Saturday, 31 August 2013

Local Stuff

I have not been up to Deadman's hill for a while, so I have missed the summer build up of raptors. I decided to go up this morning, though I was not expecting a great deal. As expected, on the way up I encountered the usual warnings of road closures, 'resurfacing' attempts and so on that seem so prevalent around here at this time of year.
I encountered the usual Buzzard and Kite on the way, plus a few Swallows and House Martins. At the green gate, I stopped for about half an hour. A large covey of Red Legged Partridge, maybe 15 were flushed from the hedge by the gate, and a smaller group of maybe 8 Grey Partridges could be seen on the eastern slopes. Raptors were rather thin-one female Kestrel was hunting the lower part of the eastern slope, and one or two distant Kites could be seen, and there were perhaps five or six Buzzards in the heat haze to the south east. Smaller birds were scarce too-in fact it was very quiet-a few Yellowhammers, and one Whitethroat. Two Swallows went south west.
I then went down to Norton Green in the hope of seeing a few butterflies. A local-Peter Clark had been reporting a few Silver Washed Fritillaries, Hairstreaks and so on so it looked promising. The area under the wires looked fantastic with a mixture of Angelica and yellow daises with small patches of Knapweed and mint. I saw a few Meadow Browns, Gatekeepers, Small Whites one tatty Common Blue and Speckled Woods. After bumping into Peter and having a chat as he was leaving I noticed a number of fairly bright brown butterflies above the Blackthorn. Half hoping that they might be Brown Hairstreaks I could not get a decent view until one came down and I realised that they were rather worn Purples. One posed for the RX100.

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