Bradgate CP, Leicestershire, 25 May 2024

A birthday visit to the surprisingly hilly (and rocky) Bradgate CP, just SW of Loughborough. 

We spent a full day exploring the extensive park from the river right up to the hilltops. Feral flocks of Fallow Deer roam the park but despite their origins were very nervous and skittish. 5 Red Deer, including 4 bucks were also grazing in a marshy area. After Belinda spotted it initially we got some great views of a big Grass Snake in bracken as it kept popping it's head up to look at us.

A singing Reed Bunting was a strange sight in bracken close to one of the hilltops with other birds seen including Yellowhammer, Willow Warbler, Green Woodpecker, Raven and Red Kite

My first Small Heaths of the year were out and in the ruins of Bradgate Hall in the park were several Deadly Nightshade plants.

A couple of new insects for my growing list were Livid Soldier Beetle and Common Leaf Weevil - both on umbellifers.

                                                                                                                                     Red Deer
                                                                                                                                         Fallow Deer
                                                                                                                              Common Leaf Weevil
                                                                                                                                Livid Soldier Beetle

                                                                                                                        Deadly Nightshade


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