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On the first full day of my short break in East Sussex, my friend Jill and I enjoyed a long walk around the fabulous Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, which, along with Dungeness, encompasses the largest coastal shingle area in Europe. Former gravel pits now filled with fresh water together with salt-marshes and saline lagoons provide the perfect habitats for a huge number of birds, as well as both common and rare species of plants and insects. I was in biological heaven!

160814 Rye Harbour (18)

The species in my photos are just a very small selection of what you can see: Black-headed gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) and an unidentified small brown wader; Geranium sp; Viper’s bugloss (Echium vulgare); Little egret (Egretta garzetta); Great mullein (Verbascum thapsus); Curlew (Numenius arquata); Pied wagtail (Motacilla alba); Large white butterfly (Pieris brassicae); Field Grasshopper (Chorthippus brunneus); a plant that looks like a dandelion but isn’t (!); Wild teasel (Dipsacus fullonum); Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo); Yellow horned poppy (Glaucium flavum); Coots (Fulica atra); Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) and rather raggedy Red admiral (Vanessa atalanta) butterflies; Lapwings (Vanellus vanellus); and Marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis).

For a wander around the landscapes of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, check out my Sconzani blog post here.