Despite the forecast for excellent weekend weather, this was about the only sight of the sun, as cold north-easterlies blew mist across us. We may not get much rain, but when the wind's in this quarter, we feel it.
A few butterflies had been fooled into emerging by earlier warm days, with small whites most frequent. With spots above; and without, below.For the rest, it was a question of seeking out the small things in life. For one, I've never previously (knowingly) seen glasswort, but a clearing by the sadly-damaged hide at Pegwell is covered in the stuff.
Similarly, I've never noticed wild madder, but there's quite a bit on Samphire Hoe....like a sturdier version of goosegrass. The plant is apparently quite common in the west, but not so further east. Terrible pics, but it was gloomy.
On the chalk-downland, a first showing of milkwort,
...and all along the railway-side path, the first of many early spider orchids.
Early, yes; orchids, undoubtably; but spider....why? A view was expressed that they more closely resemble dung-beetles, but early dung-beetle orchid doesn't seem right.
Bird-wise, there were a few unphotographable bits seen or heard during the weekend, including whimbrel, sandwich tern, nightingale, grasshopper warbler, lesser whitethroat, peregrines, rock pipit, black redstarts and a surprisingly late brambling from my window* - a male in stunning plumage, to which the picture failes to do justice. The photo is only posted to prove that it wasn't a mis-id of a chaffinch.
Perhaps the most pleasing sight of the weekend was of a paitr of kestrels over the undercliff, checking out nest-holes. No kestrels have been seen here since last year's female was found dead in early December.
*Sorry if my poor grammar indicates that all these were seen from my window. Unfortunately not.