Friday 8 July 2016

More Flowers and a Surprise Owl

It's been a blustery and cloudy morning but is turning sunnier this afternoon and it's noticeable now how quick the area is drying out, which has finally seen some hay-making take place.
It was disappointing this morning on the reserve to find one of the newly fledged Marsh Harriers dead and judging by how thin it was, it had probably starved. But on a happier note, a friend called me round to his garden the other day to see this Long-eared Owl. It had taken one of his white doves from a dove-cot and was eating it, totally unconcerned by our fairly close presence. The owl roosted in a large bush in the garden that evening and then went on it's way.

On Tuesday and Wednesday this week, in very warm and sunny weather, my partner and I went over to Reculver on both days to enjoy what has to be one of my favourite places in Kent. Apart from the large Sand Martin nesting colony there, we enjoyed good long walks in both directions, the sea wall going east and up over the cliffs going west. In particular I thoroughly enjoyed a really good selection of wild flowers in the lovely maritime and meadow habitat there but here I can only offer a selection of some more from my daily patch, The Swale NNR.
This first one, that I have found no where else on Sheppey, is Spiny Restharrow.

And in one of the ditches, Common Water Plantain.

This Marsh Bedstraw is growing on the ditch bank alongside the Plantain above. Both plants have tiny flowers that are easily missed but they have a beauty all the same.

Great Willowherb.

Lady's Bedstraw, so named apparently because women used to use it for stuffing pillows and bedding with.

Birds Foot Trefoil with a bit of White Clover peeking in.


  1. Interesting post.As a new birder I have also become aware at what I am sitting on or walking through - especially grasses.Thought I might invest in a book on same.Is the Roger Phillips the best one to go for?I do not suppose you need a book, just interested in your opinion.

  2. Angela, thanks for your comment.
    I don't know the book by Roger Philips so can't really advise. The book that I have stuck with for many years and that I find invaluable is "The Wild Flowers of Britain and Northern Europe" by Richard Fitter, Alastair Fitter and Margorie Blamey. Possibly out of print these days.

  3. Beautiful photographs of wild flowers we never see around here Derek - but for shock that Long eared owl photograph has to be a stunner. Worth losing a dove for I would say. Wonder where it had come from - any ideas?

  4. It had probably bred, or been bred. locally Pat, despite being seldom seen they do nest on Sheppey.