Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The Meadow Browns at Beacon Hill Park

I'm off shift now, the weather is dull and muggy but not wet, and so I was able to go for a Radio 4 run the back way to Coddington.

The oilseed rape is mainly over, but the wheat and barley is developing rapidly, and over the farm corner on the Barnby road, the House Martins were wheeling in the air, plump white rumps flashing even on this greyish morning. A few swifts were around too, in a slightly strange rural setting by the A1. The usual kestrel was not about though.

The growing cherries look very tempting on a tree on the main road in Coddington village, but judging by the stones hanging from their stalks by scraps of flesh, the birds won't wait until they are ripe. Everything that can be eaten, will be. I'm reminded of the roadkill rabbits near work who's bodies provide food for crows, as the beautiful linnet flies nearby. Meanwhile I throw my bread in the bin for the merest shade of staleness or a tiny hint of mould.

The grass at Notts Wildlife Trust Beacon Hill Park has suddenly grown very long, and today, the meadow browns were very much in evidence in the main meadow. I don't normally see many butterflies in main part of the park, the grass usually being kept shorter, but today, after a spell of warm weather and rain the grass has shot up, providing the meadow browns with a foodsource. There was a solitary specimen in Willow Holt the other day, but this is a real mass emergence. They were flapping about my face as I flushed them from low down, as ever their variety of colouration, from almost ash grey, to a warm golden brown, seems more marked than any other butterfly.

No ringlets yet, and now, I'm confident I won't misidentify chimney sweeper moths as newly emerged ringlets when they are finally flying!

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