West Kennet Long Barrow: a strange coincidence!

It has become an annual tradition for my two birding buddies Brian & Norman and me to spend a few days out of the county 'mopping up' species that are hard to see in Norfolk. Four times we have visited Flamborough Head in Yorkshire, which is the location of Bempton Cliffs, RSPB reserve. This stretch of chalk sea-cliffs is home to large colonies of seabirds: Gannets, Kittiwakes, Auks as well as scarce passerines such as Tree Sparrows and Corn Buntings. Nearby at Rudston is an incredible neolithic obelisk: including the portion underground it is over fifty feet in length.

Our visit in June 2024 was as productive as we'd anticipated, with all the expected birds and moorland species too. On our last afternoon we decided to revisit Flamborough Head Lighthouse and sat on a cliff-top bench to eat an ice cream.

I got into a conversation with a couple around our age about the benefits of belonging to groups such as English Heritage and the National Trust, just to avoid the parking charges at most historical sites. I happened to mention that I had enjoyed a visit to West Kennet Long Barrow in 2022: to my surprise the lady said that she and her husband had been there the year after. "I hope you won't think we're stupid," she continued "but the strangest thing happened there. We were the only visitors and both felt slightly unsettled for some reason: as we entered the stone chamber, a shower of rose petals dropped on us from above!" You will recall that Linda and I experienced an almost identical occurrence on our visit!