Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Aston Rowant NNR

A terrapin species seen in a pool on the M40 service station at junction 8 was an odd start to our day as were the calls of Peacocks drifting over Watlington Hill, Oxfordshire when we first arrived.
By 9am it was touching 22c and butterflies were already out but thin on the ground (apart from Ringlets and Meadow Browns) managing only single Chalk-hill Blue, Silver-spotted Skipper and Dark-green Fritillary in 2 hours of searching.
Despite the hum of the M40 traffic we moved to the nearby Aston Rowant NNR and ended up in butterfly heaven with the flower rich meadows full of activity under a baking sun. Sixteen species seen with 40 Marbled White, 15 Silver-spotted Skipper, 25 Chalk-hill Blue darting among the more common species plus plenty of Six-spot Burnet and Cinnabar moths. Also seen were Fragrant and Pyramidal Orchids and Southern Hawker and not forgetting the scores of Red Kites where ever we looked.
Back home it was still very warm late afternoon with the cloud bubbling up allowing hawking Hobbies to be easily seen as they hunted over my garden and estate – 2 juveniles.

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