On Sunday I decided to do the last of four bird surveys for the area around Stourhead which lies about 15 minutes drive south of Frome. As I've mentioned in previous posts on this particular tetrad there is a great diversity of habitat around my planned two hour walk. The photos I took for this blog post are along a short stretch of bridleway (permissive footpath including horses) which links the farmland part of my walk to the lake area with both deciduous and coniferous woodland. I came across a pair of Golden ringed Dragonflies which surprised me as it is a bit early for them and also their favoured habitat is moorland or heathland. This one is the female with its long pointed ovipositor.Over the past couple of weeks there has been an invasion of Painted Lady butterflies across the country. They have migrated up from Africa and southern Europe in their thousands which is most unusual. Most years I would be lucky to see one at all, but this year I've seen them in droves, making a steady and determined flight northward. Most have looked quite tatty, but the one I photographed here doesn't look in too bad a shape.Further along the bridleway I came across this startled rabbit. He let me get off a couple of snapshots before bouncing away into the foliage.Finally, the Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea). The local common name in Somerset is Fairy Bells. This is a very poisonous plant, but is used in small doses as a stimulant to the heart. I don't see it often around here, but it reminds me very much of time spent birding in the county of Cornwall in the extreme south west of England were it is abundant along the country lanes there.
The reason I say 'or is it' in the title is that I did this survey on the Sunday 31st of May, when officially I should only have done it after the 1st of June! So, I should really do it all again sometime in the next couple of weeks which I wont mind at all as it is such a lovely area! (-:
PS: Something I keep meaning to mention. At the moment we have our yearly three week program on the BBC called Springwatch were the BBC sets up live cameras to watch all sorts of nature going on in the country. It is on for an hour each evening from Monday to Thursday which is a real treat. Anyway, if you're interested in watching webcams of nesting birds etc then click on this link to watch various nests live. Of course, to my blogging friends in foreign parts, don't forget the time difference. www.bbc.co.uk/springwatch/webcams . The actual webcams are on every day for the next two weeks now and shut off at midnight British time.