Of course , being on the Ridge without lifting a few tins would be unheard of . It was really pleasant in the sun , but without it , it did feel chilly in the breeze . I only found two Adders , one a male in full breeding colours , and the other , a female that would probably rate as one of the largest Adders that I have ever seen . I saw her originally curled up on a tree stump in a brash pile , but on my way back to the car , I had another look , and she had moved away from the brash pile , to take advantage of the late afternoon sun . I would estimate her length at 65cm + , and wouldn't be surprised if she made 75cm. She would have made the male , pictured first , look small , not only in length , but also in girth . Along with the two Adders , six Grass Snakes were found either under , or very close to refugia . One of them , probably another female , made the female Adder look small . A surprise find under one of the felt refugia , was this Hornets nest . I don't think it is complete yet , and there were no eggs in the perfectly formed five sided cells . Last year , I found one of these on the underside of the lid of a Dormouse box , and that one had grubs in the cells . In the close vicinity , I found two Hornets , but didn't manage a shot of either . The only other reptile found was a Slow Worm , but it was nice to find one in a natural situation , rather than under refugia . In the sunlight , this male looked like he was made of quicksilver . Identified as a male by being single coloured , the females being two toned . Also found unexpectedly in the woodland , were my first Large Red Damselflies of the year , hawking for insects and settling on Bramble leaves , and both male and female as well . The male having dark markings just on two of the last three segments , and the female , this one of form intermedia , one of three forms , having the dark markings all along the abdomen . The other two forms of female have more and less black markings . There is a similar Damselfly , the Small Red Damselfly , but that is obviously smaller , has red legs , and is found mainly on heathland habitat .
The Bluebells are still looking really good , and it's always strange to find the odd one out in a sea of blue . One sad thing I did come across , was this poor thing , suffering from myxomatosis , I'm sure it couldn't see properly , and just buried it's head in the grass till I went past . Probably a short lifeexpectancy for the youngster . Butterflies recorded on site were , Brimstone , Speckled Wood ,Large and Green Veined White and Orange Tip . Birdwise , all the usual suspects turned up , and the singing was done by Blackcap and Chiffchaff , with two Willow Warblers duelling for who could sing loudest .
And finally , a Grass Snake of indeterminate length , as both head and tail were buried deep in the leaf litter under a refugia .