Day off, forecast iffy very 1st thing, and also late morning, so a mid morning sojourn to Badbury Rings was decided upon.
There was a definite breeze blowing which initially made finding anything other than bent grasses and waving ragwort to photograph quite difficult.... I persevered, and came across several gastropods.. I'm sure there are proper names for the different snails, but I have no idea what they might be! (I discounted Pierre and Jean-Claude, as I could see no garlic butter)
I could se a bird shaped blob atop a scrubby bush, and could also hear bird calls and as I approached and snapped the image became clearer (and when I got home and cropped the image it became clearer still!!) ... Linnet (I think)
Another bird shaped blob was away to my right, and following the same ninja stealth approach as previously recorded, I got within nearly half a mile of it!.... Stonechat this time
And in a hint of sunshine
On entry to the Rings a chap I spoke to said there were a good number of Chalkhill Blues about, sheltering from the breeze by the far hedge....he wasn't wrong
A grasshopper decided my leg was very similar to his food source....
The first of the fritillaries I saw, all were of the Dark Green variety I think... they were very unhelpful with underwing displaying
Some more bird calling caught my attention, and another scrubby tree held what I think is a juvenile Linnet (please correct me if I'm wrong)
Unfortunately, by this time, I had been reminded that the schools had finished for the summer (by a screeching, screaming horde of children *shudder*) but they didn't distract me from my 2nd fritillary, and I was amazed how well it could fly considering the damage to its wing
And the 3rd, in much better condition, was a little further round the pathway
There were a few Skippers about, this a Small, I think
A flash of red caused me to follow it, and as it settled its identity became clear, 6 Spot Burnett
There were loads of Meadow Brown
A little way away a pair of Kestrels both hovered and rode the breeze with ease, before darting into one of the dips of the rings then flying off, apparently unburdened by prey
Then, especially for Gaynor, I set about a mission to get a better Stonechat picture. Luckily a pair were perched quite unconcernedly in a bush
As I got (much) closer, the female decided enough was enough, and flew off, but the stunning male just sat there, as if to say "I'm tooooooo gorgeous for you to be a danger to me"!!
There were a dozen or more Marble Whites throughout the walk, none seemingly keen to have their portraits taken, or if they were, they were being blown about on their selected grass stem
A number of (mainly) Small Whites were a-fluttering, but again, none seemed keen to settle
And again, probably the most numerous butterfly today, was the Gatekeeper
I decided the breeze was picking up a bit too much to make it a pleasant wander and more, so I headed home, and as it turned out, not before time, because about 5 minutes into the 15 minute drive the heavens opened and stair-rods fell from above
*Big Lens Update....Hmmpphh apparently Nikon have a backlog due to both Brexit and Covid.... I feel a strongly worded email may be forthcoming being as they've had it since 11th June!
Stay Safe All
You are certainly getting out and about, PB. Glad you dodged the downpours. We've had several here in Berkshire today.
The Stonechats are looking very smart at the moment. I don't think I've ever see a Chalkhill Blue but there aren't many chalk hills whwere I live.
PimperneBloke said:Some more bird calling caught my attention, and another scrubby tree held what I think is a juvenile Linnet (please correct me if I'm wrong)
This one looks like a Corn Bunting to me but no guarantees I'm right. If you heard it singing their their song is often likened to jangling keys if that makes sence.
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A cracking set of photos PB, and hopefully the school urchins didn't disturb the day too much.
I hadn't seen any confirmation of your linnet, and my guess is, it is a male linnet, based on the single, first and only personal sighting of a male linnet.
A shame about the lens taking so long. While BREXIT and Covid are possible reasons, depending on what is required then it could also be a shortage of electrical components, particularly microcircuits. That shortage is causing big havoc in the world at the moment with one country being the biggest supplier and controlling what it exports to the world.
I still keep in contact with my former work mates, and the automotive industry is struggling as well, with many production down days. My nextdoor neighbour works in a garage, they have two cars in their workshop awaiting control units for the same reason.
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