After yesterday's 'migrant free' trip , I decided that today had a 'reptile' feel about it . So , after a few jobs at home , and visiting my Warden , who is doing well after his operation , I headed up onto the Greensand Ridge . I was brought down to earth pretty quickly , as the first two sites visited , produced a single Slow Worm and a single Common Lizard . It did get better on the way to the third site , flower wise , when , on the bank of a narrow lane , I found the first Wood Sorrel of the year . Always easy to pass by thinking it is Wood Anemones , but , with the '3 leafed Clover' leaves , and the white petals , veined mauve , another indication of Spring . At the third site , I did find a couple of male Adders , one under corrugated tin , getting ready to slough with that milky eye , and the second much harder to find , tucked away under some brash , about a metre away from another pair of refugia , and I think this shows why these animals are so hard to find at times . A second Slow Worm was found on this site , but that was all , and I don't know why , as the conditions were so good , but that's nature . I did hear a couple of singing Blackcaps and two Bullfinches calling to each other , but saw none of them . Probably , the bird highlight was a calling Tawny Owl , somewhere in a Holly thicket . I did find my first flowering Bluebell here , but it had been well munched , probably by slugs . On the way home , I decided to have a look for the Early Purple Orchids , just off the A21. outside Bromley . After seeing the rosettes well advanced on the way to Ashdown Forest a couple of weeks ago , I was surprised to find the plants well behind those , and no sign of any flower spikes yet . But it wasn't a wasted walk , as I found a flower that we often walk by without a second look in flower , Ground Ivy, a member of the large Labiate family . My second sighting of the day of Bluebells , proved to be a much better specimen , and 'unmunched' . The track to the site also turned up another of my Spring favourites , Moschatel , commonly known as 'Town Hall Clock' , for the obvious reason of having a flower on all four sides , and a bonus one on the top . Not the most colourful of flowers , but one of the most unusual . Also in flower were lots of Lesser Celandine , Common Dog Violets and plenty of Wood Anemones . On arriving home , a pair of the local Jackdaws were on the pavement , collecting nesting material , there being plenty to find from the large Lime trees that line the road . Having collected as much as it could carry , it flew with it to my neighbour's chimney , and deposited it down the said chimney pot , where it's mate was working on the nest . Jackdaws have nested almost ever year in that chimney , I wouldn't like to think how much material is lodged in it . The saving grace is that there is only an 'imitation' fire in that room , otherwise it would present a big problem . And finally , staying on the Corvid theme , the Rookery down on the bottom lane that had two nests last year , and 4/5 on a previous posting , now boasts eight nests , a 400% increase on last year .
1 day ago