Jul 232012

Folkestone in July  . . . .

I have to laugh, as I check the time my computer is saying “British SUMMER Time” – what a misnomer that is this year!

However, I am jumping the gun slightly here.

Folkestone Warren below

After over a month in the neotropics of Brazil, it was great to get back to my usual Wednesday wanderings with Malcolm, Sally and Irene.   The only concession to the recent inclement weather was a raincoat and my waterproof walking boots – just in case.

We started off at the clifftop cafe above Folkestone Warren Nature Reserve.   The idea was that we would wander in the “warren” but it took persistence to get to a car park which was anywhere near the footpaths.   After a couple of false starts, we were finally heading towards the beach through some reasonable if well-walked woodland which housed (amongst other flora) bee orchid, common spotted orchid and agrimony.

The bird list was limited to herring gull, house sparrow, kestrel, magpie, greenfinch and chiffchaff, but we also saw ringlet butterfly.


After we had reached the beach there was a short but very sharp downpour.   We continued along the beach, and as the sun came out we picnicked on the sea wall enjoying the sunshine.

We kept a wary eye on the dark clouds gathering behind us, but were still caught out as the most tremendous storm hit, with thunder, lightning and another downpour.   After some minutes we decided to move back to the wood where there would be more cover should another storm hit.   Unfortunately the weather really did have it in for us and as soon as we moved away from the rather limited shelter offered by the sea defences yet another deluge hit us.

Bee Orchid

After several yards walking in this storm the rain was racing down my legs, through my socks and filling my (previously impervious) walking boots – someone should tell goretex that it IS pervious to wicking by socks!

I tipped what felt like gallons of rain out of my boots, put them back on and still had to walk back with two lead weights of water sloshing around my feet.   As we moved back towards the wood, Malcolm found a sand louse, an amazing creature.   It appeared to be trying to get back up the extremely wet cliff, so he put it back near where it was found, but off the path.  I can find nothing about this creature on the internet – apart from photographs from others who are equally uninformed!   Anyone got any info out there?



Sand Louse

We were all soaked and exhausted when we got back to the car park, so nothing else to do but have a cup of tea and celebrate Irene’s up-coming birthday with homemade cakes on the seafront.

What a welcome back to blighty!


  One Response to “The Rain in Kent falls mainly on the Birdwatchers . . . .”

Comments (1)
  1. We now have more information on the “Sand Louse”. It is in fact a Sea Slater – or Ligia oceanica for the more scientific amongst you – a littoral woodlouse. Also called common sea slater or sea roach. They are found in rock pools, crevices and under stones and are nocturnal omnivores eating seaweed, diatoms (algae) and debris, and are partial to bladder wrack. They live for 2-3 years and only breed once . . . . so we know. Apparently a good place to spot them are along the wall of the Medway near Rochester Castle.
    Thanks Julie