Sunday, 22 May 2011

Sunday 22nd.May 2011

Woke up to it raining this morning , but unfortunately it didn't last for long . As soon as it stopped , out came the sun and combined with a strong wind , seemed to suck back up any moisture that was lying around . That wind was incredibly strong , especially up on the Greensand Ridge , where I had headed to see if the rain and drop in temperature had had any effect on the reptiles on the heathland area , where they have been few and far between for ages now . I thought that it was going to be a bumper visit , when after 20 minutes or so , I found these three , two males and a female , tucked away out of the wind . At first there was just a single male with the female , then in came the other male , but it didn't cause any friction , so I can only assume that the female , having mated last year , is on her 'year off' , as the females of the species only mate every other year . When I passed by later , it was just the female still laying out , no sign of the two males . But that was all that I did find this morning , and I'm still no further forward to understanding where we are in the season regarding the Adders .
I stopped off at the Common on the way home to check on the Great Spotted Woodpeckers . The place was like Piccadilly Circus , with a Fun Walk in aid of a local hospice in full swing , and the return path being the one alongside the GSW's nest site . Combining the number of people , bands playing not far away and constant loudspeaker announcements , and of course the wind , the birds had enough to cope with , and after seeing both adults arrive with food , I left them to it .
And finally , few shots that I didn't have room for on the Glanville Fritillary post . If ever you come face to face with one of these butterflies , this is what it looks like .
The track through some parts of the woodland was alive with Wood Ants , and they all seemed to have just one single task , collecting food and getting it back to the nest .
This looks like the remains of the leafhopper , Cercopsis vulnerata .
A dismembered abdomen of another insect .And even doubling up to drag this larvae .And this is where it was all going , a heaving pile of material , complete with chimneys to regulate the internal temperature , containing goodness knows how many insects .


Warren Baker said...

I dont think the Adders know where they are in the year either Greenie!

Nice face on the G F :-)

ShySongbird said...

Unfortunately I doubt I ever will see a Glanville Fritillary but what a good photo!

It sounds like the GSWs didn't pick the most sensible place to nest, I hope it has a satisfactory outcome.

Ants really are fascinating creatures!

I didn't realise until you told us that the female Adder only mates every other year.

Paul said...

Some nice shots Greenie, The Adders are seen less here now, especially the males. I have seen 2 young Adders though, and I would say one of them was born last year, it really was quite small in size. They both showed fantastic colouration, as to be expected of young snakes.