Sunday, 11 March 2012
Fritton all day!
In the garden a White- tailed Bumblebee seen. A look at Fritton woods, late morning at 11am, parking at the car park, I walked down to the usual area and the first area I checked before the path converging, led to my first Adder sighting. In the best area, I was disgusted to see a load of beer cans and crisp packets which I promptly cleared up; and afterwards I was rewarded in several Adder sightings here too. But down by the far end, just past the Christmas tree, I was treated to first one and then 2 confiding Adders, near the base of a tree. The Christmas tree area had several Adders as always. But another evergreen tree had been cut down next to it and several Adders were here too. Incidentally all the Adders seen were males, the females tend to emerge from hibernation a little later. Just then I heard the "chup chup" calls of some 25 Crossbill that flew past west behind me. Walking back east from the Christmas tree, at around 1pm with strong sunlight, around 8 Adders seen around here as prolific an area as usual. Walking south from here closer to the stream, some 3 Adders were seen here too in an area where I have never seen Adders, just their shed skins. In total I was delighted to see a very credible 15 Adders seen and 2 others (most likely Adders but Grass Snake/ Slow Worm cannot be ruled out) heard slithering away. 2 Comma butterflies were seen on the walk back. Back at the car park, some very vocal "chup chup" calls eventually revealed a Crossbill flying east. A late afternoon visit after a break for a late lunch, walking down to the hump overlooking Haddiscoe Island I joined regular correspondent Paul Wo and we saw up to 4 female Marsh Harriers quartering the fields, around 6 Chinese Water Deer seen including one chasing another and 3 Brown Hare too. I spotted a Short- eared owl perched on a nearby gate and it eventually flew low over the fields and was joined by a second Short- eared Owl. A dark backed male Peregrine Falcon perched on a post by a gate and then abruptly flew north low and fast over the fields. Suddenly, I had spotted my much sought after bird an excellent but much persecuted female Hen Harrier which hunted these fields with impunity (phew, he's in Jamaica!), it kept disappearing probably settling on the ground, it was a pale bird with obvious white rump but wasn't seen for very long. it obvious had passed the word onto Later on a second ringtail Hen Harrier flew low and north over the near fields, a darker individual with obvious white rump but were delighted to see it, especially Paul who had missed the first. A distant Sparrowhawk flew north too.