Sunday, 31 August 2014

31st August - All Those Dreams and Visions of Mine

The signs were all good, from the good show of migrants here  on Thursday to the news of plenty of small migrant birds including Wryneck and warblers along the south coast.  Couple that with a nice sunny warm morning I was very optimistic as we got ourselves ready to go out this morning.

Before we left there was some activity in the garden, along with the usual Goldfinches and Greenfinches on the feeders (the latter of which seem to have had a good breeding season here), there was a single Coal Tit.  There has been a regular Copal Tit through the summer, and I have no reason to believe it is not the same bird. It calls as it creeps through the trees, and then appears on the feeders.  This morning the attraction was the buggy nibbles.


As we walked along Brislands all we could hear was Long-tailed Tits, but they never came into complete view. There was also of course the song of the Robin, no quite yet to be considered winter song, but it won't be long.  We turned into Gradwell and then across into Old Down Wood.  There was very little about, and the only thing of note was a few Poppies on the edge of the harvested field.


In the wood, there were more Long-tailed Tits, and with them Goldcrests.  There was plenty of butterflies but they were all the same species, Speckled Woods.  I did pick up on a small butterfly high in the trees, it was a reddish brown in colour, and I considered Brown Hairstreak, but with the vast number of Speckled Woods we saw, I can't rule out it being one of those without a good view.

The Speckled Woods seemed to be everywhere you looked, and there was plenty of duelling going on as they moved into each other's territories.  This one posed nicely with a spider's web for company.


We walked down the main path, it was nice to see the wood looking tidy.  All the fallen trees have been removed, and the many tracks have been flattened.  It looks like a different wood admittedly, but at least now it is tidy, and the paths are accessible.

We walked through the crossroads and headed for the west end.  Two Woodpigeon flew from the path, and what I thought was a woodpecker, as it came from the ground it could only be a Green Woodpecker.  I walked on a little further, and then saw a Green Woodpecker fly across in front of me and up into an Ash tree.


It looks like a juvenile bird, and sat on the tree for awhile, and then flew off calling.  We were to see two more birds throughout the walk, all were flying, and as they landed on a ree they would call just to confirm identity.

We lft the wood,and walked down through the paddocks, again the intention was to see if the hedgerows would produce any migrants, the paddocks produced nothing.  Above a Buzzard called, and there was a Kestrel hiding somewhere in the trees, elsewhere it was just empty.

As we walked up Andrew Lane I checked the paddocks, but there was nothing, even the Swallows that were present on Thursday night were not about.  At the gate though in the hawthorn bush there were two Spotted Flycatchers hawking insects.


But that was it, a couple of Small Whites flew through, and a Sparrowhawk flew along the tree tops away in the distance, but much to far away for any pictures, it was very frustrating.

We walked through Lye Way farm, and found a male Brimstone that settled very briefly and I was able to get this very poor photograph as a record.


We walked down the lane to Kitwood, and decided to check the small paddock, there was still some flowers in the paddock, but apart from a single small white it too was very quiet.  What was of interest, and something I hadn't noticed before was a small shrub tree with bunches of red berries.  


I had assumed all the trees here were hazel or hawthorn, but the red  berries mean this is different.  I think it is a form of Guelder-Rose, a member of the viburnum family.

We left the paddock and walked through Homestead Farm, but in keeping with the day as a whole the only item of interest was the amount of berries that are ripe on the Hawthorn trees.
The hedgerow looks bright red from a distance.



Just before the main road we came across a clump of Common Ink Caps, another sign that Summer is coming to an end.


We crossed the road and headed up towards the Garden Centre for a coffee.  The paddocks were empty, and the only sign of life was the number of Speckled Woods, abundant everywhere.

After coffee we walked across the field to Blackberry Lane, and then home.  A nice walk on a very pleasant day, but a very big disappointment from a wild life perspective.  Next week we are into September, and hopefully some movement of migrants.  For now though here are some posts from our trip to Borneo which as I think I have mentioned previously was a "challenging " holiday in many ways

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