Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Monday 21st. March 2011 (3)

Leaving 'the sauna' to the group , who had been moved on from the Wellmarsh hide by a bigger group , I started my way back to the car . Along the ditch that I was following , several 'plops' were heard , and with many holes along it's length , I was hoping for a Water Vole , but they turned out to be frogs , like the one seen watching me pass , amongst the debris on the surface . A bit further along , I managed to get a shot of one , just before it , a Marsh Frog , joined in with the 'plop chorus ' . Apart from more birds moving from the Swale to the scrapes as the tide reached it's peak , things were quiet on my walk back . Just before reaching the car park , a Goldcrest was busily flitting amongst the trees looking for it's next meal .
On the drive back along the track , a Little Egret was much more confiding than any seen earlier . The Lapwings were displaying along the length of the track , and I stopped to watch what I thought were a male and female . The suspected male was strutting around , with it's back end always towards the female and the preferred nest site , whilst clucking like a mother hen . The suspected female seemed uninterested for a long time , but then came closer and joined in the clucking . Eventually , she tried the site for size , whilst doing a bit of housework to improve it . Sorted I thought , but how wrong I was as after a lot more housework and clucking , she got up and walked away , leaving him with a blank look .
From Elmley , I did my usual run to Capel Fleet , arriving as the sunshine was starting to get milky , and one of my first sightings was a Marsh Harrier , carrying quite a sizable piece of nesting material . This proved to be first of at least six Marsh Harriers seen there , but more of that tomorrow .
A few shots from today , having escaped the yard and got onto the Greensand Ridge , I found my first two Grass Snakes of the year , the first too quick to photograph , but the second stayed for a short time , before it also exited at speed . And , on a deep cut bank , the first Wood Sorrel/Oxalis acetosella that I have found in flower this year .
News from the garden when I got home , Carol had two Brimstones this afternoon , and a pair of Blue Tits are building their nest in the box on the garage , let's hope they will be successful .


Warren Baker said...

I spent some time looking for Grass snakes today Greenie, no luck yet though :-(

Don't mention where those Harriers nest tomorrow Greenie, there are still those who would nick the eggs. :-)

Phil said...

Not very nice of that Grass snake to stick it's tongue out at you like that Greenie. Don't suppose they like 'cheese' though.
Great, unusual shot of the Marsh Harrier.

ShySongbird said...

Lots of interest here again Greenie, nice to see the Grass Snake, I've been looking too :)

Good to know the Blue Tits are using your box.

I saw a Small Tortoiseshell in the garden yesterday and fleetingly a Brimstone, the first butterflies I have seen this year, brought out of course by the lovely warm sunshine we are enjoying at last!

Lovely photo of the Little Egret.