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Peter celebrates 20 years of showing wildlife on Kelling Heath

Peter celebrates 20 years of showing wildlife on Kelling Heath

A sudden change in the weather marked my 15th February series of Kelling wildlife events.

Struggling with a seemingly never ending mid-winter virus, I should really have stayed at home but am so glad I didn't even if it added some days to my eventual recovery. Both of the afternoon walks had their moments.

One or two extra bird species were already tuning in with the super territorial Robin brigade which had been in full voice since the autumn. Winter thrushes were in evidence, Redwings dotted across the open fields and the occasional Fieldfare on the periphery. A distant dark mass on the paler brown earth turned out to be a Buzzard and we scoped it.

Eagle-eyed Dave from Nottingham later impressed me by spotting an even more remote and half-hidden, browsing Roe Deer. The light was now dulling and once again my telescope proved useful to confirm this ID and allow us to observe the animal's behaviour. Great stuff, however there was more excitement to come...

Showers had been coming and going, even wintry ones earlier in the day, but the wind was less significant than of late and it was definitely becoming mild. The moths knew that of course and it prompted them to emerge from their chrysalises. Not all the same kind of moth either but several types. They all had the same idea! Pale Brindled Beauty (shown in the image) was the one I was expecting and there were multiples. Dotted Border and Early Moth were both pleasing. Our single micro moth, a Gorse Flat-body is one which is not commonly recorded in the county.I think it likes the site however because I have seen it around before. I took some photos of our happy evening's discoveries and looking at them in March has prompted me to write this piece.

I might also mention that it is now 20 years since I began showing visitors wildlife on Kelling Heath. They have been 20 delightful years. So, something else to celebrate...

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