Napchester is on the Roman Road between Dover and Richborough, and was a resting place, hence the name (geddit?). A report of a calling quail there on Bird-guides yesterday had me driving over the downs earlyish this morning, and I was overjoyed to eventually hear it in a wheat-field. It's a first for me, and an emotive sound of the cornfields. No sighting of course, but most enjoyable, especially since it was heard from one of the best roadside verges in the area.
The wayside is frothing with bedstraws, scabious, knapweeds and other downland plants, attracting butterflies in profusion. There was even a painted lady flitting between the flowers.
The songs of common whitethroats, corn buntings, skylarks and meadow pipits added to the occasional call of the quail, and a buzzard soared overhead. Francesca Greenoak's "All the Birds of the Air" records some local names for quail from its three-syllable call: Wet-my-feet, Wet-my-lip and Quick-me-dick are quoted. Listen closely and the last (from Oxfordshire) seems closest.
And last but not least, a group of four rough poppy plants, a rare species living between the verge and the crops.
While writing about Bird-guides, I saw that a golden eagle had been reported at Paddock Wood. Coincidentally we saw four Eagles (not golden but definitely silver-haired) at Paddock Wood on Friday evening, and Joe Walsh can still play that guitar!