As it happened , just as we were finishing breakfast , Carol asked , 'what's that under the feeders ?' . After a couple of seconds , the outline of a Fox appeared , just 10 metres from the patio doors . I made a dash for the camera , but by the time I got back to the sun lounge , the Fox , a female I would say from the size , was limping down the garden path . After uttering a couple of expletives , I carried on shooting through the double glazing . Then something caught her attention over to the left , and she half turned and stood frozen for a few seconds . In this position , I could see a wound on the joint of her rear left leg and she wasn't putting her full weight down on it . I got a few more shots , then she disappeared behind the rockery into the neighbour's garden .
Whilst working in the yard , I kept a good watch on the nest box that the Nuthatches are using , but only the odd quick visit to the entrance by one bird was seen , and I assume that the female is still sitting on eggs , hopefully . My Warden tells me that the presumed male bird is not allowing any other bird onto the two feeders on the side of the house near the nest box .
We finished the work a bit earlier than expected , so I decided to check the refugia in the heather patch opposite the Warden's house , absolutely nothing . I decided to check a few of the refugia on the Greensand Ridge on the way home , with much better results close to , but not always under the refugia . A male Adder was the first reptile found , in breeding colours , sunning himself amongst Bluebells and Brambles in front of one of the corrugated tins . Under the tin , I found a juvenile Grass Snake . Behind the next refugia I found a large female Adder , lying on some brash . I am reasonably sure that she was the one I saw being mated when we did the last survey . The next but one pair of refugia produced a Grass Snake under both the tin and felt , and eventually , they both finished up close together . The smaller specimen , uncurled was probably born last year , and the larger coiled specimen , the year before . The final sighting was another large female , she too , was enjoying the late afternoon sun , which disappeared soon afterwards , as the clouds rolled in again .