Sun, Rain, Wind.........a variable day with heavy showers, thunder storms, sunny spells, 17º, moderate to fresh W...................basically the remnants of Hurricane Bertha sweeping through.
Had to get out this afternoon for some fresh air so we decided on somewhere with a big vista so we could see what weather was coming and therefore went initially to Wittenham Clumps.................. and for those of you who are not familiar with them .................................... Wittenham Clumps are 2 hills around 5 miles away from Cholsey, also known as the Sinodun Hills (seno-dunum, Celtic for “Old Fort”). The 2 hills are Round Hill and Castle Hill and both hills have a commanding view over the surrounding countryside and being around 120m above sea level. Not very high by most standards but quite enough for this area.
Castle Hill is the site of a Bronze Age fort that dates back c2000 years.
It was a little breezy up there today with very little noted, a few Red Kite and Kestrel in the air, a few Swallow passing overhead, also Yellowhammer, 1 Common Whitethroat and a Chiffchaff.
The view to the north took in the Day’s Lock area and a gravel pit by the river Thames at Dorchester and many Gulls, Geese and Swans could be seen in the distance with at least Mute Swan, Canada, Greylag and Egyptian Geese, Black-headed and Lesser Blackback Gull being identified!
The second hill was our familiar Lollingdon Hill, a lot windier up here as it is quite exposed. Very little noted, however the ♂ Redstart was still present (a month now), a Kestrel, 3 Magpie and a single Chiffchaff and that was about it.
The only dragonfly noted was a Common Darter in Lollingdon and a few butterflies were to be found in a few sheltered spots. Small Tortoiseshell, Small White, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Red Admiral and Common Blue.
Common Blue (Loren)
Cholsey from Wittenham Clumps
Lollingdon Hill from Wittenham Clumps
Day's Lock from Wittenham Clumps
Wittenham Clumps from Lollingdon Hill