthouse shot.I couldn't tell that those were people walking till I clicked on the full size version.

Kingsdowner said...

NW, Beachy Head is unfortunately well known for suicides - 16 last year I understand.
And only this week, rescue services were called out to a chap who 'slipped' over the edge on the wet grass, but who landed on a ledge.
There is a chaplaincy team that patrols the area, and have apparently been quite successful.'s lovely to see that the wild area is still unfenced.

Mary said...

What a wonderful view! Very dramatic. I would love to live near the sea. The birds shots are lovely and you have introduced me to yet another of your interesting bird names...Wheatears! So good to see the flowers opening up...spring at last!

Sandpiper said...

Just beautiful! I love the views, the mist, the flowers. It certainly is spring there. You make me want to pack my bags and go there for a visit. Lovely.