It is years since I have walked along the White Cliffs from Dover towards St Margaret’s at Cliffe, so I was really looking forward to today’s walk.
The weather was bright, sunny and breezy to start with – the wind assisting us in our slow progress along the chalky footpath. During the morning the wind stiffened and by lunchtime we were struggling to keep our footing in the more exposed parts of the cliffs, and heading into the wind made our progress rather slow on the return journey. Having spent most of my holidays as a child on the East Coast at Skegness it reminded me of the “Skegness is so Bracing” slogan.
There was little chance of any perched migrants – they stood more chance of being blown back inland than making it to the continent, but in the more sheltered spots we did find plenty to keep our interest.
Common blue, meadow brown, gatekeeper, chalk-hill blue and a couple of lovely wall brown were our most notable butterflies.
Common cricket were numerous in the long grass and after much patience and searching Malcolm finally found a magnificent Grey Bush-cricket.
As always at this time of year galls are high on someone’s agenda – and today was no different with Wild Carrot and Knapweed being the main plants of interest to the illustrious gall specialist, whilst Harebells and Gentians pleased me.
The dramatic white coastline contrasted against the sea in the bright sunlight, and with ferries passing to and fro it was a delightful scene.
Among the birds seen during the day were: kestrel, peregrine, herring gull, blue tit, magpie, carrion crow, jackdaw, and a juvenile green woodpecker.