Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Mendip Hills 24th May - Red Kite, Orchids & Skippers

A sunny blue sky trek took us from Burrington on the Mendips to Charterhouse, Velvet Bottom, Long Wood and back across the fields to Beacon Batch. A mixture of woodland, Heath and field with a good variety of flora and fauna. The woodland areas are now full of Ramsons where the Bluebells have gone over. However there are still good areas of Bluebells in the open field areas their smell intoxicating! The wooded Ramson areas were stunning creating snow like avenues where we walked. Early Purple Orchids are now starting to fade but we still managed to find some good copies here and there.
The surprise of the day had to be seeing a Red Kite as we were walking in Velvet Bottom.  We watched the Kite for some time as it flew overhead and then landed in a field and onto a post to devour its meal.  Never expected that!
 A stunning 7 mile hike that saw 15 species of birds including Skylarks, Redstart, Buzzard, Treecreeper and Linnets and 12 species of butterflies including Peacock, Red Admiral, Lge White, Green V White, Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Common Blue, Sml Heath, Brimstone, Speckled Wood, Green Hairstreak and Orange Tip. 

    Red Kite
                   Eating its meal of possible rabbit


                   Pulling its meal apart - look at those talons and beak!

                   Distinctive forked tail

                   Good red colour in the sun

   Early purple Orchids on mass at Ubley Warren


    Looking across the Mendips from Ubley Warren


   Early Purple Orchid

                  Dingy Skipper

   Grizzled Skipper

                   Ramson lined path, Long Wood

                   Turner prize?!!

   Ramson flower - beautiful 

                    Bluebells still going strong in some areas


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