Wildlife Blog Jun 2018
Sunday June 17th 2018
After all the recent glorious weather, this was a cool, indeed damp morning following overnight rain, but with no wind at all, so there were lots of midges around! Perhaps not surprisingly therefore there was a group of swifts scything their way through the air low down and hunting over the open areas. The impact of the recent gales though was very evident, the ground being littered with small (and not so small) twigs and leaves of Sycamores, Limes and the ocassional Oak, along with a spattering of beech nuts under the avenue of Beech trees. The overall feel of the hill now is ‘green’ – with the tree canopy now closing in and birds difficult to see in among the leaves where many of them are now actively hunting for caterpillars and other insects. Other than the odd splash of white from emerging bramble and elder flowers, and the now slightly faded Pignut, only the Meadow buttercups provided any real colour, though careful loking at ground level also revealed the delicate blue flowers of Speedwell. Careful looking at the grasses, nettles and brambles also revealed many caterpillars, such as those of Red Admiral, and in the Braeport meadow numerous brightly coloured banded snails, most probably brown-lipped snails, one of the most colourful and variable snails in the UK. Their shells vary in colour across yellow, brown and pinkish, with a series of horizontal bands across each shell.
A buck Roe deer barked a warning as I approached, but most of the noise this time round was coming from families of newly-fledged Jackdaws up in the trees above. I counted well over a hundred in total, so they must have had an excellent breeding season. Other familes of young birds were also out and about, chasing their parents for food through the foliage, including Blue, Great and Coal tits, and a family of Nuthatches.