Thursday, 10 April 2014


 A further brief search for the elusive east scrub Redstart ended in disappointment again on Wednesday morning. But I did see a Willow Warbler in the west scrub, my 75th species here for the year.

  As I walked back to the car I decided to have a look for Water Voles in the water filled ditch to the west of the divers' footbridge. I only briefly saw one, but in classic Water Vole style it plopped into the water as I approached and disappeared.
I stood for a couple of seconds cursing my incompetence and hoping it would reappear, but it didn't. As I turned to walk away I spotted a shape further along the bank on top of some dead vegetation. It was a Grass Snake, basking in the now weak sun.

 A cautious approach got me near enough for a few photographs.

Surprisingly it didn't seem to see me as I crouched precariously on the slope above the ditch. But it did raise its head and started tasting the air with its tongue, so maybe it was aware of me, although it made no attempt to move away.

I've been fascinated by these animals since I was a young lad and this was one of the best encounters I think i've had with one. Having got cramp and nettle stings on my elbows, I moved away and left it as i'd found it.


Warren Baker said...

Nice snakey encounter Phil, they are brilliant creatures :-)

Bob Bushell said...

Oh yes, those were the nicest blog at this time. Great photos Phil.

Greenie said...

Phil ,
I sit here picturing you on the side of the ditch , with cramp and stings , playing some sort of musical instrument to get the GS to perform .
You're lucky you didn't attract anything else .
Unlucky with the Redstart .
Nice shots .

Mike Attwood said...

I think Greenie got it about right Phil, nice shots.

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Fine!!!.. Great captures.. Congrats..