The car thermometer read 11C. as I pulled up in the car park , to do the bird survey . On opening the door , I was well pleased that I had donned a fleece and had also put a jacket woolly hat and gloves in the car , just in case before I left , as a gale was blowing across the site , and the wind was bitter . Even before I had got out of the formal garden the gloves were on and I was wishing that I had also put in a scarf .
It didn't help that birds were very few and far between , which wasn't surprising given the strength of the wind , which was also blotting out any calls . In the bird less orchard , even the female Hazel flowers alongside the now fully open male catkins seemed to be felling the cold , looking much less vibrant that when under blue sky and sunshine . Most birds found were in sheltered areas behind walls and hedges and the species recorded slowly increased . The 'best' of the visit were Green Woodpecker and Nuthatch , and an average total of 15 species were recorded .
On the edge of the big meadow I spent some time looking in vain for Brown Hairstreak eggs on the bare Blackthorn bushes . I don't know of any sites for this butterfly in Kent , but , 'if you don't look , you don't find' .
Down along the bottom edge of the meadow , a log on the ground produced one of the few fungi seen on the visit , the fungi , probably a Mycena species , growing inside the log .
The most excitement came at the far end of the same meadow , when from a distance , I spotted a deer that I thought was beyond the fenceline in the woodland adjacent to the Golf Course . Through binoculars , I could see that it was in fact in the meadow and it stayed in the same position as I approached that end . Unusually , the female Roe Deer came out into the open , as if to greet me . She kept coming , watching me all the time , until there was about 25 metres between us , then , in a split second , she turned and raced off back to the fenceline , which she cleared with ease , before disappearing into the cover of the woodland , not to be seen again . Poor picture quality was down to the light and the fact that given the conditions and not expecting to find much , I just took the old camera .
On my way back to the car park , a stand of Snowdrops caught my eye .
Hedgelaying in deepest Surrey tomorrow and conditions not sounding too good , but you never know what might turn up .
5 hours ago