After three years or so of exchanging comments on our blogs, it was great to finally meet Steve Kingsdowner (I’m adopting the NME tradition of calling band members by their first name followed by the name of the band they’re in – works for bloggers too). Steve hails from the chalky bit of East Kent, so it was fascinating to hear his take on the differences as he sees them between our home county (we’re both originally from Maidstone) and my adopted one.
There were few birds to be seen last Saturday afternoon, although I was careful to tell Steve about every bird I had previously seen in each spot we visited during our walk (did I protest too much?).
Indeed, I think I got the better half of the deal. Because I learnt quite a lot about some of the weeds I’m prone to ignoring, such as the Round-headed Rampion pictured above, which I thought was a) not there, and b) probably Devil’s Bit Scabious anyway, but what do I know?
I also learnt not to demand specific ID of dandelions/hawkbits, because apparently they’re impossible to tell apart and it’s therefore quite rude to ask.
I was able to (part) identify this Dor Beetle that Steve snapped.
I can only claim part because I couldn’t remember the wonderful common name, Lousy Watchman – so named ‘Lousy’ because of the colony of mites that you can often find on its undercarriage. A bit grisly, which I find tends to appeal to any children who are shown the evidence.
We also saw a Wall brown butterfly or two and some flowering Silverweed (apparently it doesn’t bother flowering very much) but later in the evening Steve went on to record much more unusual items, such as Red Star-Thistle and Moon Carrot at Seaford Head (read all about it over on his excellent blog).