Common Hill Nature Reserve - August Update

 Our last visit to Common Hill was in early June. Home and away family visits, the heatwave, some awaydays and Mary organizing an art exhibition for the Three Choirs Festival are just some of our excuses!

Yesterday, we contemplated taking a picnic out somewhere and finally plumped for Common Hill. As it was late August, we were greeted with a mown meadow...

Common Hill Nature Reserve from the North Meadow entrance

Round's meadow had also been mown...

Round's Meadow from the bottom of Monument Hill

...but not Monument Hill...

Looking up Monument Hill from the information board

I guess the clue is in the name: meadow.

Wildflowers have fulfilled their evolutionary aim (flowered and produced seed) so there was very little in the way of flowering plants to see, especially in the mown meadows! Just odd specimens of ragwort, gorse, knapweed, and agrimony. Quite a few speckled wood butterflies and several whites (certainly small white but the others too distant to identify) along with several grasshoppers that are easier to spot now the vegetative cover is sparser. One dragonfly seen in silhouette and a few 'bees' feeding on the knapweed. Bird-wise, it was very quiet apart from the ubiquitous Wood Pigeons.

This view from the top of North Meadow shows the exposed anthills after mowing...

Anthills now visible in North Meadow

And we came across a few of these...

Dormouse footprint tunnels

...dormouse footprint tunnels - a simple and effective way of monitoring dormouse traffic.

We strolled over to nearby Lea & Paget's Wood for a bit of forest bathing. The lords-and-ladies were in full display mode...

Insert [your own common name]

The arum maculatum has more common names than I've had hot dinners!


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