Three hard days working , the first two , up on the Greensand Ridge , clearing the Adder glades , where the refugia are placed , of the regrowth and bramble encroachment of the last year , produced the grand total of one photograph . It was not , as I had hoped of the first Adder of the year , I think the night-time temperatures are too low at the moment , not that day time temperatures are anything to shout about . The photograph is of a Bank Vole , found under one of the corrugated tins , and a sure sign that there were Adders about , or it would have been a tasty meal for one of them . The third day , up on the Common , returning the habitat to heathland as opposed to secondary woodland , and trying to hold up the constant march of Gorse . It did have it's benefit though , as I heard that the Little Owls were showing well , on the site that I had visited last year .
With the forecast of sunny spells before lunch and heavy showers after , I made an early start , to miss the school traffic , and arrived at the site in dreary , dank conditions , with a biting wind again . Showing well was what I had heard , and after 2 hours plus , with hands ready to drop off from the cold , just one sighting of a Little Owl , landing and entering it's nest hole and a fleeting glimpse of another , was all that I could muster .
I must admit though , the birdsong did it's best to raise the spirits , with Greenfinch 'sweeeeeing' from the tree top , and Robin , not so much singing as chortling , and looking a bit cheesed off into the bargain , as the wind ruffled his feathers .
Eventually , I gave up on the Little Owls , and had a look around , as much as to try and get warm as anything . In the horse paddocks were two of the Wagtail family . The first , a very light backed individual , I think might be a White Wagtail , but I stand to be corrected as usual . In the same field , and being constantly harassed by the first Wagtail , was this male Grey Wagtail .
In keeping with the temperature , there were good numbers of Redwings , feeding on the ground in the horse paddocks , then , lifting as one to the safety of the surrounding trees , until the danger that had threatened , had passed . No Fieldfares were seen with the Redwings .
By the time I got back to the car , and checked the Little Owl trees , still no further sighting , I was cold again , but I did get a good send off by a male Dunnock .
After lunch the light did get better , but we paid for it with several showers , some of them really heavy, so I spent the afternoon doing maintenance on my hedgelaying tools , ready for the last two outings of the season on the 20th. and 27th. of this month .
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