Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Calling out your name

A good start to the day with a few more moths to verify that the warmer nights were at last having the desired affect and encouraging a bit more activity in the night air.

The highlight of another glorious afternoon and a walk along the cliff top from the South Foreland Valley to Langdon Hole was the evocative cries of a group of Kittiwakes loafing around on the sea just down from the Lighthouse.
Altogether I counted 42 Kittiwakes below me, but I must admit I may have missed a few as looking over a cliff top with drop of around 100m! Not a common breeder in Kent, probably due to lack of suitable breeding sites the Kittiwake, or more properly the Black-legged Kittiwake (to separate it from its Red-legged congener from Alaska) is the most numerous gull in the world.

The number of Kittiwakes breeding on the cliffs here has certainly fallen over the years. I find it hard to see where there are appropriate ledges now, but it isn't easy to see the face from the top. I'm hoping for a boat ride from the Bay to Dover later in the summer to try to see and nesting activity.

As well as the large flints jutting out from the chalk there are also large faces that have a sort of bumpy "marbled" effect. Again there don't look to be many places to lay an egg on these areas.

As I looked over the top I noticed this chap collecting something, presumable shellfish of some sort, either for human consumption, or possibly as bait when fishing. At Langdon Hole a Lesser Whitethroat was singing from the scrub at hte bottom, but I was too lazy to go dawn there to see the bird. Back towards the Lighthouse numerous Linnets were feeding in the rough grass now set aside from the agricultural fields and one Corn Bunting repeated his jingle several times from a fence post.

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