Monday, 2 April 2012

More adders and a bee

Adder, Vipera berus
Yesterday morning I visited Mill Hill again to conduct a butterfly transect. These start on April 1 and are conducted weekly, preferably on a sunny day when the butterflies are out. I walk a set route and record the butterflies I see 2.5 metres each side of my track. Temperature, percentage sunshine and wind speed are also recorded. I will repeat this during the next 25 weeks.
Unfortunately due to the cold wind I only recorded 3 butterflies - a Speckled Wood, a Peacock and a Grizzled Skipper. However, this was compensated for by the excellent adder sightings, all along the bottom of the hill by the bushes. First I saw a black adder, then two grey ones, which slithered along the bush line in their hunt for food. One moved fast at about about 15 metres per minute and I was able to keep getting ahead of it to take photos as it approached. However it was too fast to get the shots I was after. On the way back to the car park I found a Buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris which was plodding along in the short grass and stopping at each violet to gather nectar.
I then called in at Kithurst Hill and saw one Peacock. Cowslips and Primroses were in flower. I heard chiffchaffs at both places.
Adder, Vipera berus

Buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris

Kithurst Hill:
Cowslip, Primula officinalis
powered paraglider
Primrose, Primula vulgaris
oilseed rape, Brassica napus

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