Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Another invader

After last weekend's influx of migrants, we've missed the wave that was blown onto the north-east shores - any hope of sharing some rare birds was dashed when the wind veered north of us.
Wheatears and Whinchats are still frequently seen, and stragglers from the weekend are occasionally found - Pied Flycatchers are still on the clifftops while Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs have replaced the numerous Willow Warblers of August.

September brings young Wood-Pigeons from their nests, as they are late breeders, presumably to take advantage of the glut of seeds and grain that is now available. The parent birds are still tugging twigs for their nests from the Silver Birch in the garden.
Also around the garden, the Tawny Owl family is calling loudly at night. The wheezing calls of the youngster have changed into strangulated barks, joining the pure calls of the parents. The family was first noticed on 24th June, so they have been around for 2½ months now.

A market gardener was asked about a strange plant growing around his greenhouses and sheds, and as he weighed out the runner beans he said that it is a pest.... he first saw it about five years ago, and it has run rampant over his vegetable patch since then.
The next day I saw it growing from cracks in a car park in Deal. It's called Gallant Soldier (from its Latin name galansoga parviflora) and no doubt the new Atlas will show the extent of the spread of the invasion. It produces thousands of seeds, and is also known as Kew Plant - guess why? Yes, that's where it escaped.

In its favour, the leaves can be eaten either raw or cooked, as in the soup Ajiaco.


Greenie said...

Steve ,
That Wheatear shot is a cracker .
Looks like you won't be going hungry !

Warren Baker said...

Nice Wheatear Steve. Ive not had as many as expected through my patch, but there is still time I suppose :-)

Kingsdowner said...

Thanks guys.
Fred, the menu has been prepared.

Warren, I've just got in from a twitch of the Wilson's Phalarope - on it's way to pitswood. All the great Kent birders were there, and it was good to put faces to names.

Kingsdowner said...

Ahem....... all the great ones except you, of course. Oops :-s