On friday i had an exam that finished at half 3 (wrote it to the sound of yellowhammers and skylarks in the field opposite, what a distraction!), and afterwards i decided to go and enjoy the sunshine while looking for wildlife.
The weather was quite hot and along with the time of day, it meant that there weren't a huge amount of birds around. The walk down to sheepwalks from the campus which usually results in a lot of birds was actually reasonably quiet, with only a few Crows and Chaffinches of note. There were however lots of flowers about which made the walk quite bearable and there were also various butterflies about.
Sheepwalks however provided a better experience, as there were plenty of birds, as well as some interesting invertebrate life too. A Common Whitethroat was noisily singing on top of a tree in a hedge, and there were lots of Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers singing too. The field was awash with dandelion 'clocks' and there was also swathes of Common Vetch, adding a splash of pink to the landscape.
There were several interesting insects noted, including these Sawflys Tenthredo spp.
Buttercups held large concentrations of these pollen beetles
There were also these weevils on some nettles, possibly Phyllobius pomaceus
This is a Drinker Moth caterpillar
And this is a Nursery Web spider which was ambushing prey on a cow parsley plant
I moved onto the pond, where there were loads of Yellowhammers singing, as well as another noisy Whitethroat. Also present was a coot with young, Tufted Ducks, Canada Geese and Mallards. On the other side of the lake several Reed Buntings were spotted and a Reed Warbler kept singing but kept hidden. Lots of swallows were skimming the surface for insects, but when a kestrel flew over, most of them turned to mobbing this, and chased it off into the distance!
A first for this area was a Stock Dove, which was sighted in the owl nestbox, and also nearby Skylarks were heard singing. I then proceeded round the fields, where i heard two Tawny Owls making a racket in a large oak tree, possibly with young. A female sparrowhawk was also seen flying over. The fields looked nice in the sun so i got a shot looking west (a bit edited though!)