8.30pm. Friday. 2012. Breezy, dry but not warm. There’s a pink haze lying over the valley as I walk down the hill. No sound, just a few birds singing and horses tearing at grass but otherwise silent.
The growth is so thick I can’t see the badger hole in the bank of Knapweed meadow. Maybe I can put my camera there one night to watch. My hunch is it’s a maternity sett but I can’t be sure.
The stream is running fast after the torrential rain. It’s the highest I’ve seen it at this time of year. No signs of otter spraint on the stone.
The tall hedges are smothered in sweet smelling honeysuckle.
As I reach Stable oak there’s no sign of the little owls. Maybe they’ve decamped to Adam’s Oak on the hill where there’s more cover and food?
A song thrush is singing from a telephone line near the Mission, while a female gathers worms from a nearby field and swallows dive low over the lane.
Walking back down the lane bats take advantage of the knats. Several fly just over my head. Pipistrelles I think.
The stream that runs between the fields is overflowing onto the footpath and road. I’ve only seen it do this in the winter. It’s usually a dribble by now.
Reaching Knapweed meadow I spot a roe deer. There are no horses in the field at the moment, so the grass has grown long. Watching her with my binoculars I spot a fawn, then another. Twins… obviously not very old but steady enough on their feet.
Today has been the warmest day of the year so far with temps touching 17 degrees (well, that’s what it said in my car!). I decided to look a little further afield than my garden (that has very few flowering plants at the moment – something that needs rectifying) and visited the old churchyard in the village looking for bees.
Andrena flavipes or Yellow legged mining bee (female)
Are you thinking that there’s no wildlife worth looking for now that September is here? All the good stuff has migrated or is starting to hide itself away? Rubbish. There’s a very special little bee that you might like to look for right now…
“Are you a Hardy Woman?” the Dorset Wildlife Trust press release seemed like it was speaking to me “Can you survive on Brownsea Island for a weekend without your hairdryer and mobile phone?” Easy I thought. That was June when putting my name down for a sponsored weekend under the stars seemed like a good idea. Now it was September 11th and the day of the event had arrived. Why was I doing it? Had I been inflicted by some strange mid-life madness? Would anyone sponsor me? Who knows…
Autumnwatch 2009 will be spread over a longer period this year but just one hour per week. The first programme will be on Friday 2nd October and the last on Friday 20th November. Is this a good idea?
THIS BLOG IS NOT RUN BY BBC AUTUMNWATCH
OK, I’ve got to make a confession. I hadn’t realised quite how gorgeous the humble honey bee actually was until today.
Sorry! I never seem to have time to blog at the moment. I’m either photographing wildlife, filming it, adding it to Flickr (see my stuff here), Tweeting about it (my Tweets are here) or adding stuff to Facebook. Far too many online thingys to deal with… my life used to be simple! Anyway, the other day I went for a very wildlife-y walk around my favourite part of Corfe Mullen.