Saturday, September 12, 2009

Emmington (Oxfordshire - SP742026) - September 12th 2009

A glorious warm autumn afternoon walking the farmland around the small village of Emmington.

Very few butterflies on the wing. Identified Small and Large White, and two fresh Comma's seen in the village. A couple of small dark butterflies also seen, but not able to identify as they were flying low and strong across open fields.

Other insect interest centred on a male Calopteryx splendens (damselfly) in courtship flight near the small village pond. I thought they were more associated with running water and there is little close to Emmington other than at least one artificial garden feature.

The birds grabbed most of my interest with 2+ Common Buzzard and 5+ Red Kite soaring over the fields and coverts. Also, got some close views of a covey of Red-legged Partridge. Pity they were not Greys, but the Reds were fun to watch with much scurrying around and characteristic hoarse calls.

Unidentified Phylloscopus warblers calling ('huitt' calls) in Down Covert and a Chiffchaff calling and viewed nearer the village. Well, I believe it to be a Chiffchaff because of its dark legs! A few House Martins hawking for insects, 1 Greenfinch, numbers of Goldfinch and calling Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers also in evidence.

The highlight of today's walk were 2 Spotted Flycatchers doing what flycatchers do on the edge of Down Covert at SP740038.

Nothing outstanding but just a wonderful early autumn day walking local farmland (arable, sheep and dairy, plus some coverts managed for game birds).

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