Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Wednesday 6th April 2011

I had to cancel volunteering because of a 1230 appointment , and that also ruined a good weather day out . I decided to have a look up on the Greensand Ridge first thing , covering the area of Rhododendron removal . By the time I arrived , the temperature was 14C and rising , crazy after yesterday . As has been the way this Spring , nothing was found under refugia , until I came across these two ground beetles , in the middle of , well enough of that , I replaced the tin with my eyes shut . I think they could be Dor Beetles , but didn't see enough to make definite ID . The sunshine certainly brought on the birdsong , with several Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs in full song , along with many other woodland species . On the top of the brash pile that caused all the excitement a few days ago , I spotted a really big Grass Snake , most probably a female , and could well have been the cause of all that excitement , but she scented me well before I got the camera out , and was gone . I did find a small 'bootlace' specimen , but that was as good as it got , until I reached a large lying tree trunk , probably from the '87 storm , and covered with last year's Bracken , standing well over a metre from the ground . Near the top of the trunk I spotted a Grass Snake , sunning itself , but as I closed in for a shot , also spotted a male Adder further along . The two of them are either side of the shot in the middle . Neither move a muscle as I got closer , and I left them both enjoying the warmth . Whilst on site , I heard a Common Buzzard call , but never saw it and only had 3 butterflies , a singleton each , Peacock , Brimstone and Comma .
This afternoon , I went up to the Common for a look around . I'm glad to say the Long Tailed Tit nest is still intact , and as I checked it , 2 male Peacocks came together , probably fighting over territory . Also on the wing , only my second day flying moth species , a male Common Heath . I watched this Crab Spider climb some dead vegetation , and the assume this position at the top .I would have thought it would be very lucky to catch anything there . Although I saw my second female Brimstone of the year today , I could not find any eggs on the Buckthorn , which are now coming into leaf . In all , 6+ Peacock , 3 Brimstone , 1 Comma and one flyby White sp. were recorded . On the way home , I made my first visit too the farm lake , still in beautiful sunshine .

The water level is low , not surprising with the dry March we have just had , but the Bog Bean / Menyanthes trifoliateis already in flower . As to are large drifts of Cowslip ,
and still in flower , large stands of Coltsfoot .Birdwise , the resident Coots are already on the nest , the Little Grebes are still present , together with the resident Moorhens . Butterflies , 1 Brimstone , 1 male Orange Tip and what I'm reasonably certain were M&F Peacock courting . Nothing to get excited about , until just before I left , positive 1 , possible 2 calling Willow Warblers just made the day seem complete .


Phil said...

The things that go on under bits of refugia Greenie, enough to make your eyes water!
Nice post!

ShySongbird said...

A very nice post Greenie. The Spring flowers really are looking beautiful now!

I heard rustling amongst dead leaves in a small piece of woodland yesterday and caught a glimpse of a snake but it was so quick I didn't have a chance of identifying it, they do move at a rate of knots!!!

Good news on the LTT nest, fingers firmly crossed :)

Well done with the Brimstone, they are so flighty at this time of year!