Today has been rather cloudy and breezy. We were supposed to get a few showers, but they seem to have missed this area. It was still rather warm though, but at least the excessive heat of the last few days has gone, so I thought I'd try for a few local butterflies.
I wasn't expecting to see or hear many birds at this time of year-adults moulting and juveniles in hiding of course, and I only managed 26 species. A few Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Whitethroats are still singing, but otherwise it was anonymous cheeps and chirps from deep in the undergrowth. A few Swallows were feeding around the fields near the water tower in Aston End, and there was one or two House Martins with them (my first locally this year). Never saw any Swifts, but one over the garden this afternoon (now a garden rarity) was a surprise.
I had a couple of Speckled Woods around the plantation, and a few browns in the lanes, but nothing else until I reached a few patches of sheltered thistles along the river. They were teeming with Meadow Browns and Ringlets, a few Tortoiseshells and a Marbled White. Lots of hoverflies, bugs and ladybirds here as well.
Further on I found many more Marbled Whites, a few Small Skippers and a single Essex Skipper, plus one or two Small Heaths.No brassicas in the fields around here this year, so the one Small White seemed a bit lonely.