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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Snakes Alive!


A further visit to the local woodland and by the car park I saw a Comma butterfly briefly and then a second Comma, I also heard the familiar rasping call of a Brambling but alas I didn't see it. 3/4 down the usual track I saw my first Viviparous or Common Lizard of 2011 it then had a look at me and then dived into cover! I saw a very young Adder barely 6 inches long near a tree stump, also here were 2 Chiff-Chaffs that abruptly flew into the bush right beside me but quickly flew off again. 4 further Adders (including a brown- zig zagged marked female) seen near some heather and 3 seen by the usual trees (including another female) near the end of the track. By the mound just before the usual trees 2 large Grass Snake were seen resting by a large log and 2 further Adders (probably the ones from the usual trees).
I then had the good fortune to meet someone who was a regular reader of the blog and was keen to see the Adders for himself and had visited in the hope he might see the Adders and bump into me as he was struggling to see them (like me initially until I had help from seasoned Adder watchers; particularly Nick B, Andrew E and Colin J- my grateful thanks to them, and I learnt how to look out for them for myself only last year in 2010) , I was able to show him 3 that were distinctly reluctant to show well and unfortunately they were always on the move when he glimpsed them briefly. Both before and after this meeting the Adders had been showing very well indeed. We also saw a Brimstone that flew straight by.
Further down a further 4 were seen by some heather, 3 curled up around the base of a tree and 3 basking under some bushes which posed briefly for the camera (Which included my third female Adder of the day).
Whilst at the very end, a further 2 patrolling male Adders were seen plus back at the usual tree, including 1 virtually fearless male Adder that i was able to take a few snaps of plus a medium sized Grass Snake (and therefore my third of the day) wandered almost right up to me then across the path.
In total, allowing for some duplication in the sightings, I estimated I must have seen an incredible tally of at least some 20 Adders (17 male, 3 female), 3 Grass Snakes and 1 Viviparous/ Common Lizard.
Walking down towards the cut area by the redposts no Adders seen here but a Comma butterflyn posed beautifully for the camera. By the path leading west near the end (very near where I had the fearless Grass Snake that posed beautifully for the camera last year during a lunch break visit) I disturbed a fine Woodcock that flew up with a burst of wings and flew north west towards the marsh.
Seeing OFB at the "bung" all we saw were 2 Goldcrest and Greenfinches in the Pines. Nothing on the marsh, no hoped for unusual raptors or any Egrets.
A look at just past Ashby at the back of Fritton Water woods failed to produce any raptors but there were 2 Hares on the far edge of the field.

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