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An individual, of no great importance, who is unable to the see the natural world as a place for competition. I catch fish, watch birds, derive immense pleasure from simply looking at butterflies, moths, bumble-bees, etc - without the need for rules! I am Dylan and this is my blog - if my opinions offend? Don't bother logging on again - simple!

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Sunday, 13 July 2014

An hour in Hertfordshire

Dad needed to get to Tim & Julie's place (Bourne End) so that he could travel into London, more easily, where his brother is undergoing some medical treatment. I agreed to drive him up and Simon will bring him back , or that's plan at the moment! The journey is a horrendous mix of M2/M25 for the majority of the way. Road work, traffic "incidents" and average speed cameras all doing their bit to add to the "joy of motoring".
However, we arrived safely around 11.30 hrs and, once dad was settled in, I took a stroll up onto Little Hay GC, armed with binos and camera, arranging to meet up with Tim, dad and the boys at 13.00 hrs in The Anchor for a bite to eat. It was a scorching day, the display in the car registering 28C, so I was confident that a few raptors would make an appearance.
Still a very nice bird to see in Kent, in Herts they are a "gimme" all
around the Chilterns
I'd already seen a Red Kite, as I was unpacking dad's gear, so wasn't too surprised to discover another bird soaring over some paddocks, just behind the gardens, as I started my walk. My total for the walk was seven Red Kites, three Common Buzzards, two Kestrels and a Hobby. Sadly the majority remained rather distant and my photo opportunities were always brief.
Loads of Marbled Whites, Ringlets, Essex and Small Skippers, Meadow Browns plus a couple of Gatekeepers were nectaring along the wild grassland and brambles which fringe the main footpath; an Emperor dragonfly cruised by. Goldcrests and Coal Tits were very vocal in the wooded area and I had a nice fly pass by a Great Spotted Woodpecker. The most unusual, in my opinion, encounter was that of a "barking" Muntjac. It was in some very dense hawthorn scrub, right alongside one of the fairways. I had often heard this sound when wandering around Ashridge Forest (Herts, Beds and Bucks) during the evenings when I would be watching Badgers or Tawny Owls, yet cannot recall having heard it previously in the day time. If I'd had time, then I'm sure that there would have been many more discoveries, but I had things to do, back in Kent, so I ensured that I wasn't distracted and was at The Anchor for one o'clock - job done.
 
A Common Buzzard; never has it been so easy to see this species as it is today.
Even on the motorway journey I'd seen individuals perched on
adjacent fences and lamp-posts in Kent and Essex.

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