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The site is managed by English Nature to encourage a variety of wild flowers. More scrub clearance will be needed. There is no grazing by livestock and the resident Rabbits are unable to keep all the turf close-cropped.
(Since I wrote this, the bird watchers who saw it have suggested that the bird's long tail with its irregular barring mark it as a Honey Buzzard. These birds nest in Europe as far north as Scandinavia and are now on migration to winter quarters in southern Africa. The migration enables them to feed all year on their staple diet of wasps and bees, particularly their larvae. The Honey Buzzard will dig out a nest using its feet or tear off an exposed wasps' nest in flight.) We're on a Wakefield Naturalists' Society visit, to look at some of the late summer/autumn flora. Autumn Lady's Tresses, with a single row of small green and white flowers arranged spirally on its stems would be easy to overlook. That's the advantage of going out with a group, there are more pairs of eyes to spot things, and, although no-one in the group would claim to be a botanical expert, there's always someone who is able to put a name to an unfamiliar species.
When I see a low growing flower on the turf, I can't help but say 'Wild Thyme'. My friends immediately put me right, it is, as I should have remembered, Eyebright, a small white flower with yellow centres. It is semi-parasitic on other plants.
If it hadn't been pointed out to me, I would have missed Fairy Flax, now faded back to wiry stems and a few tiny flowers. It is also known as White or Purging Flax, Linium catharticum
Harebell, the Scottish Bluebell, grows alongside on the short turf.
Small Scabious grows on the grassy edge of the path, not far from its larger cousin Field Scabious. Apart from the size difference there are small black whiskers underneath the flowerheads of the Small Scabious, sticking out from the single row of sepals, while the Field Scabious has no black whiskers and a double row of sepals.
The seedheads, like symbolic solar discs, of Carline Thistle grow close to the turf.
Amongst the grasses we watch a drama unfold. A bumble bee has been caught in an orb web. The spider, which has an abdomen the size of a small pea, keeps the bee at arms length. The bee seems to able to move all but one of its legs, the back leg from which it is suspended, but it tires as the spider keeps gingerly dabbing it with more silk.
We see Common Blue, Holly Blue, Red Admiral and Meadow Brown butterflies.