On Monday we visited Cissbury Ring with Ubbeh for the first time in ages. The climb was muddy and sticky with the chalky clay but the views from the top were superb, even though it was misty in the distance. We saw the first ladybird of the year (pictured on the previous blog).
The steep path up Cissbury Ring
On Thursday I joined Neil, Roger and Martin at Heyshott Down for scrub clearing with members of the The Murray Downland Trust. We were clearing a bowl in hillside to create habitat for the primulas, food plant of the Duke of Burgundy, reckoned to be the most endangered of the British butterflies. Last year we made a record count for this colony - 51 on one day by Neil the day after I counted around 30. Murray Downland Trust members have been doing a superb job over the years of creating optimum habitat on this site of old chalk pits. These form excellent sheltered 'sun bowls' which are good for the DoB which hates wind. The plan is to create rides for the DoB females to escape into new nearby territory to increase its distribution and numbers. We chopped down trees and the wood and strimmed grass and unwanted cover was dragged onto a well fed bonfire. It was satisfying to see a cleared hillside at the end of the day. The primroses were already in flower in some sheltered areas of the site.
On Wednesday my new iPod Touch 4G arrived and I have been getting to know it. It not exactly intuitive. I am loading our collection of 140 CDs into it and that works fine. I tried to download the iBooks app so I can store pdf files from emails. That failed totally and after checking on the internet I find this is a common problem. I can view my email and Facebook using our home WiFi. I plan to load a selection of photos and a bird id video and other natural history id apps. I tried to get its Bluetooth function to work with the car's Bluetooth radio, but no joy. I may have to buy some hardware to play it through the car sound system. There will obviously be a considerable learning curve with this new toy.