Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Tuesday 23rd.September 2008

Another day volunteering on the Greensand Ridge , the task , removing trees leaning out from our property and across the adjacent lane , chipping the same , and blowing the chippings back onto our property . So , with chainsaw , tractor and chipper running , not much chance of wildlife .
As we were on the Greensand Ridge , I did turn a couple of refugia as we were passing , and found my first juvenile Grass Snake from this year's breeding . It was perfectly formed , and seemed not much thicker than a working boot lace . There was a second with it , but that one very quickly disappeared into the leaf litter . Under another refugia was good sized Slow Worm .Tommorrow , we are doing the full Dormouse and Reptile survey , so hopefully we will find more juveniles then .

After lunch , the task was similar , but this time 'crown lifting' , removing lower branches from trees on the boundaries of fields farmed by the tenant farmer , to enable him to work the fields easier . One of these fields was the one that we re-fenced a couple of weeks ago , and as we were working near the Oak with the large 'Chicken of the woods' was growing , we caught sight of two Little Owls , but they were not in photography mode , and shot off into adjacent Oaks . As we left that field , I noticed two Buzzards in the distance , quessing , between Bough Beech and Edenbridge . By the time we reached the next field , one had disappeared and the other was being mobbed by Corvids . It was at quite a distance , but somewhere in the middle of this shot was the Buzzard . In another field were several Pheasants , and one of them was almost black , but he didn't want to be photographed either . One female was willing , and posed with her feathers puffed up , on top of some plastic covered bales . Over the newly ploughed field , about 10 swallows and a couple of House Martins , hawked for insects before their long journey .
On the grass verge opposite the yard was this large Boletus ( fungi with pores instead of gills under the cap ) , I know that I have identified this before , but can't at the moment . The 35mm.film cannister gives an size comparison .

A quick catch-up on the Snowy Owls has them both in very good health , and the female (top) is still moulting , but looking really healthy now , and has made it onto some of the lower perches .

When I arrived home the peace of the back garden was being broken by the screeching of this Rose Ringed Parakeet , on the top of a conifer just 20 ft. from the house .
Finally a message for Steve ( New Hythe) . Your comment last night was a blast from the past .
I also saw that Pied Billed Grebe , on 28th.January 1997 . But that was at South Norwood Lake -TQ 340693 , a bit further up towards the transmitter at Beulah Heights .
South Norwood Country Park is at TQ 353683 . I haven't seen , or heard of another one since either .

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