Saturday, 10 July 2010


"The world according to the best geographers is divided into Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Romney March" (Rev R.H. Barham : Ingoldsby Legends). The day was hot, and was spent wandering around the Marsh and its environs.
Greatstone is a a beach where I spent some sunny days when I was young. There is now a "Greatstone Shingle" walk with signs like this one - most of the walk, I notice, is not on shingle but on roads or the sandy beach, but all three have some interesting if currently parched habitats.
Sea Rocket and Sea Sandwort braved the burning sand of the dunes, fated never to be cooled by the waves that lap across the beach.

Next, to Rye Harbour to twitch the pair of nesting Little Terns. Failed in this, but enjoyed the usual cacophany and chaos of the gull and tern colonies.
Presumably this scruffy individual is a newly-fledged Black-headed Gull. It could fly, but not much, and wasn't attended by parents during the time I was there.
A family of Tufties have quickly learned how to dive, just as the shutter clicks, just like the adults.
Only one yound Avocet was seen, but there's plenty of cover around the scrapes so there may have been more.

Leaving the cooling sea breezes behind, I drove to Orlestone Forest where the shade was pleasant but the temperature was high.
Now if this isn't good butterfly habitat, I don't know what is - dappled rides, plenty of brambles, hot sun. It's also good for horseflies which increased my year's quota of bites.
Sloughs alongside the rides held plenty of dragonflies, including Broad-Bodied Chasers pairing up, and these darters.

Many Meadow Browns and Ringlets of course, a first-of-the-year Gatekeeper, and six White Admirals were seen. Initially I despaired at getting a close view as they flitted along the rides, but then I realised that they had favourite leaves to rest on - generally hazel - so I set about waiting. Sure enough, they would come back to the preferred places, only to fly off again for a minute or two and then return.
The car's temperature gauge read 28º , but driving back past Capel-le-Fog the usual sea-fret appeared, plunging the reading down by ten degrees to 18º.
Having trouble sleeping? Come to foggy Capel!


Warren Baker said...

I found that trick out with the Butterflies a while back, it's the same with Dragonflies - saves a lot of legwork :-)

Greenie said...

Steve ,
Your shots looked as hot as your words .
Your Common Darters were no problem , but the drab form female Common Blue Damselfly was harder work .
Agree with your Orlestone Forest comment .