Sunday, 26 April 2009

Clinging to the Cliff Top

The small group of Early Spider Orchids on the top of the cliff, close to The Bluebird Tea Rooms don't have an easy life.

Stuck tight on the edge of the cliff, and probably qualifying as the nearest English Orchids to France, on a clear day the French coastline might have been visible in the view above. These tiny plants too often fall victim to nibbling rabbits or they get trodden on by visitors daring to look over the edge of the cliff.

They seem to have got used to the various hardships and are able to suddenly appear, growing up from their leaves almost overnight.

Even though they are only a couple of inches tall they are worth a close look as they are still one of the most beautiful of our native plants.

The year continues to be good for butterflies with this Painted Lady being an early arrival of this species. This one is a bit damaged, but later in the day I saw another pristine example at Langdon Cliffs.
Birds Today was fairly quiet until Phil Richard found a Red-rumped Swallow at 8.00 a.m. It seems to have flown north and the rest of the group had missed it until it reappeared at the Monument at 10 a.m. but again failed to hang around. The full details with some pictures of Phil's can be found here.

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