A Couple of Hours at the Gravel Pits

On Monday afternoon I went along to Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits Nature Reserve. Fortunately there are plenty of trees there to provide cooling shade because I found it extremely hot on a few occasions where I was in the full sun watching the wildlife. I was able to go under the trees to cool off.

The star of the visit was a Brimstone that showed itself nicely. Taking these photos was one of the times I overheated and had to get some shade. The sun on my back was hot.

A Comma Butterfly in the same area was another that behaved itself as I took a photo of it.

Again in the same area I found this Cinnabar Moth caterpillar near the top of some Ragwort.

I don’t know the names of the areas of the nature reserve but at the bench in the reserve that is furthest down river was occupied so I had to stop to one side and look out over the river and the fields beyond. Because of the high banks and the lie of the land you can only see small patches of land but you can see the trees in the distance, several hundred metres away. I spotted a Grey Heron flying near the trees that then landed in a dead tree just in front of some other trees. Because of the levels I was looking through the grass on the river bank so it was difficult to see but it became apparent that another Heron was on the same branch. Trying to hold everything as still as possible I was sure that I saw the brown shape at the top of the right hand branch move slightly. I did my best to get a photo of it hoping that I would be able to zoom in on my computer screen and have a look. I then continued on my walk around the reserve. I often do two or three laps of the place and on my second time around the bench was no longer occupied so I stood on it and had another look at the distant tree. This time there was only one Grey Heron. The brown shape on the right hand branch was no longer there. I took some photos, again hoping that I would be able to see more on a computer screen. In the second photo you can see that there is a Red Kite below the Heron and it looks like it is looking in my direction. It is a reasonable bet that this was the brown shape on the right hand branch earlier. Also in the second photo you can see a Magpie in the tree where the branches join the trunk. In the third photo the Magpie has moved up the tree and the other two birds are looking in its direction.

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