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Monday, 22 May 2017

Foulden Common, Weeting & Santon Downham

On Saturday 20th May a trip to Foulden Common, with the gold old team of John H, Tim H and the very welcome addition of Bob C (directions to the common: travel past the village and the public house and from the outskirts of the village its a 1/3 of a mile or 1/4 mile from the village sign travelling past an open area and then wooded area by the first bends park on the left in a bowl shaped grassy area which can take 5 sensible parked cars- using your bins you should see the Foulden Common sign around 50 yards away) by the village of Foulden a fine Red Kite circled low over the buildings here. We walked out into the common lots of grassland bordered by bushes looks a great place. After we had walked around 100 yards I was lucky enough to spot the first of our 2 target species, a pretty Grizzled Skipper perched on a bright yellow buttercup! A really attractive little butterfly brown with creamy specks on the wings. As it was still fairly early around 9.30am the sun hadn't yet broken through the partially cloudy sky, the Skipper posed nicely for the camera before it flew a short way further along, where John, Tim & Bob caught up with it. By the far side around 500 yards walk from the entrance we saw our next target, a fine Dingy Skipper, a fairly non- descript brownish butterfly but nice all the same. Then 2 Dingy Skipper flew up together in circling flight. Whilst a tattier Grizzled was seen in the corner. We walked over to the side by some flowering gorse and 2 fine Green Hairstreaks. Not to be outdone, a Small Copper posed nicely at the side. More Grizzled & Dingy Skippers seen half way back and near the entrance first one then 2 Grizzled Skippers seen and first 1 then 2 Dingy Skippers seen. First one then 2 Brimstone seen near the entrance rounding off a super first trip to this site. Next stop was Weeting Heath, where saw a locally rare micro moth. In the car park, 2 Goldcrests were twittering and perched on weeds by the entrance, whilst an adult and a fledgling Mistle Thrush were seen high up in the the tall one trees just right of the car aprk. The Stone Curlews weren't on the usual field. If we looked opposite the car park, we eventually saw a fine Stone Curlew moving slowly be a small gorse bush where it promptly disappeared. After 10 minutes it popped out again and showed well albeit distantly. A quick look at Santon Downham walking from the car park, literally 30 yards along first one the 2 Wood Larks flew away from the track showing in the rough ground giving good scope views. Not wishing to disturb them, we moved further on. John found a 'Wasp Hoverfly' which I photographed. Cuckoo heard almost constantly, but no sign of any hoped for Tree Pipits.

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