Saturday, 29 October 2016

Danes Dyke

A half term day trip with the kids to the beach. The weather was promising, dry, still and mild.
As we get out of the car, the calls of pinkfoot fill the air and a flock in V formation of around 100 fly high on their south migration.
 We walk through the woodland path, at the bottom of the ancient ditch that cuts across the Flamborough Headland, at its southern end towards the beach.

It's full low tide as we arrive, which exposes a wide and golden sandy beach. We camp at the bottom of the cliff and while the kids run around on the beach chasing a football and Pokemons, I do a spot of seawatching.

There is a group of about 20 Common Scoters not too far offshore, feeding in the calm water. They do the sequential diving as Tufted ducks do, one after the other. The whole flock disappearing for a few seconds and then appearing one after the other.

A large, dark and powerful bird flies fast across the sea. It's a Peregrine! It eventually disappears from sight towards South Landing before I can take a photo.
 We upturn a few boulders revealing seething masses of jumping beach hoppers. One of them has just moulted and not quite ready for jumping yet!
There are plenty of Robins and Wrens on the cliffs. 
At the bottom, they are joined by a Redshank, keen to feed on the tideline.
 There are also Rock Pipits, hard to count, but about five of them. They are a bit of a photographic challenge, as they like to feed on the very dark kelp, which contrasts massively with the very white chalk boulders.

As I go for a little walk up the beach, I meet a group of very hurried sanderlings, running their usual race by the waves. They are very entertaining to watch.

The Yorkshire Belle passing by.
After lunch, we head back through the path in the woods. The woodland has large beech, ash and sycamore, with a few garden ornamentals around the car park such as an Araucaria.

A view of the wooded ravine.
The woodland floor was very dry, even under logs. We only found five large White-legged Snake Millipede, Tachypodoiulus niger, on a decomposing log.
Back to the other side of the ravine across the bridge.

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