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Swift’s flight

July 24, 2011

Swifts speed around the village rooftops on the warmer evenings. Their numbers have been increased by this year’s young.  Their stay is relatively short – this year I recorded their arrival on 6th May. Last year most had gone by mid-August, although a straggler passed through the village on 24th September. To me they are the birds of high summer and when they go Autumn is not far away – but for the time being we need to watch the joyfully acrobatic flight whilst it lasts.

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The sound of Otters

July 24, 2011

The Bure is high after all of the recent rain. It is still running clear and looks a picture of health. This morning we stumbled across what appeared to be a conversation between a family group of Otters. No confirmed sighting but the strength and quality of the call left me in little doubt. They sensibly remained hidden within a reedbed as we fruitlessly scanned the area.

Herons

July 24, 2011

The apparent end of the Heron breeding season has been heralded by the arrival of more birds onto the marsh. Groups of three or sometimes four are not unusual at the moment – I assume parent birds and youngsters or perhaps a group of young birds in toto.

Owl colour

July 24, 2011

Barn Owls vary in size between males and females. They also show great variation in colouration.

The most common sighting on the meadows is a large white Barn Owl. I have mentioned this on a number of times over the past two years. Before this one appeared, the residents appeared to me to have been a smaller type, often with a contrasting caramel coloured wing and a creamy or duskier breast. These were not just a smaller single male – there were often a pair about at the same time. It makes me wonder whether the larger white bird comes from a different population, or perhaps was released in the area.

Deer in July

July 24, 2011

The Roe Deer have been going through an elusive period. This is in doubt partly due to the expected secrecy associated with the birth of new fauns, but it may also be due to the relatively poor feed value of the grass on the more open fallow land during July. The other morning a single doe was to be seen in the middle of the beet field, well away from Keeper’s Wood, but this has been the sole sighting which I have had for some time. No sign of a faun on this occasion.

Aurelian

July 20, 2011

This seems to be Red Admiral week. Every Buddleia in the village is covered with them as soon as the sun shines. This garden butterfly does not seem to be in short supply.

This is more than I can say for the Silver-Studded Blue Butterfly– or at least as far as I am concerned. So far we have made two trips to their local habitat on Buxton Heath. According to Iris and Diana “is easy to spot…they don’t fly very high and they stick to the heathery areas at the north end”, and as I always believe what I hear, I went along with it. What else would you do if instructed by people named after classical goddesses? It may have been a coincidence that another “Iris” appeared – this one was rainbow after a heavy summer shower. The shower put pay to any idea that I would be able to find my quarry. I had no further luck on the other occasion. I will persevere and hope for fine weekend