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17th July 2018 – Stoke Park and Eastville Park

With the weather a little cooler we had a pleasant walk through Stoke Park and Eastville Park either side of the M32 motorway. It’s interesting to see the work being carried out in Stoke Park which has drawn a lot of criticism locally but with lots of scrub cleared, new fences and hedges created, stone walls repaired and lots of new saplings planted we could see nothing but positives.

DSC00254Clouds over Stoke Park – a very welcome sight

At the beginning of the walk, at Duchess Pond, there were some young Canada geese goslings with their parents and late broods of ducklings. The lilies on the pond look very attractive and there were plenty of gatekeeper butterflies and  damselflies.

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DSC00244Gatekeeper butterfly

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We saw one of the buzzards that we regularly see flying over our house and from Purdown (at the top of  Stoke Park) we could see a peregrine falcon on Stapleton Church spire.

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DSC00285Peregrine on the church spire – trust me.

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DSC00295The first blackberries are ripe in the middle of July

In Eastville Park a grey heron looked a little bedraggled and black-headed gulls competed with the mallards and Canada geese for scraps from people feeding them.

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On the River Frome there was a pair of grey wagtails which, although quite bright, were very well camouflaged in the river. There were beautiful demoiselles damselflies too.

DSC00326Grey wagtail

DSC00336Beautiful demoiselle damselflies

 

 

 

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13th July 2018 – Severn Estuary

I had a walk along the Severn Estuary from Northwick to see the changes being made to the Pilning Wetlands.

You can’t see very much at the moment but it is all looking quite promising and I enjoyed chatting to the owner Richard Parry who is making a good effort to improve the wetlands. It would be interesting to see his lodge at Hara Langano in Ethiopia which he talked about.

There was a ruff and a dozen black-tailed godwits but everything was too far off and in to the sun to get a photo.

The best I got were some swallows and a female linnet. Four grey herons kept moving around the wetlands but they were not as tame as those in Eastville Park.

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MT1D6376Swallows

MT1D6338Female or immature linnet

I saw a distant kestrel at Aust but the heat haze ruined any chance of a decent photo.

MT1D6463Terrible shot of a kestrel – after all it is Friday the 13th!

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11th July 2018 – Eastville Park

I wan’t going to do a blog for this walk through Eastville Park and along the River Frome to Snuff Mills as there wan’t much bird life at all, but I suppose you need to report your failures too.

The highlight was a grey heron in flight and a couple of butterflies but none of the more exotic butterflies that others are reporting.

DSC00150Grey heron launching itself from the lakeside

DSC00115Peacock butterfly on its favourite plant – the buddleia 

DSC00202A painted lady butterfly

DSC00193Fish stocks in the river building up after the close season – the heron will be happy

DSC00106We’ve moved on from the dandelion seed heads – it’s now time for the thistles.