Wednesday, 21 July 2010

A Man of Kent or Kentish Man

Unlike the previous half a dozen days, there was no news this morning before 08-00 of the White-tailed Lapwing/Plover (whichever its name is) at Dungeness. Despite that, and the fact it was potentially the height of the school/works traffic Bowie, Sheila and I set off prompt at 8a.m. to undertake the 400+ mile round trip to see not only an extremely rare visitor to our shores, but one that has also put in a few miles itself. Seen at Minsmere on the east coast of England, the same bird has also been recorded in Holland, Slimbridge to the west and now on the south coast of Kent.

The roads were virtually clear all the way and even after a short coffee break and search for an update on status (fortunately positive) at Winchester we still arrived only a little after noon. The first identifiable feature was the Dungeness Nuclear Power Station perched on the coast almost where the English Channel meets the North Sea.

Having sort advise as to location at the RSPB Visitor's Center we headed for the ARC Gravel Pit back from whence we had come, and soon met some fellow 'birders' who had it lined up in their telescope - TICK!

Up until checking last night I couldn't remember if this species was on my world list, but all came flooding back when thumbing through my notes from India - it was. The photograph shows our fist sighting, so it's now on my GB list as well - Yes it is there!

Dungeness Lighthouse - another for Paul & Tess Lifton the Lighthouse Family.

Yellow-horned Poppy

Ditto, I haven't see any on Chesil Beach this year.

We moved along from 'the Screen' where all the other 'birders' were and these were the views,

not you might say brilliant, but through the telescope very good indeed! Think you'll need to 'right click' on these images.

Large Flowered Evening Primrose

and in close up, very common here.

Worth a 10 minute stop of anybodies money,

a typical ancient Kent church.

Common Blue Butterfly

Then on to Wye also in Kent where we hoped to see Late Spider Orchid, but the god's were not on our side so we continued on apace to Greywell near Basingstoke, Hampshire where both Orchids and Butterflies were numerous.

Marsh Fragrant Orchid were plentiful

and despite being slightly past their best we were lucky to see them in full flower.

A single Silver Wash Fritillary

showed very well even at

'take off'.

Marsh Helleborine (represented by 2 variants) were

also on show in numbers, but far too technical for me.

Other butterflies included Small & Large Skipper, Small Copper, Large White, Gatekeeper, Comma, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Marbled White, Meadow Brown plus this

Ringlet (my first of the year) and several

Green-veined Whites

A Man of Kent is said to have been born East of the River Medway, while a Kentish Man would have been born to the West. This, by all accounts, can still cause offense in Kent, the county known as the Garden of England!

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