A Grey Weekend in the Clatfords

by A warbler a day

As the weather has been rather cool, dull and drizzly I decided to just walk locally this weekend. A couple of morning strolls around Rooksbury Mill and longer afternoon walks around the two Clatford villages. fortunately there was some nice wildlife to cheer me up. Yesterday at Rooksbury the Kingfisher flew across the pond again and I saw a couple of male Blackcaps posturing in a tree. Returning today a Water Vole appeared in the river. On both walks I saw male Orange Tips butterflies.

Yesterday I walked through Upper Clatford and past the Church. On reaching Norman Court Lane I was greeted by dozens of Swallows swooping over the hedgerow and down the road. I found a gate looking in the neighbouring field and proceeded to spend the next 15 minutes watching in wonder as the Swallows plus a couple of House Martins and Swifts zig-zagged in front of me. As I watched them other delights came in to view – a Jay flew slowly along the far hedgerow, 3 Lapwings periodically flew up and wheeled around before settling down, a skylark singing as rose into the sky.

Today’s walk was quieter and damper but not without interest. Heading down the River Anton from Goodworth Clatford there were once more loads of Hirundines, but this time the House Martins outnumbered the Swallows. I also got my warblers for the day; Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler. All along the walk I heard Cuckoos but no sight of them. Back at the picnic area in Goodworth Clatford I got lovely views of a Great Spotted Woodpecker probing for insects in some rotting fence posts, eventually finding a grub a flying off (back to a nest hole perhaps!).

So despite the gloomy weather I had a pretty good weekend’s nature watching. Maybe next weekend though I’ll go further afield!

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