Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Somerset Levels, Hills and Coast

A glorious 16 miles or so walked over the weekend.  3 very different terrains were covered the nature reserves of Shapwick, Ham Wall and Greylake on the levels, the hills of the Mendips and the coast path around Sand Point and Middle Hope.  The feel of Autumn is now in the air of the early morning and evenings despite the warm days.
Plenty of butterflies still to be seen as well as dragonflies.  Passage migrants are now on the move with  the levels proving rewarding.  How quiet the reed beds have now become with no reed or sedge warblers singing their song, we miss them already! Highlights of the week end were Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Whinchats and a field of Clouded Yellows.  The countryside is still very much alive if you stop to look!

Small Tortoishell on Purple - loosestrife

Red Admiral

Greenshank on the 'scrape' Shapwick

The Hawthorn looking very full everywhere this year

Clouded Yellow seen at Greylake.  20 or more flying along side whites and tortoiseshells in the planted grassy meadow.  A wonderful heart lifting sight to see.

Ruddy Darter at Greylake

Common Darter at Greylake

Rowan berries in all their splendour - lots of Mountain Ash in the woods of the Mendips

A young Roe Deer on our path.  A beautiful sheen and colour to it

 Calluna and Erica, Blackdown is a carpet of purple

Common Fleabane 

Migrant Hawkers, male and female


Common Blue - hundreds around Sand Point flowers and grasses

Looking towards Sand Point

Silver Y Moth ,  there seems to be an abundance of them this year.

Middle Hope 'beach'

Middle Hope

One of a family of Kestrels using the sea breeze to practise flying and diving.  Fantastic to observe and watch.

Small Skipper on Scabious - the only skipper seen over the week end.

At least 3 Whinchats in the scrubland of Sand Bay beach.  On their way to Africa what a fantastic surprise.

Young Whinchat - preparing for its  epic journey

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