Trip reports

Samphire Hoe (Leader Karen Snow)

Samphire Hoe (Leader Karen Snow)
MLG Group At Samphire Hoe [Karen Snow]

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Travelling down to Samphire Hoe, I found out that once again we were scheduled to be in the same place as the Gravesend Group. However, when we arrived I spoke to the Gravesend group and we decided to go in opposite directions so as not to be a large group.

We were still 16 including several people who were not yet members of the Medway group, but had been out with us a couple of times before. Always good to see potential members, so welcome to you all.

We set off down towards the sea wall which was in use for a fishing competition as well as being used by the regular fisherman.

There were several young meadow pipits along the wall and skylark singing overhead. Steve shouted peregrine and it was a youngster which flew off around the corner. A cormorant was out in the channel.

We headed round the corner scanning the cliffs for birds. The peregrine was spotted quite a few times, there were several house martins as well as herring gulls. We lingered quite a while and eventually saw a rock pipit, black redstart, whitethroat and wren, but it was quite hard work. Sue thought she saw a hobby. Steve had a couple of slow worms under the corrugated iron panels. There was also a hummingbird hawk moth on the buddleia.

We headed back to the visitor centre for a pit stop before heading onwards towards the railway line.

It was still very quiet. There was a pale morph buzzard which had been hanging over the cliff all day and we had wonderful views including at one point when it had caught an adder! There were several peas (not sweet peas!) both narrow and broad-leaved varieties as well as pyramidal orchid and spotted orchid which were going over.

We had some great views of raven, a flyby of a sparrowhawk and another whitethroat before we got to the beach. We hung around the beach for a while where there was more cormorant but little else.

We headed back over the top, seeing skylark, the buzzard and raven still over the cliff and marbled white butterfly. Others also saw gatekeeper and clouded yellow butterflies.

A lovely, albeit cloudy, day at this lovely place just outside of Dover Western Docks. It does have a small parking charge and gets very busy, but has a café and well worth a visit at any time of year.

Karen Snow