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« From the Clifftop | Main | Rye Harbour »

From the Clifftop

The last three nights moth trapping  have been disappointing , with nothing new for the year-too cold !

However a walk along the cliffs to the Visitor Centre and Quarry yesterday  [to check out the route of the Friends of HCPNR's Herbal Walk on Saturday] was interesting:

The red stems of parasitic Dodder were conspicuous at the east end of the Firehills, sprawling over the low vegetation-a welcome  result of the clearance of dominant gorse in recent years. Further along, pale fruits on the cliff-edge blackthorn were conspicuous, an internet search revealed that these are the Pocket Plum Gall:   "Taphrina pruni which is is a fungal plant pathogen that gives rise to the Pocket or Bladder Plum gall, which is a chemically induced distortion that causes fruit to swell on one side, or become otherwise deformed and flattened forming a rather bean like pod. Affected fruits have no stone."

A Siskin flew E while we looked at these, as did a House Martin and 2 Swallows. No Swifts, but signs that these are arriving now; as well as those Chris reports below, there were c100 at Dungeness the day before which looked as though they had just come in.

At the top of Warren Glen we watched one of the newly arrived Heavy Horses dragging a roller through quite tall bracken in order to weaken it as part of the ongoing programme to restore grassland here.

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