Saturday, 1 September 2007

Minature plants

Many of the plants on the grassland are small, but when you look at them closely they can be beautiful. Above is one of the few Autumn Lady's Tresses that grow on the paddock. I had intended to include a a picuture of the glorious sight of thousands on a lawn, but unfortunately it's been mowed since last week and beauty has been replaced by a regulation striped green lawn. This little Orchid grows only to about three of four inches tall, but is exquisite in form.

I must admit I thought the few, small Poppies on the edge of the cliff top field were a different species from earlier, but no, the late ones are just small.

Having been show the Autumn Gentian last week, I was surprised to learn that this Yellow-Wort is in the same family. It is prolific in the paddock at the moment and it is interesting to note that the stem passes through the leaves, giving it its specific name of perfoliata.

This is I think my favourite of the moment. It is a Pale Flax, a scarce of dry grassy areas, especially near the sea. This area is the stronghold in Kent.

Bird News After the large passage of hirundines yesterday there were fewer today, but there were good numbers of warblers around, with Lesser and Common Whitethroats the most numerous, but it was good to see some Garden Warblers. In all the group counted four. An interesting call had us searching a group of bushes for its source and we were duly surprised when a small blue Parrot flew of towards the monument. We encountered the bird a little later but again found it surprisingly difficult to see despite it being quite noisy. At least three Grasshopper Warblers were seen, although with their skulking habits more may have been around. The highlight for me was watching a group of four Sparrowhawks and two Peregrines circling overhead for a couple of minutes in mid-morning. A few years ago this would have been unprecedented but since the ban on organo-phosphorous pesticides and a more enlightened attitude to predators this magnificent birds are now back to a balanced population.

PS it was nice to meet the couple I photoed swimming on April 22nd, they looked remarkably sane of people who partake in such extraordinary behaviour (have you felt the sea in April?). Also I heard from the new Owner of Curfew Cottage, and discovered he was the same gentleman, Keith Morris (no relation) who admired our mutilated Ash Tree. I also saw Sadie and Sophie, with mum Sam, who I last met while they were feeding the ducks on June 17th, they seem to be enjoying living in the village.

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