Fieldwork in the College Valley has started in earnest. Whilst putting our boots on, I could believe my ears - a male Quail was calling from the Bracken to the west of Cuddystone Hall (30th June). The bird was calling for at least an hour as we surveyed the vegetation. This is the first time that I have heard this species in Bracken. They are normally a species of cereals and grassland.
Other birds in the area were Whinchat (2), Meadow pipit and Stonechat with young. Neighbouring plantation held Crossbill (3+), and singing Song thrushes and Willow warblers.
Dor beetles were out in force with some piles of sheep dung having up to 20 beetles trying to roll balls. A young Adder was also found.
Some of the upland plants were in full flower. Where there were shallow soils Thyme, Heath Bedstraw, Mouse-eared Hawkweed and Pignut were in full bloom. Both Common vetch, Bitter-vetch and Bell Heather were also in flower.