Saturday, 24 May 2008


We took a trip to Dungeness, more in hope than expectation, and as it turned out the flora was more interesting than the fauna (I may have some dispute from some quarters on this). Sea Kale was abundant and flowering on the sea-side shingle, as we walked via the point to the Patch.
There were a few Sandwich Terns and about 30 Common Terns, but no rarer types. Among the gulls were a few Great Black-Backed, including this one which seemed in a bad way, having tried to eat some fishing line.
Yellow Horned Poppies have just started to bloom, and Thrift was also evident in patches.
In the RSPB reserve, on the pits was a variety of ducks, Cormorants amassing large amounts of nesting material, and a few Great-Crested Grebes, one with a youngster (not very small) on its back, the first time I'd seen that.
In the scrub, we had plenty of opportunity to distinguish the calls of Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Marsh Frog, Reed Bunting (below) and Whitethroats,
while the twin avian highlights were a Grey Plover in flight showing off its summer black belly, and four Hobbys flying over the reed beds.
Back on the ground, we saw Sea Campion and prostrate Broom
while this plant had me stumped until I realised it was a Catchfly - presumably the Nottingham version.
I didn't pick it - I was just supporting it in the strong wind. Nottingham Catchfly was first identified growing on Nottingham Castle, and is the county flower of Nottinghamshire. It's a rare plant as the dots on the map show, but is does occur closer to home on the cliffs at near or near Kingsdown.


Mary said...
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Mary said...

Every time you visit Dungeness I wonder if there is a connection to the one in the state of Washington. I finally found this in Wickapedia about our Dungeness: "The name "Dungeness" refers to the Dungeness headland in England. It was given by George Vancouver in 1792, who wrote: The low sandy point of land, which from its great resemblance to Dungeness in the British Channel, I called New Dungeness." Just thought that might interest you! Your photos are great! I hated seeing that gull with the fishing line...don't you hate not being able to help? Sounds like you saw a lot of different birds, so I know it must have been a great day. The flowers are pretty and all new to to find the Catchfly since it is rare! You are good at finding rare plants and knowing what they are.

Kingsdowner said...

Mary, thansk for that interesting information. The Dungeness in Washington state does sounnd similar to ours, with its shingle and good birding opportunities, but the description ,one of the most beautiful spots in the world with mountains to the south, waters to the north, and weather that the rest of Washington and many other coastal communities envy would not be claimed by even the most ardent admirer of our Dunge!

Warren Baker said...

nice post,
Very informative,well done.

NW Nature Nut said...

I have left an award for you at my blog. You know how those blog award things pass it onto someone else. Don't feel obligated though. Just wanted you to know you are in my "top picks". Thanks for all the interesting posts.

Steve said...

Really good account of you trip to Dunge. Interested to read about the Catchfly

me ANN my camera said...

That's a very special Grebe picture with the little one on its back! I would love to see something like that.