As soon as we got out of the car we started seeing birds, including a fieldfare, jay, great tits, long-tailed tits, a chaffinch and a robin. We started the steep climb up the hill to the top and all the birds just seemed to disappear, so we admired the lovely trees instead! The birds seemed to prefer the edges of the woods and the open grassland.
Up at the top there was ice in the puddles. We headed into the hill fort, but still no sign of any birds, until we spotted some crows shouting at each other. We sat on the giant squid and watched, but not much was happening, so we went for a look around within the raised hill fort.
|The giant squid we discovered on a previous very foggy trip to the hill fort|
|Looking down on Grangelands from the hill fort|
Safely down the slope, we were very glad we'd gone down there. The red kites were flying around, a kestrel was hovering above us and then two ravens flew past. They were a similar size to the red kites and were making a very distinctive call, very different to the call I'd heard this morning, it was more like a gurgling sort of noise. They headed off towards the woods that we'd just come from.
|At the bottom of the slope, with Grangelands in front of us|
|A kestrel hovered overhead|
|The red kites were flying all around us|
|Mullein - probably Great Mullein|
There were a few marked off areas, that looked like scrapes, where the soil is scraped right back to the bare chalk. Some types of wildflowers need chalk to grow on, so I suspect they're there to help them to thrive. Will take a look in the summer and see what's growing on them.
|Looks like a scrape, marked with black posts on each corner|
What a fabulous, raveny sort of a day!!