Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Wednesday 4th. April 2012

Catching up on yesterday and today , when some of the country was plunged back into Winter , down South , we seem to have got away with the worst of it . Yesterday was reasonably sunny , but cooler than of late , so wasn't sure what to expect as I arrived up on the Greensand Ridge . A Magpie
greeted me as I got out of the car , usually a wary species , this individual seemed almost friendly . It was obvious from the start that very few reptiles were out , perhaps they had been watching the
forecast ,  Eventually , I found a male Adder lying out on an area of moss amongst some Heather , and about an hour and a half later , on my way back to the car , he was still there , but curled up like a
doughnut . The only other reptile found , another male Adder , was using some Heather as a hammock , and didn't seem at all bothered by my presence . Just before reaching the car , a
Chiffchaff was in full song , and was also happy for me to photograph him . On the bottom lane , the Rookery , which was 8 nests in one tree , has now expanded to 9 , with a possible 10th. in progress .
Some of the early nesters now have young , and can be heard from the lane , especially when the adults return from the horse paddocks with food . On the short journey to home , the car lost power again , and I had to crawl home at walking pace , but at least I knew what was happening this time . I rang my garage , but they couldn't look at it till next Thursday , great , two Bank Holidays on the trot with no car . This morning , I decided to take the car out locally to see if things were still the same , but although the yellow warning light was on , but the car was running perfectly . I rang the garage and they said run it and they would still look at it next Thursday . I took them at their word , but didn't go too far , just a morning visit to Hutchinson Bank , just over the border in Surrey . A vast amount of Hawthorn clearance has obviously been done over the Winter , it was so different I had trouble finding some areas as they were so different . Several Song Thrush , Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were in full song , and in the woodland area , 3 Nuthatches were competing for the loudest song . The
early sunshine was still reaching the woodland floor and in that light , the Bluebells looked superb . The visit also afforded me the opportunity for a better shot , as promised of Moschatel / Town Hall
Clock / Five-faced Bishop , the last common name put forward by ShySongbird , thank you , I haven't come across that one before . The Yellow Archangel was also found in bud , and should be in flower in a week or two . Returning to one of the cleared areas , a Fox , taking the morning sun , was
seen at the top of a slope .I thought it had seen me here , even though I was still in cover , but remained where he was . Above him was a tree stump that seemed to be the local scratching post for
the Sheep that were grazing the area . The Fox even watched a couple of Magpies on the ground very close to him , perhaps he had had a good breakfast already , but when this sheep came close , the Fox headed for the hills . Using the lanes on the way home , I couldn't help but stop when I saw these
lambs tucking into something tasty in this bucket . I don't know what was in the bucket , but the
lambs were heading for it from every corner of the field .Whilst at a junction highest point on my way home , I could hear Skylarks , so I pulled over and got the camera out . How these birds can fly and sing always amazes me .

And , as for the car , it brought me home no problem , and on the way , the orange warning light went out !


Marc Heath said...

Love those Adders shots, what a lovely sight.

Warren Baker said...

Good Skylark shots Greenie, they have all but disappeared from my patch, certainly as a breeding species.

Phil said...

Great Adder shots Greenie, especially the second one. Really like the Skylarks too, what a great bird, one i've never managed to get even a bad shot of.
As for venturing into deepest, darkest Surrey, with a dodgy car, you're a braver man than me. Anything could have happened!

ShySongbird said...

Although I was officially on a blogging break at the time I remember reading about your car problems over Christmas, what a bizarre (and unfortunate) coincidence that it should happen again at Easter!

That's a great photo of the Adder looking at you and I like the Fox photos too. Well done on capturing the Skylarks, such lovely birds to see and hear.

Thank you very much for the mention Greenie :-) your photo shows what a really pretty little flower the Town Hall Clock is.

Spock said...

Two new Small Blue scrapes have also been put in at Hutchinsons Bank, with a couple more to be done in April.
Yes there has been a lot of scrub clearence this winter, the site was scrubbing over fast, and the lottery money runs out this year.

The Dark Green Fritillary had suffered in recent years. Hopefully the butterflies will have a better year.

So far no larval webs of our special butterfly have been seen,
but none were seen last week at its Surrey stronghold at Wrecclesham.
Details of last years sightings can be found on the following post on my blog- May 2011 Review 3 -

Hope you bump into Greenie on Hutchinsons Bank sometime.