19th May 2014
Rye Harbour, East Sussex, England
Today marked the start of my next long roadtrip, where I plan to spend around 2 months in the Swiss Alps. Before catching the ferry to France, however, I stopped off for a couple of days on the south coast to explore a few spots.
My first stop was at Rye Harbour in East Sussex. There wasn't a huge variety of bird life here when I visited, but the nesting Sandwich Terns did provide a couple of hours of entertainment as they flew back and forward to their nests on the floating platform in front of one of the hides.
The Sandwich Terns were sharing their artificial island with a few nesting pairs of Black-headed Gulls. These were a little bit further behind in their mating cycle and were still involved in courtship and nest-building.
Along the shingle banks, distictive, large clumps of Sea Kale were growing prolifically. The leaves of this plant were once considered a delicacy which resulted in its disappearance from much of its former range around the coasts of Britain. It is, however, slowly recovering and starting to recolonise the shingle beaches in many areas.
Salsify is a close relative of Goatsbeard, with larger purple flowers instead of yellow. It was introduced to Britain from the Mediterranean and large numbers of it were growing along the banks of the entrance track to the reserve.
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