Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Birds, Butterflies and Litter!

Sunny spells, 20º, light W.

Cholsey Marsh and Bow Bridge.

Decided on a walk this afternoon so drove down to Cholsey marsh and took a leisurely walk to Bow Bridge and back.

On arrival, the usual Sedge Warblers song is the first thing you hear, their scratchy song coming from various points on the marsh.
Then hearing the odd Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Reed Bunting and today, also a Lesser Whitethroat. At one point, it went very quiet and on looking around, I saw a female Sparrowhawk circling over the marsh. She eventually flew off west, being shepherded by a few Swallows. Within a few moments, the marsh returned to its normal volume.

The Mute Swan pair have lost one of the cygnets as only three were with the adult birds today. Also a couple of Great-crested Grebe on the river.

A Grey Heron and a single Cormorant seen also. (Grey Heron seen yesterday flying over Cholsey Hill).

Moving a little further upriver there is a wild flower meadow and a hedgerow that was full of butterflies, mainly Meadow Brown along with Large and Small White, Large Skipper, Red Admiral, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell, singles of Small Copper and Holly Blue and 2 to 3 Silver-washed Fritillaries.

The only Dragonflies seen were about a dozen Banded Demoiselles.

On the way back I encountered a flock of a least 18 Long-tailed Tits, there were certainly more as I could hear them calling from the opposite river bank as well.

A Hobby circled overhead for a few minutes being mobbed by Swallows, House Martins and Swifts and unusually a single Sand Martin.

A few Greenfinch, Linnet, two Bullfinch and Goldfinch in the riverbank hedges.

A Grass Snake seen briefly, I was not fast enough to get a good angle and focus on it before it became aware of my presence and shot off. The Pyramid Orchid is still in flower. There are also some Bee Orchids nearby.

A Great-spotted Woodpecker now a daily visitor to the garden, along with three Grey Squirrels, two adults and a juvenile.
Tawny Owls heard over the past two nights calling.
Also a Pipistrelle Bat hunting in the garden tonight.

A Pied Wagtail collecting food in the meadow this afternoon.

On another note, what’s with all the rubbish being left along the river bank and Ferry Lane, beer and cider cans, coke cans, portable bar-b-q’s, plastic drinks bottles and other assorted litter and even a bloody wheel chair. There was also a double mattress dumped last week that has since been removed.
  Take it with you!!!! Please.

 Grass Snake, could not get a good angle on it before it shot off!

                                   Silver-washed Fritillary

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