3rd Apr 2020

Amphisbaenan © Ian Green

During the first weeks of making the garden here we dug some holes to plant some trees and of course in the process found quite a variety of subterranean creatures, or just ones that live under rocks. It was the first time I’d seen an Amphisbaenan (Blanus strauchii) and I haven’t seen one since until yesterday when I turned a large rock and there is was. Half an hour later I found another! London buses… Amphisbaenans were once thought to be from a unique lineage of burrowing reptiles but genetic research reveals that they are closely related to lizards. But then genetic research also reveals snakes are… lizards! The Balkan Green Lizards are out and about now and Tortoises are starting to move too.

It’s the week of the whitethroat. Lessers are abundant and there’s quite a few Common Whitethroats about too. Yesterday we had a new warbler for the garden though, a male Subalpine Warbler, one of the loveliest of Mediterranean warblers. Again later in the day we saw a second as we walked down the valley to check the trap camera – more on those later!

We have a nice wetland nearby. The day before yesterday there were a few Glossy Ibis about as well as Spoonbill, Purple Heron and Great White Egrets. Water Rails were calling a lot and I saw a Little Crake. There’s not so many waders passing through it as there’s not so much mud but still there were some Ruff, Redshank and Black-winged Stilts. Savi’s Warblers were singing in the reeds and there were Stone Curlews in the dunes.