Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Autumn delights

Late morning I got itchy feet and decided to walk round the paddock behind the monument.The bushes near the entrance from Salisbury Road were jumping with warblers. They were very active and seldom posed for a picture.
Several Common Whitethroats would pop to the top before disappearing back into the hawthorns.

    Less inclined to come in to the open were Lesser Whitethroats also feeding in the area.

This Common Whitethroat did come right out in the open when I tries squeaking at it. They can be quite curious birds but soon dive back into cover.

On the grass round the Monument there are still a few spikes of the last Orchid of the year, Autumn Lady's Tresses. Fortunately the over enthusiastic mower that usually chops them up just when they are in their prime doesn't seem to have be round for a while so there are still a few remaining. This spike was one of the largest I've seen, it must have been around 10cm (4ins) tall.

The constant "hooweet" calls of Willow Warblers could be heard and they frequently chased each other and dashed from bush to bush. 

They often came of of the bush to feed in a patch of "umbels", I'm not sure which species they are, but they must be rich in insects judging by the number of Willow Warbler using the area.

While I was watching the warblers I noticed a largish raptor heading my way. I guess a few years ago a Common Buzzard in Kent was still unusual enough to be a bit of a surprise and I still do get a real delight in watching one circling overhead.

Even so I do have to admit to a slight disappointment as soon as I had eliminated the possibility that it was a Honey Buzzard on it's migration.

One or two Common Blues were still struggling on. This one was so battered that I was amazed that it was still managing to fly around quite strongly. It was only when it landed that it became obvious that it was totally worn out.

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