Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Tuesday 26th.May 2009

Most of today was spent at a site near Gravesend , with the new warden , clearing rubbish , in readiness of it's opening . A grim enough job at the best of times , but in the heavy rain this morning , I could think of better places to be . Eventually , the rain did stop , and the sun appeared . As soon as it did so , the northward push of the Painted Ladies started again . My estimate of butterflies seen today is between 100 and 150 . We were working on a slope in the lea of the wind , when the sun came out , and the numbers that lifted out of the vegetation was incredible . A quick check on direction , and off they all went , relentlessly northward . Such a shame that it is all in vain .
The only other notable happening there , was when a very large Beech tree 'snapped out' when we were within 50 metres of it . The initial sound was like a machine gun , followed by a massive snap , followed by the sound of the limbs crashing through surrounding trees , and finishing with an almighty thump , as it hit the ground . The vibration of the last was incredible . I have been close by when large trees have been felled and hit the ground , but for it to happen without warning was something else . When we went over to have a look , the tree was completely hollow , and had snapped out at about 7/8 mtrs , leaving an enormous amount of firewood on the woodland floor .
We got back to our yard at a reasonable time , so I decided to turn a few tins on the Ridge on the way home . Grass Snake was the species of the day , with 10 being recorded on two sites .
One found , had opaque eyes , showing that it is coming up to 'slough' , shed it's skin .
They were all found under corrugated tin refugia , and 3 doubles and 1 treble were recorded .
Just 2 Slow Worms , a very low number , were recorded , and two Adders , one male under a tin and a female , laying in the open , enjoying the sunshine .
When I got home , we were having a cup of coffee in the sun lounge , when a juvenile Greenfinch came to feed at the birdtable . There was also a family of Blue Tits , but I didn't manage a shot of any of them .And talking juveniles , we had another visit from the juvenile Squirrel , on it's own this time .


Phil and Mandy said...

Love the juvenile Greenfich photo, looks a wee bit Siskin like I think. Regards Phil

Warren Baker said...

Blimey Greenie,
Didn't you do a risk assesment before starting work ? ;-)

Glad you survived alright though, I need someone to ID my damsel / butterflies for me!

Warren Baker said...

Hi Greenie,
I mentioned, a few posts back, about monitoring you tit boxes for the BTO. Take a look at this site.


ShySongbird said...

Well done for battling on with a less than pleasant task in such nasty weather Greenie.

I haven't seen even one of the Painted Ladies here yet, I even sat and waited hopefully in the garden yesterday, but all I got was...very cold!

I was pleased to see the comment by Phil as I had several people thinking that my juvenile Greenfinches from last year were in fact Siskins when I knew there was no doubt at all, due to the fact that we very rarely see Siskins but always have an abundance of Greenfinches. I can see why there could be some confusion though.

I'm very glad you escaped the tree incident and your squirrel photo was very comical!