Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Survey in the sun

Sunny Sunday was a good opportunity to count Small Blues along Kingsdown beach. Taking it easy, time was taken for the occasional paddle, and a little sunbathing was enjoyed.
It must be summer, as I donned my shorts and sandals, making sure that my white socks were clean.
The first site by Walmer Castle held two Small Blues, feasting on the new rash of Mouse-ear Hawkweed.
On the main site by Campbells Garage, a good total of 56 were counted, which is similar to the maxima seen in the last few years. This is a lovely piece of habitat, with hot dry shingle and a rich variety of plants, a credit to its owner who has kept it safe.
The two small patches of Kidney Vetch on the rifle range held one butterfly each, while that on the golf course had none.
So far as I'm aware, this is the only Sea Kale in Kingsdown although there are more plants along the beach in Walmer. The good weather on the weekend brought the trippers, including some who bravely ignored the "No camping on the SSSI" notices.
A long-antennae'd bug visited the garden in the warmth, having apparent difficulty flying behind these great feelers. Any idea what it is?
Some weeks ago I forecast that this would be a good year for flowers, once they finally emerged from the grip of winter, and so it seems to have become. The Coldred colony of Man Orchids and White Helleborines seems larger than last year, and the plants seem strong, if rather short because of the low rainfall.

Similarly, a search for Nottingham Catchfly was not as difficult as some recently, as there are veritable drifts of this rare plant on the cliffs above Dover Harbour.


Anonymous said...

Steve, I reckon your longhorn moth is Adela reaumurella. Your Nottingham Catchfly looks clear of the anther smut.

Kingsdowner said...

Thanks Rob, it's quite a sight when the bug is flying.

Glad to see that the catchfly is smut-free, possibly because of the diesel fumes from the ferries, ironically?

Greenie said...

Steve ,
Good to hear that the Small Blues seem to be having another good year , they will certainly have liked the hot weather .
Haven't seen a Man Orchid locally . So deisel fumes aren't all bad then !