Common Quail on Beacon Hills

I’m sure, England will offer me hundreds of new sites to be exported for the next few decades. I try to find new places worth to visit and today I chose the Beacon Hill (or Ivinghoe Hills) near Ivinghoe village, which is part of the 136 km long national trail, The Ridgeway.

Panorama photo of the hills and the view to the northwest. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Panorama photo of the hills and the view to the northwest. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Beacon13

The southern hills is perfect for Yellowhammers. © Gyorgy Szimuly

As I missed waking up early, the popular area was rather crowded. It probably didn’t affect the species richness, but the site could be more enjoyable without loud people. The southwest, Mediterranean-like, slopes seemed to be perfect for Pyramidal Orchids and Common Spotted Orchids.

Common Spotted Orchids were still blooming. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Common Spotted Orchids were still blooming. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Apart from the common birds, this place holds a few pairs of Meadow Pipit and Yellowhammer. A male Common Kestrel and Common Ravens were of note. As I walked towards the eastern slopes, a Common Quail was calling very close to me. Based on BirdGuides there was another record of this uncommon bird just north of the hills.

Meadow Pipits were actively singing and carrying food. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Meadow Pipits were actively singing and carrying food. © Gyorgy Szimuly

I’m not a big expert of butterflies, but the place is pretty good for them. I could identify Small TortoiseshellSpeckled Wood and Meadow Brown.

Dozens of Small Tortoiseshell fed on Wild Thyme. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Dozens of Small Tortoiseshell fed on Wild Thyme. © Gyorgy Szimuly

All in all, the site is very nice and could be attractive during migration. Ring Ouzel and Common Redstart have been reported from here numerous times.

eBird report:

Common Quail 1
Eurasian Sparrowhawk 1
Common Buzzard 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1
Common Wood Pigeon 10
Common Swift 3
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Eurasian Kestrel 1
Eurasian Jay 1
Eurasian Magpie 2
Eurasian Jackdaw 11
Carrion Crow 5
Common Raven 4
Eurasian Skylark 6
Eurasian Blue Tit 7
Eurasian Wren 2
Willow Warbler 1
Common Chiffchaff 4
Eurasian Blackcap 5
Greater Whitethroat 7
European Robin 2
Eurasian Blackbird 4
Song Thrush 1
Meadow Pipit 7
Yellowhammer 9
Common Chaffinch 5
European Goldfinch 3
Eurasian Linnet 8

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