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WEATHER: All day sunshine with a cooling breeze.

the sheep meadow, I often talk to the sheep, but they don't listen to me!

It was another beautiful summer’s day, wall to wall sunshine and a light cooling breeze. I was up and out by 6am, I walked round to the valley track noting Pied Wagtail, Jackdaw, Robin, Dunnock, Goldfinch and Magpie along the way. On the derelict building I saw two of the fledged Grey Wagtail chicks and whilst I watched them a Grey Heron and a Raven flew over. I could hear the Cuckoo calling from over the hill and I looked forward to getting round there and talking a picture of him.

Grey Wagtail

I spent about 30 minutes at the Kingfisher nest site, the birds arrived a few times whilst I was there, but I still didn’t get a picture. At one time they both arrived together and the male perched just 3-4 meters away from me but unfortunately he sat behind a couple of sycamore leaves.

spot the Kingfisher - he's in there somewhere

When I got round to the River Yeo and up to the bramble slope the Cuckoo had buzzed off into the distance, but the Chiffchaffs were still feeding their young so I watched them instead. I saw Blackcap, Wren, Goldfinch, Crow and Common Buzzards whilst I waited for the Cuckoo to return. When he did he perched out of site and I did try hard to sneak up on him but, he sussed me out and off he went.

Common Chiffchaff

I walked up and over the hill, it was wonderful up there, the views are stunning, and the sunshine makes it so much more enjoyable. I took a 180 degree video of the view click here to see it:  I zoomed in on the block of flats where we live.

As I walked back along the track to the lane I saw the Mandarin Duck with her 6 chicks, that is at least a mile from where I saw them two days ago and it is all up stream. Those poor little chicks had paddle against the current all the way up to where I saw them, wow!

what an aptly named insect:  the Swollen-thighed Beetle!!!

I was back home at 10am, I had spent 4 hours in the valley and it seemed just like 5 minutes, boy how the time does fly when you are enjoying every moment.

For the afternoon Dawn and returned to Melbury House and Deer Park, this 15,000 acre site has public footpaths all over it. We walked from Melbury Osmond to Evershot and back again. We enjoyed the wonderful parkland on the way up and the ‘wilder’ woodland and lake walk on the way back. We saw Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Eurasian Nuthatch, Jay, Mistle and Song Thrushes, Pied Wagtail, Moorhen, Coot, Mallard, Mute Swan, Common Buzzard, Goldfinch, Barn Swallow, Common Swift and a lot of common birds. One interesting sighting was of a Grey Heron circling up on the thermals, it went very high, 3000 ft or more before drifting off, amazing!

We also saw a herd of Fallow Deer but we could hardly put them on the list as they are kept in the park and probably not too wild.