The middle of April already and the weather is still dry and another lovely start to the day, although there is rain forecast for tomorrow and Saturday so I decided to head towards Hambledon hill while the paths were dry. I wasn’t going to go up the hill but when I got to the bridleway on the other side I made up my mind to turn right instead of left and go up the hill. I was hoping to see some Early Purple Orchids but when I got to where I saw them last year there was nothing. I’m hoping they may be late!

The cowslips are flowering well in different areas and on the east side of the hill there are hundreds of dark purple Violets on the slopes of the hill. Everything is growing well and if we get the promised rain in the next couple of days it will bring on the flowers.

Cowslips
Cowslips
Violets
Violets

Some of the tiny grasses and sedges are now showing, I had plans to go up there this year and spend sometime with the macro lens taking pictures of all flowers etc. but that will have to wait now, perhaps we will be free in the summer! This little grass or sedge caught my eye very small but lovely, easy to miss. I tried to identify it but there is such a variety of these species I had to give up for now.

Tiny Grass/Sedge
Tiny Grass/Sedge

The view from the top of the hill towards Duncliffe and Shaftesbury was a little hazy but as always beautiful.

View across the Blackmore Vale
View across the Blackmore Vale

As I leave the valley and climb the downland chalk hill the difference in the habitat from Child Okeford and then the chalk of Hambledon Hill is striking, although some of the birds and vegetation are the same, it’s a different world on the hill.

The Skylarks were singing above me and there were Yellowhammers alongside the path. There were a pair of Buzzards flying below me and the Ravens were in evidence.

Yellowhammer
Yellowhammer
Skylark
Skylark

As I moved down the hill towards Markstone Cottage I zig-zagged as I went looking in the scrubby bushes near the base of the hill, there was quite a lot of action. Plenty of Linnets flying about and a Thrush grubbing about for worms on the slopes. Another special walk as always.

Linnet
Linnet
Linnet taking off
Linnet taking off
Thrush collecting worms for young
Thrush collecting worms for young
Rabbit
Rabbit
Pair of Robins
Pair of Robins
Sycamore Flowers
Sycamore Flowers

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