Gibraltar Point

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The great advantage of visiting Skegness, from my point of view, good though the Seal Sanctuary was, was the opportunity it presented to pop to the nearby Wildlife Trust reserve at Gibraltar Point.

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Despite the blue skies it was bitterly cold, although I did see my first swallow and hear my first chiff-chaff of the year during the visit, and, as you can see above, the blackthorn was flowering which hadn’t happened yet at home, so it did feel a little like spring.

The principal phenomena I shall remember from this visit were the tattered rags of tissue paper and burst teabags apparently hanging in the branches of the sea buckthorn which grows abundantly along the edge of the low dunes.

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Except they were neither tissue paper nor teabags, but the nests of brown-tail moth caterpillars…

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The moths have overwintered together in these communal nests and were probably just emerging when we saw them, since the sea-buckthorn had abundant buds but no leaves yet.

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Apparently, these moths are considered to be a pest, although I can’t decide if that’s because of their unusually catholic tastes – they’ll live on a wide variety of plants (called polyphagia* I learn) and presumably strip them bare – or because the hairs on their bodies are extremely irritating and can cause a nasty rash, headaches and breathing difficulties. Neither traits are particularly endearing I suppose.

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Nesting swan.

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Little grebes.

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A pied-wagtail again!

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*Polyphagia, it transpires, has two meanings:

  1. an insatiable appetite for food

  2. the habit on the part of some animals of feeding on many different types of food

Both of which might equally well be applied to the caterpillars and to me.

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Gibraltar Point

7 thoughts on “Gibraltar Point

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      It’s a lovely spot with lots to see. Many of my childhood holidays were spent in this vicinity and although I loved it at the time, with hindsight I remember it as being a bit shabby, but I think I need to re-evaluate, Gibraltar Point is certainly well worth a visit.

  1. You should talk to OGS – he did his thesis up at Gibraltar Point. Jane needs somewhere to take TJF in the summer while she’s staying at her mums. I suggested Skegness and it’s environs as worthy of a couple of days

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I will, I never knew that! The Lincolnshire Coast has more to offer then you might think – even some of the resorts that I remember as being tatty have been much improved. (Not sure about Skegness itself.) Quite a drive though I think. Lincoln would be nearer and is well worth a visit (see next post!).

  2. Moved from Lancashire to Lincolnshire when I was seven – fifty years later I still have mixed feelings about Skegness compared to Blackpool, Southport and Morecambe, but I gradually got used to it. How about Gibraltar Point v Arnside?

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I moved from Lincolnshire to Leicestershire when I was five, and then to Lancashire (if you count Greater Manchester) when I was eighteen. I spoiled my record of living only in counties beginning with L by a brief sojourn over the border in Cumbria, however. I lived in Morecambe for a while – hard to compare it with Skegness, though they probably have a lot in common.

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