The irony of commenting that it was a little chilly last night did not escape me. But cool it was and with gusty conditions blasting through our valley I really wasn’t expecting to find my first Ringlet of the year up on Gopa Hill. It only landed briefly before being carried away so sadly no photo, but if past summers are anything to go by there should be a whole lot more along very soon. Just a few meters further up the hill and it was the turn of another butterfly to stop me in my tracks, this one a superb Red Admiral. It did give me the run around but ultimately I emerged victorious.

P1080956 - Red Admiral, Gopa Hill
P1080969 - Home

A nice start but as this is my local birding patch I was really looking for a few feathered treats. Thanks to their powerful song Skylarks were easily picked out before I watched a Buzzard hovering with barely any movement of its wings along the valley rim. Other regulars including a lone Raven and umpteen Meadow Pipits were spotted before being joined by a large flock of Linnets whose numbers are particularly high here at this time of year. My personal favourites though were the Swallows of which we seem to have two pairs resident around the Bryn-bach-Common area. Both were sticking close to the ground passing me with barely a meter to spare on more than one occasion before swerving away back across the Bracken. And of that there is a lot right now making exploration a little tricky unless it’s a path previously brokered by the sheep. One such route allowed me to creep up on this female Stonechat who almost certainly has young nearby.

P1080960 - Stonechat, Bryn-bach-Common

Further signs of successful breeding came in the form of a young Jay complete with stubby tale near the house as well as a Jackdaw still showing signs of its yellow gape. The latter nest in neighbours chimney pots but we seldom see the young before they’re too old to distinguish from the adults so this was a rather nice sighting.

Other than that it was all rather quiet but I did manage to find another 7-spot Ladybird after our recent run of Harlequins. Three cheers for our native species!

P1080961 - 7-Spot Ladybird

Bringing us bang up to date it’s Friday and what better way to prepare for the weekend than with cold, miserable drizzle. Yes in just a few days we’ve somehow managed to go from unbearable heatwave to autumn but that’s why we Brits love talking about the weather so much. The result however is that after a brief venture to the shops my wild activities this evening will be confined to a comfy chair and a good book. This is still #30DaysWild though so my reading of choice at present is Chris Packham’s memoir, Fingers in the Sparkle Jar. I’ll admit that Chris’s writing style is a little ‘flowery’ for my normal tastes but so far I’m finding it thoroughly absorbing and a full review may well find its way onto here in a few weeks time.

If that all sounds a little bit tame for your liking fear not as tomorrow we have something hopefully a lot more exciting planned. No spoilers for now except to say that I’ve been brushing up on my sea mammal identification skills……..


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