Thursday, 31 March 2011
Monday, 28 March 2011
Sunday, 27 March 2011
Saturday, 26 March 2011
With the cooler possibly damp forecast , I decided that today , I must catch up with maintenance and sharpening of my chainsaws and hedgelaying tools , which have been sat on the garage bench looking at me for the last week . The weather was just as had been forecasted , Carol went shopping and I got on with my jobs . From nowhere , the sun appeared and the temperature rose considerably .Thinking of the good day had on the Downs yesterday , the tools were put down again , and I was off to the Greensand Ridge to see what was about there . On arrival , the temperature was perfect for reptiles , warmth from the sun through thin cloud and feeling a bit clammy . The fact that it was not sunny , blue sky and hot , would mean that animals would be further out from cover to get that warmth . So it was with this Common Lizard , which did not move an inch as got closer and closer . In fact , it was so laid back , that the lens hood was almost resting on it's nose when I took this shot , prehistoric or what ? The away from cover also worked on the first Adder found , making an interesting shape as it soaked up the warmth . Not quite so out in the open were these three male Adders , but by now , the sun had gone again andit felt much cooler without it , so the three were huddled together to retain the heat between them . Just as the shutter went , the one on the top right of the trio realised I was there and was moving back under cover . The head of the second is easy to see , and the head of the third is about half an inch to the left of the second . At the same time , it started to drizzle , which became light rain , which continued off and on , mainly on until about 1400 , but it did mean I made my way home and finished the job that I had started . On returning from shopping , Carol wasn't at all surprised that the car was missing . Only other interest found on the short visit was a Peacock , it too warming up before getting the showers .
Friday, 25 March 2011
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 .
Thursday, 24 March 2011
A few shots from today whilst working up on the Common in milky sunshine , but very pleasant conditions . We had non stop song all day from a Chiffchaff that seemed to be visiting every tall tree in the area to spread it's message . Also seen and heard toing and froing amongst the tall Gorse were a pair of Long-tailed Tits , let's hope they are luckier than last year when the nest was predated , probably by a Magpie . Still just butterflies that have hibernated as adults seen today , with 5+ male Brimstone , 2 Comma that seemed to spent all their time and energy fighting amongst themselves or with two Peacock that wanted to call the area theirs .
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
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 .