The Natural History of Car Boot Sales

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday, 5 September 2010 16:28

A plastic heron and a Small Dusty Wave in a car park stair well was about as interesting as it got. Yawn. So, I escaped the car boot at the marina and went sea watching. I immediately saw a mixed flock of migrating terns. There were eight Comics and a single Little Tern. After that the bird life was pretty dull with a Med. Gull, a Wheatear, 9 Sandwich Terns  and 5 Sand Martins being of the most interesting.
Just by the western arm of the marina, there is a tiny patch of vegetated shingle. Dominated by the rather local Sea Kale here, this community is best described by SD1a - the typical Curled Dock - Yellow-horned Poppy shingle community. There is also Sea Fern-grass here as well as Sea Sandwort, Sticky Groundsel and a few specimens of the alien grass Cockspur (below). Further up the slope this community grades into SM24 - Sea Couch salt-marsh community.
I searched for some invertebrate interest but all I could find was this green carabid under a stone. I struggled even to get this shot, it was very camera shy and just kept trying to bury itself. It keyed out rather neatly to be the common Harpalus affinis, one of the ones I have already seen. It appears I have failed to see a single new species all weekend! Bugger.

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