With all the passerine action on the east coast at the moment, I thought a trip to Castor Hanglands NNR a little west of Peterborough was in order (to seek the likes of Redstart, Whinchat, Tree Pipit or Pied Flycatcher). I arrived about 6.30 and my car was the only one there. It was a tad misty. When I had walked a couple of hundred metres or so, I heard someone shouting angrily and repeatedly at a dog called Misty., somewhere behind me. I thought this was odd, as I was the only person there, or so I thought. Then I saw what appeared the entire foxhound pack from the Fitzwilliam hunt (from the Milton estate). There were scores of these huge hounds trotting along the road, accompanied by two guys on bikes, one usually his long whip to discipline presumably Misty.
To my horror, they all turned left into the reserve and the massed pack came charging straight towards me. Needless to say, I got out of the way of this mass of carnivore flesh. To be fair, they were much better behaved than the vast majority of dogs I see going for a walk at Castor Hanglands, and after I got out of the way, they all just pounded by (with no extra whipping necessary!). A slightly surreal start to the day.
Fitzwilliam Hunt foxhounds on tour, Castor Hanglands NNR, Cambs, 13.8.20
In summary of my walk around the reserve, I heard a couple of Ravens calling, Bullfinches were everywhere, Marsh Tits seemed to be everywhere, and there was constant calling from Green Woodpeckers and Great Spotted Woodpeckers; also I found Nuthatches at at least four places.
Juvenile Green Woodpecker, Castor Hanglands NNR, Cambs, 13.8.20