My weekly visit started at the stable blocks today. From the back of them I walked along the back of the woods towards the orchard. The many brambles, nettles and buddleia bushes along that M4 wall are alive with critters at this time of year.....
|Forest Bug aka Red-legged Shield Bug|
|Helophilus pendulus - species of hoverfly|
|Marmalade Fly - Episyrphus balteatus|
|Wasp mimic hoverfly - Volucella zonaria|
|side view Southern Hawker|
Walking through the woods towards the Headland, I could hear a Hobby calling and emerged from the woods just in time to see two flying overhead......
Continuing my stroll around the back of the Ice House copse, a Red Kite then soared over.....
In the meadows itself it was all about our resident Kestrels. I saw four today.....
One juvenile female gave me some lovely views as she hunted crickets on the grass paths.....
From the meadows I walked over to the river and followed it's path down to the stone bridge. I had two fleeting glimpses of a Kingfisher as it flew past, and this young Song Thrush was looking for critters along the paths edge......
I scanned the river in both directions from the stone bridge but couldn't find the Kingfisher again.
Back at the stable blocks where my walk had begun, I quickly checked on the Swallows nest. It's still there. You can just see from my quickly taken photo below, one of the adults sitting on the nest. I waited patiently away from the nest, and when the adult flew off, I quickly checked the nest again to listen for any chicks cheeping, but there was nothing but silence. Either we have eggs, or they have only just hatched. Great news.
It was a fairly quick visit for me today, only three hours, but there was plenty for me to observe and photograph.