Sunday, 19 April 2009

A lazy wind goes through you instead of around you

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 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.
Add ImagePerhaps 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.


Goosey said...

I'm afraid we may have had all your sunshine today, it has been a beautiful day. Walking back along the beach there were plenty of nutcases in the water! Great butterfly pictures, I like the Small whites they are very delicate.

Mary said...

This was an interesting post from start to finish. I like that red sun....seems to be stripped from top to bottom light to dark. Lovely butterfly and the glasswort is something I haven't seen posted before. Laughed at the "early dung beetle orchid"...actually I see the spider resemblance. It looks like the kind that always creep me out when I see them in my house...only bigger. The kestrel on the cliff is a wonderful shot. I'm always fascinated by those chalk cliffs.