Friday, 4 April 2014

Snakes alive

With a soupcon of sunshine predicted in the weather forecast it seemed a good idea to revisit Pulborough Brooks in search of an Adder. Previous visits have been depressingly unsuccessful and today was nearly very much the same, so, after searching the whole of "adder alley" I sat on the bench to decide where to go next. I was joined by David Buckingham and we searched together, again in vain. As on my previous visits the birds were very vocal, particularly a Blackcap in an adjacent blackthorn bush. Then we were treated to a flyby of a Swallow, my first this year, sadly just the one, there may have been more but our eyes were fixed firmly on the ground.

We slowly made our way down the hill and there at the bottom end of the alley was a single specimen Adder, half in - half out of the undergrowth. Unfortunately on our approach it beat a hasty retreat and was soon gone from view with no photo opportunity. Buoyed by our success David convinced me to search again - still nothing. On our way back to West Mead hide the snake re-appeared and was happy to pose in half sunlight and I managed to get some record shots - most satisfying.

 After this we parted company, David visiting the hides and I returned to Fattengates courtyard in search of Lizards. As before the birds were in full voice, particularly Wrens and Goldcrests but herpetological specimens were absent.

David re-joined me but failed to conjure a lizard from the undergrowth. I returned to the car park, grabbed my lunch and set off to the heath, hopeful that I might find a lizard near the mound. No luck so I drew stumps and decided to return home.

Just this side of Arundel I took a detour and visited "The Dover" where Martin and I had called in the other day to check it out for future birding trips. I had noticed some fine specimens of Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa) and wanted to record them. Apparently this plant has the common name of "Smell Fox", crush the leaves and it is obvious where the name came from.

A carpet of white.....

....soon to be replaced by blue.

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