Monday, 23 April 2012

Closer to home

 Closer to home has many attractions, despite the constant threat of showers.

Ticking off the natural enjoyments of the weekend, I can include:

  • backyard ticks of goldfinch and black redstart (!) both twittering in their inimitable way, surrounded by concrete and roofs, well out of sight of any trees. Presumably the blackstart is the same as recorded by Gerald nearby on the same day;
  •  loafing around the cliffs, a glaucous gull.... the one that has matured by the fishing boats of Dungeness, obviously;
  • floating past the rifle range, an immature male eider;
  • 23 dunlin, 13 ringed plovers and three turnstones roosting on the shingle, en route to the north with various stages of breeding plumage;
  •  a small copper butterfly;
  •  over 100 green-winged orchids on the golf course but not in the paddock; and
  • a tiny flower of spring vetch..... a first for me;
  • the wonderful sight of a short-eared owl flying over the long grass of the Sandwich Bay estate, and in the evening, flushing it from the side of the road, and it landing beside the road. It stayed looking at us as dusk faded to night - a big ball of fluff resembling a long-haired cat more than a bird, but its camouflage among the tussocks was marvellous;
  • a family of five fox-cubs gambolling in the middle of the road towards midnight, all big paws and big ears; and last but not least
  • good company.


Greenie said...

Steve ,
Nice one with the Small Copper , I haven't seen one yet . Soon it will be Small Blue time at the garage .
Your GWOrchid shot means a trip to Marden Meadow soon .
Is your first shot the hide at Restharrow Scrape that I have read about ?

Kingsdowner said...

Hi Fred, yes that's the new improved Restharrow Scrape hide.
Available for weddings, parties and other functions.

It's about time you made the trip to admire it.

abbey meadows said...

Spring vetch would be a new plant for me, rare up here but they grow in the dunes at Druridge so I'll be searching hard for them.

Kingsdowner said...

Good luck Nigel, but they're tiny!

Lis said...

Would the green winged orchids still be on the golf course? I'm in Kingsdown in 10days time. Too late???

Kingsdowner said...

Hi Lis, the green-wings were later on the observatory land so they may still be there.
Do contact us when you're here! There's other things to see.