Nightingale, Fritillaries and Deer
At Hardwicke, the first Nightingale of the year was singing 200m south of The Pilot this morning. Mike joined me soon afterwards and it eventually showed, with a Robin keeping it under close scrutiny. Also two Willow Warblers and numerous Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs in song, while a Swallow flew north. Mike then got a call about a Marsh Harrier seen near Severn Bridge heading up river so we made for Fretherne. No sign of Marsh Harrier, it was very misty over the river, bur the drake Marbled Duck was showing well. I was just relaxing with my tea and toast in the garden later, at about 10.00am, when I heard a familiar chattering call, and looked up to see a House Martin over the garden heading north. The local Chiffchaff and Blackcap were also in fine voice. With Linda, I spent a somewhat botanical afternoon in summer temperatures reaching 24oc at North Meadow, Cricklade, where the Snake's Head Fritillary are in full bloom and an impressive sight. They should be at their best for at least another week and well worth seeing. On the way back we stopped at Driffield briefly, where Linda spotted a pair of Roe Deer which we watched for some time (photos: Paul Masters).