By mollyblobs

The North Sea

A repeat visit to Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe Dunes today, with Chris and Pete. While they were working I did some botanical recording - despite its NNR status the recent records are rather patchy, so I was able to fill in plenty of gaps. My route south took me across dune pasture, rich with Confused Eyebright, Carline Thistle and Quaking Grass and through slacks with fen meadow of Blunt-flowered Rush with an understorey of Marsh Pennywort, Water Mint and a very large population of Marsh Helleborine - mostly in seed but with one or two remaining flowers.

I returned along the edge of the beach, where there was a mix of species including lots of Saltwort and Frosted Orache, as well as areas of colonising saltmarsh, stained crimson by sheets of Purple Glasswort (see extra). The established saltmarsh had changed colour since my last visit, taking on hues of gold and amber, interspersed by stands of flowering Sea Aster, which were being used by the very local Sea Aster Mining-bee. 

Much of the time the sky was overcast, with a relentless wind, but the sun appeared late in the afternoon, turning the normally grey North Sea an appealing shade of turquoise, flecked with white horses. Lovely to just stop and take in the sense of space and the lack of human noise.

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