Sunday, 27 April 2008

Langdon Cliffs

A walk today along the clifftop from Langdon with a group led by Murray Orchard. While there are particular pleasures in birding and walking alone, there are considerable benefits of being with others (especially those more skilled and knowledgeable than oneself). Murray ticks both of those boxes, and it's good of him to give up his time for these events.

Sightings included good numbers of Lesser Whitethroats, and well as the commoner warblers, a flyover Yellow Wagtail [and was that unusual call from another flyover perhaps the Serin seen a mile of two further north?], Peregrine, Sparrowhawk (female with a white patch on her back).
On the sea we were surprised to see five Shags, two of which hauled out onto a rock, and no Cormorants.

There were 88 Kittiwakes sitting on the sea, but none on the cliffs - the usual nestsites were empty, but there's time yet for them to be occupied.Last year, although numbers had continued to fall, I saw 100 or so birds here.
On another subject, I posted a picture last week and asked for help in identifying the plant.
Abbey Meadows in Northumberland came to rescue, and suggested it was Sanicle, and reckoned that there were mats of it on the chalk, which surprised me.
So I need help again....what is this diminutive plant that lines the main roads and motorways where there must be high pollution levels and where other plants can't survive?


Boulmer Birder said...

The white flower is Scurvey Grass I think. try a Google image search to see if I'm right!

Kingsdowner said...

Ah, thanks BB - if it is Scurvy Grass (which grows on sea marshes etc) that would explain its tolerance to salt from the road.

abbey meadows said...

It is indeed Common scurvey grass. It has spread to some unexpected places due to the roads being salted in the winter. It even grows on some of the central reservations on motorways in Newcastle city centre.

Sandpiper said...

Nice shots! I'm playing 'catch-up' here today. I enjoyed your previous posts, too. The lambs are cute, the flowers pretty, good shot of the fox, and the landscape is breathtaking!

Mary said...

Enjoyed both the bird and flower pics. Glad you are getting these identified, so we can all learn :-)