Welcome to Minchinhampton Walking and Wildlife Group
The group was formed to share knowledge about the unique wildlife habitats in the parish of Minchinhampton and to enjoy the local environment in the company of like-minded people. We also monitor and investigate local habitats in conjunction with conservation organisations. Knowledge that we gain is shared on this website and by creating documented walks around the parish.
We have a Lizard Orchid flowering in the locality. Unfortunately it suffered somewhat in the severe downpours we experienced yesterday - now almost flat on the ground - so we may never see it fully flowering. This photo was take on Monday 15th June.
- Written by Michael McEllin
- Category: Flora
A poetic report from our very local patch
As eggs in hedgerows begin to hatch
Above us skylarks are singing away
A pleasant diversion from the pandemic fray
Near Tom Longs we stumble on a larks nest
Seeing three eggs fills us with zest
Alas days later we lost our elation
As disaster struck in the form of predation
On feeders pretty long tailed tits still gather
Unaware of social distancing palavah.
In the garden there are Tortoiseshells and Peacocks
On the early flora they run amok
And then Orange Tips and a Holly Blue
Its bright shade of colour as good as Kew
And then a bright Comma flashes through
Making our garden feel so new
A walk to Rodborough yields Skipper and Hairstreak
Spotting the tiny latter is not for the meek.
And early purple begin to bloom
But in this heat they will be over soon
Primroses in profusion adorn this year
As we meander around people living in fear
Wood anenomies flower where once there was bracken
Clearance of scrub is so amazing to make things happen
No hirundines Tony, but across sky Buzzards dart
A sight that gives us humans great heart.
By Amberley church a Jay speeds by
Its cutting call a familiar cry
Laughing Green Woodpeckers in the distance heard
And Great Spotteds drumming are yet another bird
And then Speckled Woods spiral into the sky
We watch them go ever more high
On verges native bluebells and Ladys Smock are seen
And on the Common Cowslips flower where drab winter had been
On the 16th, a green-winged orchid is seen
In its spot not far from the 11th golfing green
In the garden a Mouse and Vole are about
As to the type of Vole the jury is out.
In branches many Chiff Chaffs now softly call
Lovely to hear but oh so small
Then melodious bursts from a pair of Blackcaps
Spring is now truly on the maps
Not yet the downward trill of the Willow Warbler
Rest assured they will be just round the corner
Indeed, just a day after our meeting
At Little London, us they, in profusion, were greeting
Hairstreaks again but alas no Dukes
In such wind, sighting would be a fluke
Tawny Owls calling are heard at night
A diversion from our human fright
So much to observe and more vividly so at this strange time.
Unsurprising then that some of us escape to rhyme.
Finally two lines to end from a local bard
W H Davies with a poem aptly entitled "leisure" plays his card
"A poor life this if full of care
We have no time to stand or stare"
Robert South - Performed on a "Zoom" meeting 20 April 2020.
- Written by Michael McEllin
- Category: Poetry
The cold weather seems today to have brought in to our garden (Pinfarthings just below Minchinhampton Common) birds that we don't see regularly. A flock of Redwings and a female and male Blackcap have been busy gorging themselves on ivy berries. Fields around Cherington are holding localised flocks of Fieldfares as is usual at this time of year. All nice to see.
- Written by Robert South
- Category: Fauna
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