Sunday, 15 June 2008

A walk on the wild side

As it was a nice afternoon I decided to try a little perambulation along Kingsdown Road. With the aid of Google Earth, I calculated that I managed about a mile and a half. Just beyond the village the road becomes virtually traffic free, except for access and the occasional bicycle, so it is a very peaceful walk.

The verges on each side of the road are full of wild flowers and all sorts of goodies. This small snail caught my eye. It is the banded form of the Brown Lipped Banded Snail. With a name like that you would think that they are all banded, but no, there's a plain form as well, and I did see some of these and at the time thought that they might be a different species.

While I was looking at the snails I noticed this moth at rest. Moths are usually thought of as creatures of the night, but many fly and can be seen during the day time. This is one that I do sometimes catch in a moth trap, it's a Silver Ground Carpet, but a rather tatty one.

This Hover-fly was in the same area. It is quite distinctive with the second black cross line on the 3rd and 4th segments. As usual it doesn't have a common name and is known as Episyrphus balteatus
In the paddocks opposite Little Banks, there were a couple of Mares with foals, and I thought that this was an irresistible picture.

Once I reached the top of Old Stairs Hill I decided to leave the descent to the distant cyclist in front of me, and turned round, partly because I'd come far enough and also because the rain was just beginning to gentle spit. From here I could hear two Yellowhammers singing, and as far as I could make out neither was quite sure if it wanted cheese or not.

Reaching the horse paddocks again I could hear the rather strange creaky call of the Grey Partridge. Often they fly as soon as they see movement, but these two, one head is just poking out of the grass, stayed around while I watched them from a gate.

As I approached home I heard the characteristic tapping of a Song Thrush breaking open a snail, In this case a Garden Snail. It was using the pavement, and judging by the number of broken shells in the area it had found itself a good supply of food. It wasn't far from our garden, and I did have a quiet word, as I passed, suggesting that a bit of pest control at "The Hidden House" would be useful.

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