WFV, Strid Woods, 23 May 2017

NuthatchNuthatchll as a goosander on the far bank of the river.  A peacock butterfly alighted nearby giving Sue an excellent chance to gain her first of many photo opportunities.  Pied wagtail were also seen here as well as a mallard with 3 youngsters. As we progressed along the path green veined white and orange tip butterflies were seen and a cuckoo was also heard calling.  Mandarin ducks were very much in evidence, the male looking resplendent in his breeding plumage.  A carpet moth was spotted by John, flushed by Sue as she went to take a photo of an orange tip.  Stuart also noted herb paris among a patch of dog's mercury.  A little further along, up the hill, a pied flycatcher was seen entering one of the many nesting boxes dotted around the estate.  Grey wagtails were also seen darting about down on the river.

Some of the group made a stop for lunch at the seating area used as a bird feeding station.  There they were joined in their repast by several mandarin ducks, one female watching from a nearby tree.  The rest carried on, meeting up with a fellow birdwatcher, who had spotted a redstart high up in an oak tree.  Not easy to see and even less so to photograph.  Lunch was taken by the remainder of the group immediately on leaving the woods by the riverside.

 Our walk then continued on the far side of the bridge with hopes for sightings of spotted flycatcher and wood warbler.  However, in spite of everyone's best endeavours, none were noted and as we arrived back at the Pavilion some of the group took the opportunity to partake of a little refreshment.  

In total the day produced a tally of 36 birds, 5 butterflies - a small copper, seen by Janet, being a welcome addition to our list.  Unfortunately none of our botanists were able to be with us today so we did the best we could between us all and recorded an impressive (well we thought so!) 46 species in flower and 6 ferns.  Undoubtedly we missed many but our endeavours produced much animated discussion. A big thank you to Stuart for driving, John for leading and to Sue, good luck in your new job and many thanks for all the wonderful photographs you have taken for us over our many visits.  Come back soon, we will all miss you.

See the photos here. 

Sally Tetlow

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