Cloudy weather blotted out the partial eclipse on the morning of March 20th, but by the afternoon it was warm and sunny, and on a first visit to Thames Road Wetland since March 9th, six Common Lizards were seen, each on a different car tyre, re-deployed from piles of old fly-tipping to make idea basking sites, the first sightings of the species here this year. One of the larger individuals was perched on a rim, and began waving the rear half of its long undamaged tail, a behaviour I don’t recall seeing before.
Attention turned to removing some of the more obvious items of litter, especially plastic bags, and then the last of the pulled Reedmace which had been left piled up in the water.
There is usually a procession of Carrion Crows heading south-west over the site in late afternoon, and today was no exception, apart from the fact that two unusually large groups of about 25 birds each flew over in quick succession followed, over the course of about half an hour mainly by ones, twos and threes to produce a final total of 118. There were probably several that had been missed earlier in the proceedings. Looking at Google Earth, they were likely to have been heading to trees around Dartford Heath, or to Joydens Woods for the night.
A Snipe had been flushed earlier, and the apparently lone Water Rail was calling a lot more today than on my last couple of visits. The Cetti’s Warbler was also moving around and calling a lot.
Chris Rose, Site Manager