Don't usually go far at the weekend , but with little wind and the promise of sunshine , I made a wish list of 5 ( Wood Lark , Com.Redstart , Tree Pipit , Raven and Cuckoo ) , and headed off to Old Lodge Reserve on Ashdown Forest . The first part of the journey was in thick fog , but halfway there , it almost lifted , but as I drove onto the Forest , the thick stuff came back again . Willow Warbler welcomed me to the car park , which only had one other car parked . A walk along the top path was eerily quiet , apart from the usual numerous Chaffinches . As I approached the gulley that runs downhill , Common Redstart was heard but not seen , unsurprising in the conditions . The only bird
and drove the final intruder away , by which time all the birds were very high . Four down , one to go . With lunchtime coming on , and things always seem to get very quiet on the reserve then , I decided to head back to the car park , surprisingly still to see a Stonechat on the visit . After I had my lunch , I decided to look in on a reptile site , where a fellow enthusiast had eleven Adders during the week . On the way , I stopped to see if there were any Early Purple Orchids showing at the usual road junction . Not even a leaf , but on the other side of the road I found my first Ladies Smock/Cuckoo Flower/Milk Maids - Cardamine pratensis , a member of the Cabbage family , of the year , but no sign of any Orange Tip butterflies unfortunately . Just a thought , no , I can't count that as number five .
It was very pleasant on the South facing slope looking for Adders , but an hour and a quarter's looking produced absolutely nothing . Insect-wise did better , with a minimum of ten Brimstones , all
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