We set off from the Sea Road Car Park in Milford-on-Sea at low tide; aware parts of the route to Sturt Pond are flooded at high tide. Passing through the metal gate in the far corner of the car park we saw one of the wall rocket species and Dove’s-foot Cranesbill in bloom.
The path took us past banks of Brambles, Common Stinging Nettles and large stands of Hemlock Water Dropwort. By the first wooden bridge we heard a Cetti’s Warbler.
Moving on past thick hedgerow we saw Common Mallow, Hogweed, Salsify (spectacular seed heads and mauve flowers), white Foxgloves, Spear Thistle, Bittersweet (Woody Nightshade), white flowered Common Comfrey and a young Robin in a birch tree.
|Salsify with Swollen-thighed Beetle © Chris Robinson|
|Syrphus vitripennis - a hoverfly © Chris Robinson|
Just past a small bridge the view opened up and we studied a beautiful metallic-green Swollen-thighed Flower Beetle on patch of Ox-eye Daisies in the sun. Other plants identified here included Pink Oxalis (garden escapee), Smooth Sow-thistle, Common Mallow, Purple Toadflax and Scots Pine with numerous cones.
|Swollen-thighed Beetle on Ox-eye Daisy © Glynis Payne|
|Bittersweet © Richard Smith|
As we approached Sturt Pond we saw Yellow Iris, Silverweed and Charlock in flower. A vole scurried across the path.
|Sturt Pond from Hurst Spit © Glynis Payne|
Along the edge of Sturt Pond we saw these plants: English Scurvygrass, Sea Beet, Sea Mayweed, Sea Milkwort, Sea Aster, Lesser Sea-spurrey and Sea Purslane and a variety of birds: Shelduck, Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull, two Cormorants in flight, Gadwall, Little Egret, and Oystercatcher. On reaching the Hurst Spit end we saw Thrift, Field Bindweed (small pink flowers), Sea Plantain, Buck’s-horn Plantain and Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil.
|Sea Milkwort © Chris Robinson|
Sea Campion © Julia Race