Spent the morning visiting my Warden , who is still recuperating from his back operation , and doing very well . I helped him with a few jobs around the garden that he couldn't manage , but , all the time keeping an eye on the nest box that has been the subject of interest to a pair of local Nuthatches . Of interest , the feeders that were filled on my last visit , were still at least 3/4 full , the birds having other things on their minds . And so it proved , when a Nuthatch , which I presume was the female , arrived at the nest box with nesting material in it's bill . The entrance hole that I mentioned before was opened up , looks as if more work is needed , but it did give a good view of that long rear toe . This most unladylike entrance did not occur on every visit , as for several consecutive visits , by both birds , ended in the material just being tossed through the hole , and the presumed female just going in to 'do housework' every now and again . Having done her 'housework' , she then had to get out again , which seemed to be somewhat of a problem . Head and neck we easy , but when it came to shoulders and wings , that was where a bit more work on the hole might come in handy , as it was a bit of a struggle for her . Eventually , she did manage to get out , and off to gather some more material . And what was the male doing whilst all this was going on ? In between his visits to the hole to deposit his material , he sat high in an adjacent Oak , calling mostly with his Springtime 'kee-kee-kee' call , but occasionally his usual 'twit-twit-twit' call as well . Hopefully , there will be further episodes posted on this pair , and , wouldn't it be great to get the whole family , lined up on the peanut or Sunflower heart feeders close by .
On leaving , I made my way up onto the Downs , looking for reptiles . On arrival , the conditions looked quite good , but the truth turned out somewhat different . A total of 12 Slow Worms were recorded , along with 6 Common Lizards . And how many Adders ? This was my only sighting , just literally the tail end of a male , which I did not disturb under the refugia . Also recorded were two Foxes , out in the open chalk grassland , seen from a distance , one looking very fit , and the other very mangy . I also heard some very strange 'barking' from some woodland at the top of the slope , almost a cross between a Heron and a deep throated Jay , but there were no birds around and it seemed to be coming from the woodland floor . By the time I got to the top , the 'barking' had finished , but I did notice lots of evidence of fresh diggings in the woodland . Could it have been Badgers , maybe , but I'll never know for sure .
I was hoping that I might find Dingy or even Grizzled Skipper on the site , but it wasn't to be , but I did record 8 Peacocks , all in sheltered corners of the site , and also a single Comma that was either sunning itself next to the Cowslips , or scrapping with a Peacock over the real estate .
2 hours ago