Trip reports

Samphire Hoe (Leader Karen Snow)

Samphire Hoe (Leader Karen Snow)
Rose chafer [Karen Snow]

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Six members of the Medway Group arrived at a breezy Samphire Hoe to see what was about. Richard was first to arrive and spoke with Paul, the warden, who said that the peregrines and ravens had both nested, and the black redstart was showing well. Richard had seen the peregrine before the rest of us arrived but we didn't manage to see it again.

We set off round the sea wall towards Dover and had some lovely sandwich terns flying, Steve thought he had seen a gannet, but it turned out to be a gull. Herring gulls were in abundance due to the amount of fishermen along the wall. We saw a common seal bobbing up and down in the water which was nice to see.

There were plenty of meadow pipit including a couple of young, one of which I saw being fed a big juicy caterpillar by the adult bird. We could hear skylark but didn't catch a glimpse of one all day.

Rock pipits and black redstart both showed well along the far end by the chalk face and there were plenty of house martins flying about around the cliffs. A fulmar was briefly seen skirting the top edge and cormorants were on the end rocks by the harbour.

Magpies, crows and blackbirds were all on the cliffs and a wren was heard singing. Sue saw a robin to add to the list.

The scrub by the cliff had some metal sheets for the adders, and Richard bravely lifted them to see what was underneath, both him and Steve saw slowworms and we all managed to see a small adder.

On the way back to the car park we had common blue butterfly and some rose chaffer Beatles.

We then made our way along to the path by the railway line where we had stonechat, linnet and wren. There were plenty of common blue butterfly and common spotted orchids and the honeysuckle was in flower. We had a lovely view of kestrels, they were obviously feeding young as they kept going into a nest hole in the cliffs and chasing off the crows.

House martins were skimming the pool and a meadow pipit was having a bath, there was also a baby moorhen in the grass and a black-headed gull.

A fox was spotted up on the hillside, obviously trying to get to the birds eggs and swifts were high up above.

At the beach there were greater black-backed gulls and plenty of people, but no peregrine. We decided the go back round by the sea wall rather than over the top, but it was extremely windy and nothing else was seen.

A lovely morning, sunny but breezy and a cup of coffee from the café to end the day, if you haven't been it's a great spot just outside of Dover Western Docks and although there is a parking charge it is very reasonable at just £2 for the day.

Karen Snow