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Monday, 13 March 2017

spring distraction, Hazleton Common

Today's weather forecast was more than promising; sunshine / partially cloudy with temperature up to 13oC, light winds albeit NW so would feel a little cooler.

A visit to Hazleton Common between 10:30 and 13:15 produced some rewarding spring encounters, including three adder (Vipera berus) , and singles of common lizard (Zootoca vivipara) and grass snake (Natrix natrix) all seen basking. The former included a pair of "black adder" entwined, and then shortly afterward basking in proximity.



adder

The grass snake did not wait around to be photographed. However, whilst skulking in the hope of the beast re-emerging from the bracken, I noted a common lizard and a dark-bordered (dark-edged) bee fly (Bombylius major).

common lizard
dark edged bee fly

Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) and peacock (Aglais io) butterflies were on the wing - the peacocks already territorial, I witnessed a couple of dog fights, and got buzzed several times by at least two of them. There were a number of different bees on the wing too, at best my ID ran to white-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lucorum) and a possibly quite early? red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius).

peacock

Whilst the A3M dominated the soundscape, chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) and dunnock (Prunella modularis) tried their best to sing above it.

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