Yesterday, my other half (Moh from now on) and I visited Aston Rowant Nature Reserve and then Bernwood Forest. Aston Rowant is one of the best places in England to watch Red Kites. I would say where I live it's rarer to see a Sparrow than a Red Kite. Unfortunately the weather wasn't great for Kites so we saw no more at the reserve than you would over my house. Moh really wants to take some decent Kite pictures. Hopefully while they were sat and not in flight. We did however have a really nice long walk before getting caught in a shower! Part of the walk gave us fabulous views down on the M40.
One of the famous landmarks between Oxford and London is 'The Cut' where they literally carved the M40 through the middle of one of the Chiltern chalk hills. So many times I've been to London and seen people walking up on the hills and wondered where they came from. Yesterday Moh and I were those people!
The chalk hills are home to all kinds of wild flowers. The bee's loved these thistles.
The Common Spotted Purple Orchids were going over here. (A few miles away at Bernwood they were at their best.)
There is a field full of mounds like this. They are the homes of Yellow Meadow Ants. Apparently because this field has not been ploughed since 1904 the bigger mounds could have been in occupation by ants for over 100 years.
I didn't take that many pictures at Bernwood. We need to spend more time there and maybe visit at different times of the year as it was really hard to spot the birds. Bernwood is actually a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of the rare butterflies that can be found in that area.