Carrying on where I left off, looking back to 2008…
15 June 2008. Today I drove down the A361 to the village of Upper Wardington in Oxfordshire, to walk a route which I hadn’t done for almost a year, my ‘Oxfordshire border walk’. As always I was rewarded with superb views and met a variety creatures from beetles to bullocks. The walk itself took about two and half hours with all the photo stops, and at the end of it I decided I wasn’t ready to go home. So I headed for Fawsley Park, where I searched for wildlife alongside the lakes, and then went on to Everdon Stubbs. Finally I called in on another favourite wildlife site before getting home about 8 hours after I had originally set off.
Highlights of my day included observations of a family of coal tits (permanently hungry youngsters keeping their parents busy finding food for them amongst the branches) and a pair of linnets on the Oxfordshire border walk; great crested grebes and a green woodpecker at Fawsley; a pair of buzzards soaring and calling directly above me at Everdon Stubbs, and a close encounter with a roe deer buck.
I took quite a few photos while I was out and about, and thought I would share half a dozen of my favourites – six of the best.
My ‘reception committee’ at Wardington, an inquisitive herd of bullocks.
A male thick-legged flower beetle. The female of the species does not have the swollen femora visible on this chap’s hind legs. This is the first of two insects I found within a few metres of each other during my Oxfordshire border walk, the second one being…
… a female scorpion fly. The rather fearsome-looking piercing ‘beak’ is used for feeding on the juices of dead insects (including those caught in spiders’ webs). The end of the male’s abdomen has a projection which looks rather like a scorpion’s sting.
The flower-head of a giant hogweed plant viewed against the backdrop of a beautiful blue sky.
One of several different species of damselflies which I saw and photographed at Fawsley Park, possibly a female blue-tailed damselfly, Ischnura elegans.
A view across the largest of Fawsley’s lakes, the aptly named Big Waters.