Saturday, 14 June 2008

Flower twitch

Admittedly it was a bit of a flower twitch today (and I dipped on a few too). Firstly, a new piece of countryside-replacement near to the Ebbsfleet railway works, at Jeskyns Farm. Part of the land has been turned into a cornfield without weedkillers and insecticides (and presumably a good few handfuls of wildflower seed mix to get it started).
The results are spectacular, with not only cornflowers, but also corncockles - both adulterated the flour in the past, and so were swiftly eradicated by agrichemicals, to the extent that we don't see them at all now. I'd seen neither in a field before, and their bright colours with the daisies were superb.


Also in the corn was this Great Burnet - the smaller Salad Burnet is well-known to me but this was a first. So....congratulations to the planners of the Jeskyns Farm park - a little artificial of course, but an indication of what we have lost. And thanks to John Young for the info.

Queendown Warren is one of the jewels in the Kent countryside, and is managed by Kent Wildlife Trust on behalf of PlantLife. Although three target species eluded me, I was pleased with the variety of plants there.
Meadow Clary, which is now only found in 21 places in Britain (including Langdon Cliffs I belately discovered).

Hound's Tongue (traditional cure for baldness and piles)

There were plenty of Fragrant Orchids, three Bee Orchids and the Pyramidal Orchids are just starting to flower.The sun came out and it became warm enough for butterflies, including the first Meadow Brown of the year (yay!). Common Blues and Brown Argus were plentiful, and one stunning Adonis Blue briefly settled.


abbey meadows said...

Quality plants down there. It must be a plant twitch weekend!

Mary said...

Both places look lovely. I really like the mix of the daisies and the cornflowers and the other one in the field. We need more fields like that scattered around. Such beauty in such simple things. The Warren is beautiful, too and you must have had a great time rambling looking for your plants and butterflies. Sounds like a perfect day.

Warren Baker said...

Nice post steve,
Shows how baron the rest of our countryside has become.

Mary said...

I forgot to ask...what is a flower "twitch"?

Kingsdowner said...

It's heartbreaking what agro-chemical farming has done, but then I'm not a suffering farmer!

Mary, a twitch in birding parlance is ' a desperate dash to see a rare bird that's been seen by others, and to tick it off a list'.

Flower twitches are infrequent, but this weekend seems to have been a good one for it!

John Young said...

Glad you got to both sites Tony and managed to see the great displays. I didn't notice corn cockle on my visit to Jeskyns. Having never seen one, I'll have to get back there quick.