Monday, 20 June 2011

Sunday Strolling

It seems in recent years that more and more people are out at nature reserves and woods whenever I visit. Maybe because of programmes like Spring Watch there are more people interested in the countryside around them.  Of course another reason could be in this recession, walking in your local wood or nature reserve is a way to get fresh air and a day out for free.  You need relatively little equipment and there are rarely even car parking fees.

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.

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!

Walking at Aston Rowant

The chalk hills are home to all kinds of wild flowers. The bee's loved these thistles.

Thistle

The Common Spotted Purple Orchids were going over here. (A few miles away at Bernwood they were at their best.)

Common Spotted Orchid


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.
Ant Hills

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.

 

2 comments:

  1. What a beautiful walk! I think you're right about some of us seeking nature as an inexpensive mini getaway. I love your photos especially the thistle. I finally saw my first kites in flight this week above our house. Didn't even think to get the camera I was so struck. They are wonderful to watch.

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  2. What a beautiful walk! I love your photos!

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