James Lowen 


25 Feb 2019  Snake

My wildlife brain has been fixated on a small owl in Shetland this past week. Three times I have been ready to go. Three times I have not gone, due to the better judgment of my better half. Twice she was right; my would-have-been companions dipped. Today, however, she was wrong. I would have scored. But with even a modicum of perspective, there are better and more important things in even my (wild)life. One such is the annual rites of passage that mark out Nature's Calendar. The first butterfly of the year is one: in 2019, it came on the 21st, and was a Brimstone. The first Adder of the year is another. As I may possibly have mentioned, I am rather smitten by snakes. Yesterday dawned cold but clear, with the promise of intense sun and rapidly generated warmth. I had a choice between minimum-wage-style working - something I have done too much of lately - or buggering off onto a heathland checking for basking serpents. You can guess what I did.

I saw seven males in total - without working the site particularly hard. All were in 'usual' places. Two were together. 

Other bits and bobs included a Dartford Warbler (the first I have seen here), two Common Crossbills, Firecrest, Woodlark, a flock of 90 Chaffinches and a Comma. This nature thing is good, isn't it? Who needs Shetland?