Basking on water
The days are settling into a gentle rhythm of spells at the computer broken up by walks round the garden, and a longer period of exercise taking in a local green space.
A frosty start to the day meant fewer insects in the garden first thing, though I did spot a Comma butterfly sunbathing on our duckweed covered pond. I think a Peacock had tried to do something similar, but had become trapped in the sticky frogspawn. I rescued it, and once it had been carefully cleaned, we put it in the sun to dry off. We think it flew away...
Morning coffee was taken surrounded by birdsong, which is so much more obvious now that there's less traffic. I could hear at least four Dunnocks singing around me, as well as a couple of Robins, a Wren, chattering Goldfinches and a wheezy Greenfinch. I spotted two Goldcrests foraging for insects over the bushes and then heading towards our neighbour's large Monterey Cypress. It would be good to have those nesting again.
In the afternoon I headed to Thorpe Hall for my exercise, where two Stock Doves were calling rather mournfully and great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming on a dead Ash branch. There were Buff-tailed and Red-tailed Bumblebees on the Blackthorn blossom, but surprisingly little else, although I saw plenty of Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies hanging round the nettle beds.
I then headed back to the snake hibernaculum, and saw two large Grass Snakes basking, though, being warm, they slithered off rapidly. I hung round for a while but no others emerged, so before I left I looked under an old man-hole cover and was amazed to see the whole space filled with a writhing mass of snakes, which, of course, dispersed before I could get a photograph. It's great to know that we have such a thriving population locally.