Another picture catch up on recent sightings include ;
A survey of a pond with a fellow volunteer from the Common , who has a licence to handle Great Crested Newts , produced 15 specimens , some netted , others found under refugia . The larger one is a female and the white stripe on the male's tail can be seen on the other .
A few Common/Smooth Newts were also found , along with several male Palmate Newts , identified by the webbed back feet and the hair-like filament at the end of it's tail .
On the way out of the site , I saw a LTTit fly into Brambles with a feather in it's bill . Had it not been for that , you would pass the nest by .
An afternoon visit to Hutchinson's Bank in sunshine , found lots of Common Dog Violet / Viola riviniana in flower , along with 1 Peacock , 7/8 Comma , several in aerial combat already , and
6 Small Tortoiseshell , 2 of which were engaged in some serious courting .
A trip up on the Downs found another 3 , along with 3 Peacock and 13 Brimstone , including this , my first female of the year .
Several Bee Flies / Bombylius major , were also first sightings for the year .
Like snakes , Common Lizards are able to 'flatten' their bodies , to maximise the warming up process , as this one shows .
Adders were at their constant 3 , including this male , who was just too fast with his tongue for the shutter speed on the camera .
On my way home , I stopped to photograph a heavily laden Cotoneaster , which wouldn't have happened last Winter with all the Waxwings , and Winter Thrushes that arrived , and a Cherry tree in full blossom alongside .
A visit to the feeders in the woods , found the local ringers at work . It was mainly Tits being trapped and rung , but this Treecreeper made a nice change . In one of the ponds on the site , a female Mallard with 7/8 young , which she quickly shepherded into the vegetation .
A stop at Bough Beech Reservoir wasn't very exciting , except when a pair of Common Buzzards flew close to the Heronry , which put about 30 birds up in the air , 20+ in this shot .
Getting ready to leave the house early for the last hedgelaying outing of the season , Carol spotted this fine specimen strutting about the back garden . I just managed a few shots before he flew off noisily back towards the woods .
And finally , although it is out of the news now , the flooding still continues locally , with several gardens and two rugby pitches under water . Mind you , that could be the least of their problems after what I spotted on the way past ! There are also a large number of yellow plastic ducks floating on the surface , so Jaws shouldn't go hungry .
And really finally , The Robins seemed to desert their nest down the garden in Honeysuckle , but today we noticed them in and out of the Ivy on the garage . Sure enough , another nest , this time in a spot where they can see Carol putting out the mealworms that they have been feeding on all Winter .