Thursday, 22 March 2012

Wednesday 21st . March 2012 ( Part 2 )

Before leaving Ashdown Forest , I had a quick look around a couple of ponds , close to where I go for the Silver Studded Blue butterflies later in the year . Even though it is still so early in the year , and the earliest Dragonflies/Damselflies not due on the wing till late April early May , life had
already started for some of the smaller inhabitants like this Water Boatman , who was having an on-
off scrap with another , the Pond Skater . Surprisingly , the slighter and smaller Pond Skater feeds on small insect from the surface and the larger Water Boatman being herbivorous , feeding largely on plant debris . Before leaving the ponds , I was treated to another two Common Buzzards , this pair a
bit lower in their search over the heathland . My next stop was at Weir Wood Reservoir , not far away , but proved to be a waste of fuel to see any birds , as the reservoir is way below it's normal level and consequently what should be water outside the hide , has a good growth of grass and other vegetation , and the nearest birds far in the distance . The next stop was at a road junction where I usually find the earliest flowering Early Purple  Orchids , but that was then , now , the roadside verge seems to have been dug up since this time last year , and not even a spotted rosette was found . Whilst returning to the car , I did find my first flowering Cuckoo Flower / Ladies Smock -
Cardamine pratensis , a member of the Cabbage family , so hopefully the Orange Tip butterflies will be showing soon .  As I had to return home over the Greensand Ridge , I couldn't help but make a visit , and on a small sunken lane I found my first flowering Wood Anemone / Anemone nemorosa ,
a member of the Buttercup family . By now the warmth of the sun was dropping , so I didn't hold out too much hope for any reptiles , but the two males that were found last visit were found again . One
was deep in vegetation , but this , the other one , was showing well . Surprisingly , I also found my
first female Adder of the year , giving an opportunity to compare the colouration of the two . It will still be a few weeks before any mating will take place . Could I be lucky enough to see 'the dance of the Adders' again this year , I hope so . The only other sighting of the afternoon was a pile of fly
tipped building material , right on a very dangerous bend in the small lane . Some people .


Phil said...

Snap with the Lady's Smock Greenie. I also saw some Wood Anemones today at Bewl Water. Nice to see some pics of insects showing up on blogs, can't wait for the damsels and dragons!
As for the fly tippers, would it be too much to ask that their hands drop off in the near future?

Phil said...

Some how managed to miss part one of this post Greenie. Sorry about that!

Warren Baker said...

Cuckoo Fowers seem to be out early Greenie, (though not had one in bloom here yet), out of sych with the Orange Tips?

I wont rant about the flytippers, as we all think the same of them!!!

Rob said...

What amazing inverts the water boatman and pond skater are, Greenie. They remind me of wind-up toys in the way they move.

I think that's as callous a bit of fly-tipping as I've seen - right in the flippin' road!

Ken. said...

Nice selection of wild life seen today. it's a shame Wier Wood reservoir was a waste of time.
Nice to ba able to compare the 2 Adders.
What a shame the fly tippers ruined a good walk. They seem to turn up everywhere.

Ken. said...

Just read previous blog.
re Old Lodge visit. What a good shot you got of thge Crossbill, nice to know it hung about for you to take it.
It seems to be a good reserve, maybe I could manage a walk around it.