Monday, 20 April 2009

Monday 20th.April 2009

Not too much to ask for , just some good reptile viewing weather , especially at lunchtime , when fellow blogger Steve/Kingsdowner , was popping in at Fackenden Down , for a walk around the site . I got there about my usual time and once again , a cool wind was blowing along the bank , and very little sign of the sun . A flyover as soon as I arrived of a Common Buzzard was unexpected , especially as I hadn't even got the camera out yet . A bad silhouette shot was all I could manage in the rush . With no sign of reptiles at the first set of refugia , I knew it was going to be hard going . As usual , Slow Worms were not backward in coming forward , with 40 animals being recorded . The first non Slow Worm reptile recorded , was a Common Lizard , warming up on top of one of the tins . It wasn't until I got to the furthest refugia on the site , that I recorded my first Adder , a male , laying out in the weak sunshine , in a sheltered spot . I went along the track behind the pony shelter , and spotted a very large Grass Snake , but , it spotted me at the same time , and shot off , not to be seen again . On the broad track at the bottom of the site , I once again found Grizzled Skipper , probably 2 , possibly 3 . Also recorded were small numbers of Speckled Wood , Orange Tip , Brimstone and Peacock . Further along the track , much further along than last time , I found 2 Adders , one male and one unknown , as they too disappeared at speed . On the bank , away from the munching ponies , Milkwort
and Bugle , are coming into flower .
By the time I was back near the car , it was time for Steve's arrival , and whilst waiting , I was treated to my first Common Whitethroat , singing his scratchy tune . Also recorded on site were singing Blackcap and Chiffchaff and several singing Skylarks .
When Steve arrived , we did the lap again , with things still unchanged , with the exception of a male on the bottom path , which didn't want Steve to take it's photo . The male was still at the far end , this time , lying on top of the felt , As Steve lined him up for a shot , he steamed off as well . No sign of the Grizzled Skippers either on the path , but a little later , we found one on the bank , and Steve got his prize . That along with Slow Worm shots , and a very obliging male Yellowhammer were all we could rustle up , even a female Adder back near the cars didn't hang around . A few attempts to snap a male Orange Tip , and Steve's time was up , and he was back to work , well , someone has to , but it was good to put a face to a name . He won't want to hear it , but as I made my way back to the car , I got the only Adder shot today , another male .
From Fackenden , I made my way to Ightam Moat , to revisit the fencing site , and the Orange Tips . The sun was still very hazy , but I recorded 9 Orange Tips , 2 Comma , 2 Brimstone and 1 Peacock on the site . I also managed a good few shots of both male and female Orange Tip - sorry to rub it in Steve . On the way home along a lane behind Igtham Moat , I found a plant that I mentioned a while ago . Now that the Lesser Celandine , a member of the Buttercup family is finishing , Greater Celandine , a member of the Poppy family is coming into flower , to be found on roadside verges and in hedgerows .


Warren Baker said...

I thought that Buzzard shot was a harrier at first greenie. It has very long wings.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
It was all very quick as I arrived , it was being mobbed by a corvid . I have 2 other , equally bad shots of it , will tag them on to the end of the next post .

Kingsdowner said...

Thanks for your help today Greenie - and thanks a bunch for showing photos of the adder and orange tip that I missed!

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie.
I too don't think it is a Buzzard. I enlarged it and I thought, Harrier, but then I thought I could see a bit of a forked tail, but then perhaps that is wishful thinking. nice pictures again

Ken Browne. said...

Hi again Greenie.
I meant to ask, you see lot's of Adder's on your travels. Have you ever seen a melanistic one?

Greenie said...

Ken ,
I have never been lucky enough to see a melanistic Adder , usually black male or deep chocolate female , with hardly any sign of the zig-zag .
Having said that , about this time last year , I was lucky enough to witness ' the dance of the Adders '
two males fighting for 20/25 minutes , over a female . I managed about 50/60 shots of the action .