I’ve Re-printed below an email from Michael R detailing some recent sightings of interest:
I meant to tell you of two recent grass snake sightings. One reported to me by George last Thursday (I think) from a friend of his, seated on the bench in front of the small copse of trees/bushes at the NW gasometer end of Wild Marsh W and seeing one in the afternoon sun just beside the path. A very reliable witness, I’m assured, who knows his mammals and reptiles.
The other was by me last Saturday at ca.12.30; a vivid green snake basking on the bank of the Stonebridge Wood pond when I surprised it, or vice versa, and it slithered into the water with an elegant wriggle and wiggle. I suspect, given the spatial separation of half a mile, they were certainly not the same snake. Mine was an adult perhaps 2ft long, no more, but with brilliant markings on the head in the bright midday sun.
Also, in the preceding week, I saw my 3rd weasel of the year crossing the Pymmes Brook Bridge at S Lock. It took refuge in a bolt cavity under one of the two concrete beams lying between the roadway and palings either side of the bridge. When I peered down at ground level, the better to clock it, a flash of cherry blossom brown whizzed past my nose and undulated into the undergrowth beside PB embankment on the car park side.
The interesting aspect here is the number of weasel sightings by various people there have been in the past 12 months. I had had a zero record till this March, for instance, and now with three in 4 months I feel not so much favoured as encouraged that the mustelid population must be on the increase. Likewise I’d like to think with grass snakes.
Incidentally, you may already know that there have been a couple of reports on the pheasant family groups: both in WMW, one by a dog owner whose rottweiler flushed the adults with many poults, and the other who saw a hen pheasant with several young in the same central WMW area. These were three weeks ago, I seem to recall. Sorry for not being a true recorder!