Summer's here!

This is more like a British summer - raining and a hose pipe ban. Well it was bound to happen with all the reservoirs so low. My back lawn that normally resembles a bog for 11 months of the year has been as hard as concrete for the last three. The ground's so hard I can't re-position the bird feeder poles. Anyway we've a 'do' on Saturday so it's bound to pour down then.

I've spent the last couple of days doing some more survey work down in Staffordshire. The fine weather does help when you're doing this so I'm not complaining. Monday morning was enlivened when I saw a crow mobbing an accipter that was bigger than it - a completely unexpected Goshawk that then returned quickly to the conifer belt from whence it came.

The birds most in evidence were Nuthaches - family parties of these birds were absolutely everywhere I went. Green Woodpeckers were also very much in evidence and I managed to find a Tree Pipits nest and Redstarts feeding young. I should really have taken my camera with me but I travel light when doing this stuff. The fields were full of Common Spotted Orchids and I also saw a few spikes of Greater Butterfly Orchid amongst a whole host of meadow flora. Common butterflies were Meadow Browns, Small Heath, Large Skipper and Small Tortoiseshell and the only moth I knew was a Burnet Moth - I used to see the Six-spotted version on Ainsdale Nature Reserve as a kid but I don't remember them as being as huge as the one I saw yesterday.


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