Brentor Commons Update – June 2017

When walking around the common with some friends from Exeter, we were excited to see two red kites close to the signpost area. This is the first time I have seen them over Bowden although there was a sighting a couple of years ago.  Circling around, they were at times less than fifty yards from us. Our visitors were most impressed but not being country people they were rather overwhelmed by the smell of the dung being spread on the fields nearby.  Janet and I had hardly noticed it!  If you are on the common look out for their long angled wings and forked tails, very different from our regular Buzzards with their lazy gliding and soaring.
The grass over the main part of the common is now really luxurious. The years of bracken rolling and cutting are really starting to have a dramatic effect on the ecology of the common as we had hoped it would.
I have been trying to keep up with the changes to the roadside verges this year and have noticed that the cow parsley of the last two months has been superseded by Valerian which although largely white also has a hint of dusty pink about it.

Barry Albrighton
Click here to see earlier monthly Commons updates by Barry Albrighton