Well , it looks as if the fault with my own computer is terminal , as two people have now looked at it and both have come up with that answer . So , once again I am grateful for the loan of my neighbour's Mac , but also once again , I have no facility to 'crop' pictures .
After yesterday's horrible weather , in which we hedgelayed as quickly as possible , and got a soaking into the bargain , this morning looked as if it was going to be just as grey and miserable , albeit the drizzle had passed through overnight . But , by lunchtime , the smallest chinks of blue sky started to appear , and that was enough to see me heading out , up on the Downs , to the areas that we had been working on over the winter , to see if that work had been appreciated by the reptiles in the surrounding areas . I would normally have fitted the 100mm. lens for this type of photography , but without the ability to 'crop' , the 100-400mm. lens went on the camera , which also necessitated carrying the tripod around with me . The temperature had not yet risen much , but in the distance , the cloud cover was definitely breaking up . It wasn't too long before I found the first Adder , a male , like all those found again today . It
probably hadn't been above ground for very long , as it was still looking as if it had been run over by a steamroller . They have this ability to flatten their bodies , especially in cooler conditions , so that they can offer the maximum body area to the sun , enabling themselves to warm up quicker . There was then quite a time before I found another , and it was in fact at the
same spot , where the original animal had been joined by a second . One head can be seen at 9 o'clock , but the second , harder to see , half covered by the grey stick at 6 o'clock . In total , I found 7 males on the site , all in the flat position to start with , but as they began to warm up ,
most changed into the coil position . It will probably be another week or so before the females start showing , then the arguments start .
On the way back home , I stopped off at the Common to have a look around . As I arrived , I met another birder who told me that he had recorded a Red Kite gliding over the Common and heading for Hayes Farm earlier in the week , a very encouraging report . On my visit I found lots of small , fast flying moths that I think were Common Heaths , but none of them came to rest to confirm this . No butterflies were seen , probably just a bit too cool for them today .
There were however several very large bumblebees flying around , this one was about 1 inch/2.5cm. long , which was probably the reason for it having to take frequent rest stops . In amongst the Gorse , I stood for some time , watching what looked like two
pairs of Long Tailed Tits , collecting materials for their respective nests , one at each end of the heathland area . I just hope that they have better luck than last year , when their nest was wrecked , most probably by a Magpie . As I headed back to the car , I heard my first singing Chiffchaff of the year , and although I managed a shot of him in full song , he just would not turn
around , so sorry for the back end shot . By now , although the sky was clear , the sun was already going down , and with it , the temperature , so I headed home for a cuppa .