Our reptiles have woken up. Here are two juvenile Slow worms basking under a reptile sampling square:
Also, this fully grown one:
Lizards are now warming themselves up in the mornings under these squares as well:
The reptile reawakening is a real mark of spring having sprung. Other signs are the carpets of Sweet Violet that are dotted around the meadows at the moment:
These intensely purple little flowers are acting as an early nectar source for the queen Bumblebees that have overwintered and now need urgent refuelling as they search for nest sites. Here is a Red-tailed queen:
In previous Marches, we have had large flocks of Starlings which gather on the Kent coast ready to start back across to Eastern Europe and Scandanavia for the summer. They have spent the winter in the UK, amazing us all with their murmurations at dusk over reed beds, but are now going back to breed. We probably missed them gathering this year because we were away, but we did have a small flock yesterday captured by the camera up on the strip.
A female Kestrel was balancing on an improbably slender twig yesterday. Since as usual I had the wrong lens on my camera, I tried to edge a little closer from behind to get a better picture. But this photo captures the moment she sussed me and then she was off:
Here is another regular bird of prey around here: the male Sparrowhawk in his favourite lurking place on the gate:
And I cannot leave any roundup of bird activity in the meadows without mentioning this one:
I do like this photo taken by a trail camera because it really emphasises the sheer size of a Heron. It takes a lot of frogs to keep that thing fed. The frequency that this bird is visiting has really dropped thank goodness – perhaps down every other day.
The bird ringer came today now that the winds have dropped. His target bird was Linnet again since so little is known of their movements and there is still much to find out. Well, we were all pleased that he caught eight of them (he is spending his morning coming here to ring birds and we feel a certain responsibility to provide some for him) and even more pleased that two of them had been previously ringed. One he himself had ringed last year, but the other was ringed elsewhere. He will now report the details on this bird’s leg ring to the BTO and they will let him know where it had been originally ringed. We await this information….
Here are the three female Badgers:
and for some reason one of them was out and about in the daylight yesterday morning:
In the regeneration area of the wood, the wild Primroses are coming up in abundance:
There are confirmed at least two Badgers associated with the single-hole sett that we have within the wood:
There was no freshwater in the wood until we dug a cheap and cheerful plastic bath into the ground soon after buying the wood as a stop gap measure whilst we decided on where to build a proper pond. However, it continues to attract many visitors:
Perhaps this makeshift pond all looks a bit of a ramshackle eyesore to us, but it is great to see that it is being used and appreciated by its target audience.