Friday, 9 April 2010

Friday 9th.April 2010

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 .

9 comments:

Warren Baker said...

Good on the Rooks! Hope you've entered the breeding birds on the 'BTO bird Atlas' roving record page ;-)

Orchids and Nature said...

Spring is advancing at a greater pace up here in the north but no Bluebells and Wood sorrel as yet, perhaps within the next two weeks these lovely flowers will start coming into flower.

abbey meadows said...

Nice post Greenie. I checked out a local patch of Moschatel here but it is still in bud. No sign of Wood Sorrel up here yet...a few weeks behind I think.

Kingsdowner said...

Good macro pics there Fred - moschatel is so tricky. Are they with the new camera too?

Dean said...

Another great post Greenie. The wildlife is moving up a gear, especially after the slow start.

Phil said...

Nice post Greenie. Didn't realise that Bluebells started as early as this, I thought May was their time, I guess these are just a few front runners?

Simon said...

Lovely photos mate! I especially like the flowers and the top adder shot.

Greenie said...

Steve ,
Yes , the flower shots were with the new camera and the 100mm. macro lens .
It is an absolutely fantastic lens .

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie.
Nice floral photo's. Good to see the finished product of using your 100mm Macro.