Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Crown of Sussex

Firle Beacon could be called the Pride of Sussex, but in fact that epithet belongs to the Round-Headed Rampion, which is its county flower. Just a small flower on a thin stem, about the size of a harebell, it forms the shape of a crown 'befitting the King of Sussex'.
The plant is found from Dorset to Kent, but there are few at either end of the range, with most being found on the South Downs, such as here in the slopes and top of Mount Caburn near Lewes.
Among the downland plants growing there were a good number of Dropwort, again more frequently than on the North Downs.

En route, the usual stop at Pett pools showed three Avocets and four Little Egrets, but these were ignored (if you can ignore the noisy Avocets) in favour of a small wader that had us scratching our heads.
It's a Lapwing.....no, the other one!
You need a better camera.....it's got a very white chin.
Wood Sandpiper? No, it's got no eyestripe.
Lots of white on the rump....White-Rumped Sandpiper?
I think I'll settle for a female Ruff.

Don't laugh, I'll stick to watching the squabbling Avocets and squalking young Black-Heads, I think.


Mary said...

That'a a beautiful view from that hill! Beig ignorant, the first thing I did was "Google" Firle Beacon and saw a very similar photo (must be the best place to take photos :-) I like that Rampion, but think it is more befitting a Queen....too pretty in color for a King. It does look crown-like. The dropwort is pretty, too. The sandpiper is a nice find, whichever one it is! Nice shots of all the shore birds.

Greenie said...

That Round-Headed Rampion is a superb little plant . I photographed it a few years ago a bit further towards Cuckmere Haven , at Up and Over near Alfriston . Mt.Caburn is also very good for Early Burnt Orchid too , in May/June . Not a clue on your wader , but my book says orange/red legs for Ruff .