Saturday, 25 September 2010

The dubious pleasures of bloke-ish sea-watching

So the season has changed, and cold winds of Autumn have taken the place of the balmy days of Summer. To put it another way, the feminine pink-and-fluffy butterflies and flowers give way to the dubious grey pleasures of bloke-ish sea-watching.

North winds have got the birders excited (and cold) and no doubt we'll hear spectacular reports soon. My own meagre participation produced a Short-eared Owl that flew off the sea and over the cliffs and a new Black Redstart at Kingsdown, with four Bonxies and four Little Gulls at Oare - most of which were actually found by others, but which I was able to validate (ahem).
Fortunately the sea-watching at Oare is complemented by the superb floods behind the sea wall, holding large numbers of Black-tailed Godwits and Golden Plovers at high tide, with a good range of other species including some Ruff. Some say there's a White-tailed Sandpiper there too, but I think this is just a rumour.
Some of the estuary flock of Avocets were on the flood too, brightening up the dark day.

There were new arrivals at Foreness in the delicate shape of Sanderlings, with a flock of 200 trying to avoid the attentions of local dogs and their owners. Dylan (who had been there since first light) kindly refrained from commenting on my mid-morning arrival.

Back at the pink-and-fluffy for a moment, a walk around Lydden was a little gloomy when the sun was hidden, but some compensation was had from a surprisingly late violet (which?) ...
.... and an unusual herb that might be Winter Savory. But my botany skills are as limited as my birding ones, so it probably isn't.
And don't get me started on fungi.........

6 comments:

Greenie said...

Steve ,
All I can say is that those blokes were fortunate that you were there to confirm their sightings .
Even if they did tell that you left too early - see Oare Marsh report .
Re. Violet , Sweet , Common Dog and Hairy all have second flowering Aug/Sept , can't see the spur to be sure .
Would be great if the herb was Winter Savoury , but books say leaves narrow and pointed . But , I can't put another name to it at the moment .

Warren Baker said...

Like the Sanderling photo steve. I would indeed like a bit of sea watching, wish I lived next to it :-)

Kingsdowner said...

Thnaks for the botanical info Fred - I'll keep resarching the herb which was in a very rich patch of ground. (Rich in flora, that is, not nutrients).

We found out again today that in seawatching, timing is everything.

Warren, I'm sure you'd be good at it (and it takes a lot of skill and patience, botn of which I lack).

ascu75 aka Don said...

I had a drive by at Oare last week (didnt see much other than twitchers) I am glad I did my birding there as a lad cos my wheelchair will be to cold soon. Your sky/sea piccies should go on skywatchfriday they are good. Now the season has changed I will be confined to looking out of the window at my feeders but still time to add a few to my year total.

Steve Gale said...

Hi Steve, I reckon the violet is probably identifiable. The sepals are pointed (making it a dog-violet) and the spur appears pale (making it more likely a Common Dog-violet). Probably...

NW Nature Nut said...

Hello! I still check in now and then. Love all your fungi photos! And the photo of the sanderlings on the shore from above is wonderful...very pleasing. I always enjoy your blog.