A glorious morning, spent with Mike Langman, on the limestone environs of Berry Head. Mike's knowledge of the headland's flora and fauna is second to none, so it was a real privilege to be shown so much of it in perfect, late spring conditions. I'd forgotten just how beautiful a place Berry Head is, but I suppose I used to visit mostly in autumn, with my mind set solely on birds. How times have changed!
The famous White Rock Rose was growing in abundance. They're absolutely gorgeous.
Mike and I saw masses of Small Blues. They weren't counted but I'd guess we saw 30-40 individuals. Some, like the above, were absolutely pristine. It has been a good few years since I last saw this species.
Fulmars. It was generally quiet for birds this morning, but we did see good numbers of Guillemot, a few Razorbills and a couple Cirl Buntings. A couple of Cetti's Warblers, that have apparently been in residence for a while, sang as I made my way back to the car.
Carrot Broomrape - in the quarry. Seeing so many of these flowers was a real highlight for me. Each and every one was nowhere near any Ivy, but close to Wild Carrot.
We saw several Wall Browns, masses of Small Blues and a number of Common Blues, but other species were notable by their absence - presumably a consequence of a poor early spring?
Dropwort - a beautiful species that I was very keen to see.
Viper's Bugloss. There are some impressive stands of this at Berry Head.
Goat's-beard - also known as 'Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon' thanks to its habit of 'shutting up shop' (see below) around midday. I've not seen this before, but saw it again on the way home - on Sandygate roundabout, as I was stopped at traffic lights.
Mouse-ear Hawkweed. And below.