Braving the Cows

I fancied spending some time on and around Liddington Hill today. I also needed to give the dog a good walk. However there are a lot of cows with calves on the hill at the moment and they can be a bit skittish when dogs are around. Anyway I decided to give it a go and it worked out okay. The calves are a good bit older now and not so bothered. I walked from home, up past Folly Farm and up to the Ridgeway before walking the edge of the ridge back to the Hillfort. There were a few birds flitting around in the hedgerow along the lane. Two or three Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest were seen along with another warbler that had a prominent eyestripe. I only managed a brief glimpse and it was into the light, from the size I can only think that it was a Sedge Warbler on the move. Several more Chiffchaff were seen along the way but apart from Goldfinches and Linnets, very few other small birds. Red Kite was seen on three occasions and there were several Buzzards around, including three making the most of the wind over the hill itself. Best sighting was a group of four Ravens that were determinedly heading east whilst being hassled by some Crows. A few Swallows were also noted heading south. No Wheatears again and also no Yellow Wagtails around the cattle. Coming down from the hill I crossed a stubble field and managed to flush a Corn Bunting and a handful of Skylarks. Two Speckled Woods and a few Whites were the only butterflies seen. Not surprising considering the cool breezy conditions. Other interest was provided by a Microlight and a couple of tractors working the fields. Final species total was a hard-earned twenty-six, not including the mystery warbler.

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