With temperatures set to drop over the next few days , I decided to look for reptiles up on the Downs today . The closer I got , the thicker the mist , until on arrival the visibility was down to less than 25 mtrs. Not exactly what I had planned , but in minutes the sun broke though the mist and 10 minutes later , what mist ? It wasn't too long before the first Adder was found , as all so far this season , a male . A bit further on , a pair , flattened out to absorb the maximum warmth from the now pleasant sunshine . After the initial excitement , things went quiet apart from the odd Common Lizard or Slow Worm , until a fluttering butterfly caught my attention , some distance down a slope . The getting down , and up , was worth it though , as it turned out to be a Small Tortoiseshell , nectaring on the Common Dog Violets that were carpeting the slope . Another quiet spell , till a call from an Ivy clad tree , told me that it could be my second singing Warbler of the year , a male Blackcap . I'm pretty sure that it was in the same place as my first of the species last year . By now , the temperature had risen somewhat , and the Adders , like me , were finding things a bit warm , and had retired into the vegetation to get some shade , like these two , if only I could have . Once again , it was just Common Lizards and Slow Worms that were found for quite some time , until , unexpectedly these two males were found , under one of the tin refugia , the first two Adders found under refugia , anywhere , this year . It wasn't just the Small Tortoiseshell nectaring on the Violets , just one of many Bee Flies seen today , nectaring whilst still on the wing . Apart from the Violets , Primroses and the odd Dandelion and Daisy , not much else has come into flower yet , but on the edge of the woodland , Wood Spurge/Euphorbia amygdaloides is doing it's best , even if the flowers will open greeny/yellow . Whilst passing , another look at the Early Purple Orchids , harder to find as everything else around them is grow and enveloping them . Once the flower spike shoots up , they will be easily seen again . Other butterfly species recorded today included 2 Comma , 5 Peacock and at least 15 Brimstone , all males . The were using the Primroses as refuelling stops , as they charge around the woodland edge . One particular individual lifted off just as I took the shot , and gave a not very often seen view of the upper wings , as normally , they close their wings as soon as they land or settle at rest .
In total , 9 Adders , 7 Common Lizards and 7 Slow Worms were recorded , and shortly after lunchtime , the sunshine went milky , the temperature started to drop with the breeze and things really started to go quiet .
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