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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Swifts departing?

At around 6pm this evening I noticed lots of Swifts flying over the village. I had thought they had already left on migration south as the last couple I saw was over a week ago. I counted 30+ all flying really high and circling. I tried to photograph them but they were flying very fast and the grey sky gave little contrast to focus on.

After about ten minutes it started to rain and as quickly as they had appeared they had all gone. Be interesting to see if they appear again tomorrow or that was their last appearance until next "summer"!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Fox on the Blackdowns

On a recent walk from Neroche, up on the Blackdowns, I spotted a movement on the edge of a field of newly cut grass  and was able to watch a young fox in broad daylight as it idly sniffed the ground and listened for possible prey that might have escaped the tractor blades.

It was completely oblivious of us, even though we had a dog with us, and it caught no scent of us as the wind was blowing towards us.
Its attention was distracted by a gull  and it watched it as it flew close to the ground before disappearing.

Finally it must have heard us as it gave us a meaningful stare before it loped across the field back in the direction from which it first came and disappeared through the hedge line.

Slow worms on the move

Twice in the last week I have seen Slow worms on the move.
The first was seen on the road in Wadeford and at first I thought it was dead as it was completely still.
It was missing the end of its tail and only when we tried to move it onto the verge did it move its head and then twirled about as we lifted it up with a stick.

Now I am very fond of most types of wildlife but I do have a phobia about snakes or snake like creatures. I know it is irrational, especially with Slow Worms as they are really legless lizards, but I think  it is the way they move that causes me to shudder. I thought I was very brave getting the close up shot!

The second encounter was even more scary (well for me at least!) I was doing some weeding of the raised bed in my front garden and felt something drop on my foot. I was wearing sandals and looking down saw a slow worm had crawled across my foot! I moved rather fast to the safety of the doorstep and watched it slither in a side way movement across the tarmac of the drive coming to rest under the car. This time my husband managed to pick it up and put it back on the grass but needless to say, that was the end of the weeding that evening!