Monday 20th April still on lockdown because of the Covid 19 virus. Once again I didn’t intend to walk up Hambledon Hill on my one a day exercise walk. I was just going to take a look round the base where all the scrubby bushes are to see what birds there were around, but the lure of the hill was too good to resist!  I  walked up from Markstone Cottages it was still half light so there weren’t many birds around at the base so that decided me to head up the hill.

View across to Hanford School
View across to Hanford School

Looking over towards Hanford School the Rape fields were shining in the first of the sun’s rays, the trees in the foreground are well out with Wild Cherry in blossom at the front as are the trees in Norton Woods in the background. I am missing my trips to see the Bluebells this year, hopefully next year. I have some lovely places to walk where I live so I can’t grumble.

As I got to the top after passing some rather large horses, who wanted to say hello! I got to the trig point and looked over the field where I had just come from and there was a Skylark on the ground. They are very active at the moment singing high in the sky trying to lure us away from their nests on the ground.

Skylark
Skylark

As I got to the gateway to the hill itself I spotted some small birds in the bushes, they were male and female Linnets, the female was collecting nesting material while the male was looking on.

Linnet, male
Linnet, male
Linnet, male
Linnet, male
Linnet, female
Linnet, female
Linnet, female
Linnet, female

The Yellowhammers were also in evidence looking good as the sun came over the top of the hill.

Yellowhammer, male
Yellowhammer, male

As I was heading downwards I noticed some Early Purple Orchids, they are not quite as robust as the ones I have seen in woodlands, probably down to the grass being cropped by Sheep and Cattle.

Early Purple Orchid
Early Purple Orchid

I also spotted a few Common Milkworts, very tiny but the blue is easy to spot, they will be covering the hill in the next few months.

Common Milkwort
Common Milkwort

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