More reptiles and spring migrants

On Monday I was really pleased to find a slow worm, for reasons unknown these legless lizards are quite rare at Blashford lakes with just 3 previous known records. This is strange because they’re common just up the road in the New Forest and in local gardens in Ringwood. In the area I found it Adam and I had spent some time clearing bramble during the winter to try and encourage more grassland specifically for reptiles and butterflies so it was great to see it.

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Slow worm from above

Yesterday I had an early start to do a breeding bird survey, the lakes were flat calm and there was a heavy dew. The migrant birds where in song everywhere and it was great to hear my first garden warblers and cuckoo of the year. Reed warblers, willow warblers and reed buntings sung in the reedbeds and scrub around the Lapwing hide, and a pair of oystercatchers were feeding on the lake shore.

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Oystercatcher

Not a bird that features on this blog that often but this black-headed gull looked immaculate in the morning sunshine in front of Tern hide. There were also a few Mediterranean gulls and 10 common terns further out on the lake.

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Black-headed gull

It was also nice to see cuckoo flower in the sweep netting meadow by Ivy North hide, the food plant of the caterpillar of one of my favourite butterflies, the orange-tip.

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cuckoo flower

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Adder after being removed from the hide

Today a phone call came from a visitor to say there was an adder in Tern hide, so we quickly headed over. There was indeed a male adder in a corner of the hide, after a quick manoeuvre with a net we moved him to better habitat near by. Now is the time of year that adders are seeking mates so I suspect this chap just wondered in to the car park and slipped in through the hide door which was propped open due to the warm weather today.

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Translocated adder heading for the bramble patch just out of shot.

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