On Saturday, 27 June 2015 on a lovely sunny morning 18 of us met for our walk “On the Downs above Eastbourne” but before going up the path to the top of the Downs we explored a little known gem of a wild flower meadow on the edge of the town discovering numerous Pyramidal and Common-spotted orchids and butterflies including Marbled White (the first ones of the year for many of us), Common Blue and Large and Small Skippers.
We then took the path to the top of the Downs stopping many times on the way to look at and identify many plant species including Broad-leaved Willowherb, Green Alkanet, Hart’s Tongue Fern, Goatsbeard, Cut-leaved Cranesbill and Nipplewort. Great close up views of newly emerged Speckled Wood butterflies were enjoyed by all to the background song of a Blackcap.
We reached the top of the Downs and immediately heard Skylarks singing, saw a couple of Swifts overhead and also heard and then saw Whitethroats. The plant list continued to grow with Common Toadflax, Hedge Woundwort and Wild Carrot amongst others added and we were then able to closely examine both Bladder and White Campion side by side to note the differences.
Before beginning the walk back we enjoyed one of the high points of the morning which was Anna’s entertaining visual explanation about how to identify Common Sorrel from Sheep’s Sorrel by trying to see a Sheep’s Face in the latter and shortly after this a few of us were very lucky to see the wonderfully named Hairy-footed flower bee.
My thanks to Anna and Peter for leading the walk and for making sure we all had an enjoyable morning.