Hearing from Sue & Liz about the appearance of an Adder in the Maulden area yesterday, I used my lunchtime to have a look for myself. This is an extremely early record, even given the strong sunshine. The head was still sandy following its emergence from the nearby hibernaculum. I reckon it's a good-sized male. Male Adders usually emerge a while before the females and spend their time basking in the sunshine so that the sperm can develop, but I reckon this one has probably gone back to ground following today's much cooler temperatures!
Here's a close-up of the head. The patterns really are quite amazing when you see them close up. The eye appears to be very sunken.
There were Seven-spotted Ladybirds everywhere. It was only when I cropped this photograph that I noticed the Wolf Spider. Is it hoping for a meal, or enjoying the warmth generated by the Ladybirds?
I love seeing the Hazel catkins and watching the clouds of yellow pollen disperse in the wind. But it's easy to miss the tiny little female flowers on the twigs.
On the top of this stump by Tom's Pond there were the remains of several Red Fox scats. I've seen scats left on stumps like this several times before.