Sunday, 21 July 2013

19th July - We'll Toil With Hearts and Hands

Another hot day, and I decided to go out late in the afternoon.  This weekend I was trying to find as many butterflies as I could, so I decided to start the search at the development field on Brislands.  I also hoped to get a chance to look at the reptile traps.  The first one I looked at had nothing under the felt, but as I walked into the field, I noticed the man I had seen on Tuesday, so I decided to leave the traps alone.

There was a bit of a breeze today, along with the heat, and the field was covered with butterflies.  There were large patches of ragwort and thistles, and the meadow browns and ringlets could be seen flying over them.  At the entrance to the field, the Comma that sent my pulse racing on Tuesday was still about.

The meadow browns just did not stop, but a Large Skipper once again provided a loved composition.

I walked around the field, checking any insect that settled on the flowers.  I came across a bunch of Ragwort, with caterpillars all over it.  They were the distinctive yellow and black caterpillars of the Cinnabar.

Another small butterfly settled on the thistles, this time it was a Small Skipper.

There didn't seem to be any new species here, so I set off towards Old Down.  I decided to go in via the Gradwell entrance, and as I walked past the paddocks all I could here were the calls of Swallows.  Some birds were over the filed, but I soon managed to find the source of the calls as the birds were settling in the bushes on the other side of the paddock.  It is difficult to see them all here, but I counted 46 birds in the tree, and the birds would rest here before setting off across the barley fields.

Even with this number of birds in the trees, there were still plenty over the field.  I couldn't find any House Martins though.

I walked into the wood, and made my way to the cross roads, I then headed towards Old Down cottage.  A large butterfly was flying around one of the sunny glades, and when it settled, I could see it was a Red Admiral.

Apart from the Red Admiral there was the usual Meadow Browns, and Ringlets, so I decided to check the path down towards the west end.  It was quiet here, a few Large Whites and of course the Meadow Browns.  I walked down to the west end, and then looked out over the paddocks.

I have just got a new lens, smaller focal length for those landscape shots.  This is looking up from the style to Desmonds.

I walked back around the outside of the wood to the north.  The whole area was full of white and brown butterflies, and looking back the view across to Ropley looked superb in the early evening sunshine.

As I said there were butterflies everywhere, this Large Skipper, posed for my new lenses.

There were also lots of blue flowers just by the edge of the wood, these are Meadow Crane's-bill.

And in the field amongst the barley was the odd Poppy. 

looking closely at the Poppy petals, they look like parchment paper.

I walked back along Brislands, there were still butterflies around, and this Large White sat nicely along the side of the road.

A singing Yellowhammer caused me to change lenses.  The Yellowhammer is a lovely bird, and at this time of year the fields are still full of them and their song.

A butterfly I hadn't seen so far today was the Gatekeeper, and as I came towards the junction with Gradwell, there was at least six on the hedgerow.

Another lovely evening, tomorrow though I hope to search Old Down, I am convinced there are some butterflies there that I have yet to find.

In the evening while sitting in the garden, five swifts flew over, they just keep coming.

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