And so I found myself at the viewing area near the island bright and early at 6am this morning. Sightings of Little Owl, Muntjac deer and Bat sp. en route to the site made for a good start, made all the more better by a group of 3, closely followed by a group of 2 Egrets flying straight over my head within seconds of arrival and landing in the area the Cattle Egret had been seen last the night before. All 5 turned out to be Little Egret. The dirty rotters. A pair of Hobby briefly caused what may have been classed as pleasure but it was mainly annoyance with the unpredicatable nature (and downright indecency) of the Egret. Even worse my Ruff count peaked at 6 birds today and I only saw 1 Greenshank. A Green Sandpiper was added to the day list here though.
Being at Eyebrook early in the morning is always enjoyable but after a couple of hours I got bored with not seeing the Egret and became confident that i'd looked pretty damn thoroughly for it and it was almost definitely not present. And so I made my way over to Ketton quarry with the intention of satisfying the Llama and finding a real, live adder for my Leicestershire reptile list. Although its not an ideal time of year for adder I was reasonably confident of a sighting as Ketton is adder-tastic and it was a lovely warm, sunny day when I arrived on site shortly before 9am - theoretically perfect for a basking snake. In practice however no snakes were seen. Not one. I was on site for the best part of 3 hours, enjoying the sunshine and the cacophany of woodland bird song belting out from the surronding area. I did find a skin though. This one was about 2 feet long.
The visit wasn't totally devoid of reptiles however, with many many Common Lizards in evidence. Trying to get a close look (or a photo for that matter) of these little devils is a challenge though as they rarely sit still! I did see one enormous individual though, he/she was huge!
|Spot the lizard|
Other good stuff seen whilst at Ketton included two flyover Raven, Jay, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Lesser Whitethroat, the two commoner Woodpeckers and what were my best ever views of a Stoat. It made its way down the side of the "ampitheatre", stalked and then chased a couple of rabbits and then promptly sat on a flat rock and stared at me (I was only about 15 feet away) for what seemed like an age although it was probably only a few seconds. As soon as I moved (in this case to attempt a photo) though it shifted sharpish and wasn't seen again!
Eventually, I left Ketton at around midday and after a quick scan of Eyebrook on the way, went home and watched England be well good at cricket. Oh, and the Egret turned up at Burley Fishponds this evening. The turd.
Edit: Oh and a juv. Blackcap was sighted in the garden rare bush on Sunday. Bonanza.