Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Spring has truly sprung

Last week the weather took a turn for the better and, armed with my camera, I went out looking for willing (or otherwise) subjects for my college natural history diary.  So far the species are mounting up, however pen has not yet reached paper in terms of writing.  Plenty time for that.....

Adder (Vipera berus)

On Friday we took a quick trip out to see if we could find any adders.  Since the weather had warmed up it was hoped that they might be out basking in the sunshine.  Our first forray turned up an adder but it made its escape before some of us could get to it.  The second location we went to was much more successful.  We managed to see about 4 or 5 different adders and a couple of slow worms as well.  I am pretty scared of snakes and walking through the undergrowth looking for them was giving me the creeps.  As long as I could see them I was ok.  I just tried not to think what might be there that I couldn't see.

Slow Worm (Anguis fragilis)

Snake's Head Fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris)
Later that day I was delighted to find a host of beautiful Snake's Head Fritillaries on the college estate.  I remembered these flowers from my trip to La Brenne in France where they are in fact quite rare.  We felled quite a few trees in a woodland area of one of the reserves to allow light to penetrate the canopy and give the Fritillaries a fighting chance.  I hadn't realised that they were quite common in the UK, but was delighted to see them.  Definitely one for the diary!

At the weekend, after I had completed my work party at Langdon Lake & Meadows I took a wander round the reserve to look for butterflies.  I had already seen a Brimstone and a Peacock whilst I had been working but hadn't been able to snap any pictures.  I found a Peacock on the edge of the arable field at the back of the reserve, and also a cute little rabbit (not of any real scientific or diary interest but so cute I have to share the picture!).

Peacock (Inachis io)

Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

Finally I walked round the lake and took a couple of pictures of the geese.

Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)


  1. Beautiful photos! Even though I'd stay clear of the snake :D
    Weird that that flower is named snakehead. I think in German it's 'Glockenblume' (Bellflower) :)

  2. Thanks Nicole! German name seems to make more sense :-)