Thursday, 22 July 2010

Today at RSPB Fowlmere

On Thursdays, I'm sure I've said before, I volunteer at the RSPB bird reserve at Fowlmere, just a few miles up the road from Royston.  A couple of weeks ago I saw an otter there, which caused a 
stir as it was the first otter sighting of the year.  There has been another since.

Today I was walking through an overgrown paddock which is shortly to be used for cattle, checking the fence posts to make sure they were OK and not needing to be replaced.

I wasn't making any special effort to be quiet, but wasn't thrashing about.  So I was completely delighted to spot a small grass snake snoozing in the sun on a fallen tree trunk.  It was only about 3 or 4 metres away and I stood and watched it for 15 or 20 seconds before it realised I was there and slid off into the undergrowth.

It was about 30 cm long and very dark with almost no visible pattern to it, just yellow patches on either side at the back of the skull.  Apparently that's how they look in Fowlmere.

The photo at the top is the nearest I could find on the web to the way my snake looked.  I'm going back some time in the next few days to see if it catches rays there regularly and try to get my own photo.

After we packed up, I wandered back towards the car park and took some photo's of a ruddy darter dragonfly, a burnet moth and a common blue butterfly.  I also went into one of the hides and tried to take photo's of an Emperor dragonfly flying up and down in front of the hide, but it's very hard.  I might have another go, as most of the shots did actually have a dragonfly somewhere in them, even if rather blurred. 

Apologies:  I've been trying to get the photographs into a column on the left with all the text on the right, but bloody blogger, having been upgraded and made even more super-whizzo, has made it simply impossible to achieve the format I want.  I'm afraid you'll just have to take it the way it is until I can be bothered to learn how to drive the new blogger.  Bollocks!

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