Yesterday evening was the club's outdoor meeting at Kelmarsh Hall. Sixteen members met up for 7pm and we took a gentle stroll to look at the Orangery, the stunning Walled Garden and further afield around the trees next to the River Ise and the lake and then a walk back up to the Hall building itself. It was rather breezy and cloudy but the sun broke through on several occasions and it turned out to be a very pleasant walk. After looking at the Orangery and hearing how birding on the estate helped to finance the rebuild, we walked towards the Walled Garden and saw a small group of Purple Hairstreak butterflies battling against the breeze around tall oak trees. Once inside the garden a Scarlet Tiger moth showed nicely in flight and birds included Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Blue Tit and Chiffchaff with brief views of Nuthatch and Blackcap.
Ravens were heard calling some distance away and a family party of Spotted Flycatchers in the mature trees towards the river initially were difficult to see but then a couple of juveniles showed nicely and proved their adeptness at already catching their own insects. Down by the river and lake we heard Kingfisher, Treecreeper and Goldcrest but they remained hidden. A wary female Gadwall hid her ducklings in waterside vegetation and another female posed before flying off. A Common Buzzard and a distant Brown Hare were further wildlife on show as we walked the edge of the main lake, seeing a Grey Heron and two flying Little Egrets as we did so. The pair of Mute Swans had an excellent brood of eight cygnets. A Kingfisher shot past Richard and calling birds included more Blackcaps and Nuthatches with a couple of House Martins and a Swift overhead.
A little further on and the members ahead had the Kingfisher perched up and we were all fortunate to see it sitting in a part-submerged branch albeit at some distance. We talk a walk up the slight incline towards the Hall and one of the adult Spotted Flycatchers showed very nicely. At the Hall we saw a female Blackbird carrying food for her youngsters and one of the items in her bill was a still wriggling Scarlet Tiger moth!
I think we all enjoyed our two hour dawdle on a reasonable summer evening in the peaceful environment of Kelmarsh Hall gardens and grounds!
|Members in action courtesy|
of John Hunt.
|British White Cattle.|
|The 'Ugly Duckling'...|
|...and proud Dad!|