Tuesday, 22 July 2008

A lovely warm summers morning (not often I've said that this year!) Lots of SWALLOWS accompanied my walk to work, some over Ashes Lane, on the Lines, more on the Greenhouse complex and scores around the paddocks at Migrant Alley, where I watched 7 GREY LAG GEESE go over, so low I could here their primary wing feathers whistling.
This afternoon I walked over to the lake and scrub area, via the tree nursery.

I was only 30m down ashes lane when I came upon this unfortunate scene above. A grass snake, with its rear third run over, it was writhing in pain. This was a superb specimen, more than a meter long. I picked it up and put it in the hedge.

Above is a Male Ruddy Darter, and below is the female (I think!) Greenie will tell me it's an Imm. Male, if it is indeed a Ruddy darter at all! ;-). These were seen at the small pool adjacent to the tree nursery.

I arrived at the lake area and noticed that some of the blackberries had started to ripen, good food for the Migrant warblers to fatten up on for their long trip south later.

One of the large gardens, between the lake and scrub area had this male BULLFINCH feeding on the ground. Mosura, if your reading this I took the pic. for you. Not a good one but it was a long way off!

Below are some of the Butterflies that were on the Buddlea that grow around the outbuildings at the lakeside.
I think this may be a Green Viened White ? let me know all you Butterfly men.

This Red Admiral didn't want to open it's wings, it just kept on drinking that nectar!

This Peacock was a bit more obliging though.

As I waited for buterflies to come to the Buddlea, I could here a family of WRENS in some dense scrub. I just got a shot of this recently fledged one
On my way back to the tree nursery I found this Jay's wing feather. Such a beautiful run of blues.

Shock and awe! They're at it agian, not content with strimming and mowing the the low vegetation, it's now go in with the heavy stuff. I watched this bulldozer destroy the lines of bramble, Nests, eggs, chicks - the lot! I couldn't watch anymore after watching and hearing the pityful scolding calls of a BLACKBIRD, obviously trying in vain to save it's young.
I had a word with one of the workers, I know they are only doing what they are asked. he sympathised with my rantings, and said he would have a word with his boss. I asked him to show his boss the Wildlife and countryside act 1981, the bit about it being illeagle to deliberately interfere with wildbirds at thier nests. It could all be done later in the season.

As I neared home again I checked up on the Grass snake. It was dead, and it seems in its final agony, it had bitten into itself. Such a sad end. I could rant on and do my ''grumpy old man'' bit here, bloody speeding, uncaring, motorists, using the counry lanes like race tracks........blah, blah!
finally, just outside my house (eyeing up my feeders no doubt !) was this SPARROWHAWK, soaring against the blue.


Travis said...

Interesting photos as usual. You have some great ones here. Amazing shot of the dead snake. Don't you wish people would just slow down both literally and metaphorically to enjoy the nature that is around them.

Simon said...

Super post Warren. Brilliant photos, I especially like the Wren shot.

Marcus Lawson said...

Hi Warren,
People wonder why "common" bird populations are down so much - it's not a test!! Everything has to be neat and tidy nowadays and unfortunately most of the work is carried out during the spring/summer months which as you say Warren is contra the 1981 act (I believe), maybe it's about time we reported these vandals. It's also, I'm sure, why so many butterflies are in such low numbers with the constant flailing of hedges to within an inch of their lives.
On a happier note, had a nice walk round my patch on Sunday, a Buzzard was circling high between my patch and yours, an ad Med Gull stopped and bathed for a while, as did a 4th year Yellow-legged Gull, there were also 4 LRP's and 2 Common Sandpiper. The land owners here have been very co-operative and not mown the grassy areas this year which has meant that there are plenty of butterflies/dragonflies/damselflies etc etc compared to last year.

Keep smiling mate,

Marcus Lawson said...

...and I think that the butterfly may be a 2nd generation Small White, the veins should be more prominent if it were a Green-veined (probably!!)

fishing guy said...

Warren: Nicely done, a fine post with great photos and a good story. That was a colorful snake but I would have never moved it. I don't like snakes.

Warren Baker said...

You've hit the nail on the head.

Thanks Simon,
I enjoy your blog too.

Thanks for the Butterfly iD Marcus. It was worth a shout for a green viened!

Fishing guy,
The Snake was harmless, although when they are alive, they sometimes exude a smelly oil, when picked up!