Friday, 3 July 2020

Trees and African mammals

West Hythe - cool, sunshine and cloudy, sw 5 - This morning we had a run out across the Marsh to West Hythe for a change of scene in blustery weather conditions. From the car park we walked the southern footpath beside the Royal Military Canal west to Aldergate bridge, returning on the northern side of the cut through the trees.
  Infact, trees are the highlight of this walk and many fine specimens of forest giants such as Small-leaved Lime, Oak, Crack Willow, Hornbeam, Ash and Black Poplar were admired along the way. In several places we found evidence of Ash-dieback and Dutch Elm regrowth, and in sheltered dappled shade on the northern bank a number of Red Admirals, Hedge Browns, Small Tortoiseshells and at least one flighty White-letter Hairstreak.

                                RM Canal, view from the dam

                                Viewing west from Aldergate bridge

                                Avenue of Black Poplars

                               Moorhen, the only riparian bird in a 2 mile section of the canal

  This section of the canal always looks promising for riparian birds, but consistently fails to deliver with just a single Moorhen noted throughout a two mile section of canal. However, on a positive note wayside birds of note included a singing Turtle Dove and Yellowhammer, plus Treecreeper, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a white-tailed Buzzard.
  Added bonuses during the walk include spectacular views along the chalk hills of the Roman ruins, Stutfall and Lympne Castles, plus a fine selection of African savannah mammals!

                                Roman fort ruins

A selection of African and Asian herbivores


  1. Paul, off topic, but I'm just finishing the book "Wilding" and what a wonderful and invigorating book it has been. It demonstrates that there is hope for the English countryside if the right people can be talked into believing it.

  2. It certainly does Derek, and of course Knepp has been much in the mainstream news of late due to the first nesting of White Storks in this country for over 600 years. It just goes to show what can be achieved in a relatively small space. Hopefully, the idea will catch on with a few more landowners that farm unsuitable marginal land for crops. All the best, Paul.

  3. Nice walk Paul! BTW those are Asian Water Buffalo, not the African equivalent!

  4. Thanks for that Norman, you`re spot on! All the best.