Friday, 18 April 2014

Friday 18th April 2014.
Natrix natrix!

I came across this Grass Snake on Monday lunchtime whilst walking the dogs. It was basking in the sun on the other side of the Hairy Hedge and is the biggest one I've seen, easily three feet, the same distance I jumped when I nearly trod on it! So pleased to have seen it, it's made my week; most probably wont ever see such a specimen again.
It's a good week for wildlife...the Temple Pond is full of Tadpoles and duelling Newts (Great Crested), we have also had visits from a pair of Mandarin Ducks to the pond at the top of the field. I hope these exotic looking wild fowl (introduced species to be honest) decide to set up home there so I'm staying a safe distance away, they're very flighty.
 Today Ann and I watched a Raven as it went through it's display flight routine, almost goading a nearby tetchy Buzzard to 'engage' with it and try to move it on out of it's air space. Lazily the Buzzard just circled and the Raven gave several derisory 'kronks' an almost hollow, guttural purring call. This kronking as it's termed is quite an evocative call of the wild, stirring up the same feelings one would have upon hearing the call of the Curlew on the moor or estuary. On the subject of birds I've also had several sights of Red Kites this week around Barnsley and Hatherop. 

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