A grey , overcast morning , gave way to a glimmer of sunshine , and that was enough to see me heading for a look around the Common . When I arrived , it was quite pleasant in the sunshine , but very little was on the wing . The glade with the Ash tree , that provided so much interest earlier in the year , is now silent , without even a Meadow Brown sighting . A couple of glimpses of Migrant Hawker was all that I got . Already clouds were starting to steam in on a freshening wind . The second glade , full of Gorse and Heather was just as unproductive , but again , Migrant Hawkers were sighted , but not much sign of any food for them . The Orchid Glade , with hardly any flower showing , found a Magpie on the path , that seemed quite undeterred by my presence . It still held it's ground as a drew closer , then finally , with a raucous call , flew off into the trees till I passed by , returning as soon as I had . Another couple of Migrant Hawkers were hawking at the far end , and as I was watching one male , the sun started to get milky , behind the first of the clouds , and after a short while , he 'parked up' , to await it's return . Carefully approaching where he was resting , I managed to get a few shots , before the sun disappeared completely . As I was close , I went and had a look at the glade we cleared last Winter , where we found good numbers of Broad Leaved Helleborines . The flowers have all gone over now , but almost every plant is now loaded with seed pods , ready to provide more of these beautiful plants in future years . The odd plant has been browsed , probably by Deer , but most are intact . With the sun gone , I toyed with heading home , but then decided to have a quick look around the heathland area . Not a lot to look at , but as I stooped to look at a small moth that had landed on the Heather , a Hornet came into view . Seeing as I was unsuccessful yesterday , I thought I would give it another go , and got the camera out . A second Hornet appeared , then a third and fourth .I looked down on the ground , and a stream of Hornets were coming out of a hole in the roots of the Heather , right next to my right boot . I took several paces to the left , and stood still . By now , there must have been 10/15 Hornets in the air , in the area between me and their nest hole . I decided the best action was to stay perfectly still , and let things settle down again . This I did , and the drone of their wings started to subside , so too did the number on the wing . I must admit I was pleased that the situation panned out as it did . They went on about their business , and I started taking photos . Unfortunately , with the fading light , and the Hornet's fast movements , many of the shots were very blurry , but the odd one or two turned out reasonable . I must have been taking shots for 5/10 minutes , when the ones and twos coming and going , started to build up again . I took one final shot , and retreated slowly .I didn't realise it till I got home , but the front two of these three had what looks like foam coming from their mouths , so I probably made the right decision at the right time .
And finally , just for Warren , whilst we were having breakfast this morning , we had the first ever visit to the feeder of a Nuthatch . We have been here 20 years , have heard them around , and I see them in the woods at the top of the road , but not on the feeder . It made 7/8 sortis , then vanished as quickly as it came .
1 day ago