Saturday, 30 August 2008

Saturday 30th.August 2008

A visit to the farm lake was well overdue , so I headed there first thing . The temperature was already around 20C. and very humid . Usually , I just add any new bird sightings/hearings to the list , but today I thought I would list everything . In the hour I was there , a list of 18 was compiled , not bad I thought . Many were singles , but two or three flocks of hirundine came down to skim a drink , before passing on . They were mainly Swallows with a few House Martins as well . A flock of about 20 Goldfinches are feeding on the seed heads on the bank around the lake , and when disturbed , all flew off and settle in an Aspen tree . A single Chiffchaff was alternating it's usual call with it's 'hueet' call , as if it couldn't decide which one to use . The Coots still number nine , the Moorhens four , and although there was no sign of the adult Little Grebes , one juvenile seemed to be feeding and looking after itself .

Seven species of butterfly were recorded - Large White (3) , Brown Argos (5- female pictured below , note - no blue on abdomen ) , Common blue (10) , Meadow Brown (4) , Green Veined White (1-pictured below ) , Holly Blue (1) and Red Admiral (1) .

Dragon/damselfly numbers are still going down , but I did record Brown Hawker (2) , Migrant Hawker (3) , Common Darter (25+ including mating and ovipositing ) and Common Blue (25+) . No sign of Small Red Eyed Damselfly , I fear we have lost them from this lake .

I looked for them again at my second stop , Keston Ponds , without seeing any . I did record Migrant Hawker ,Brown Hawker , Common Darter , Red Eyed Damselfly , Common Blue Damselfly and a single Blue Tailed Damselfly . Whilst there , I did manage to photograph Migrant Hawkers mating , and like Steve , Migrant Hawker in flight .

Amongst the Mallards on the ponds , are a couple of odd ducks . One is what I refer to as a Khaki Campbell , a Mallard cross with a white blaze on it's breast , and a Muscovy type duck with no black on it . Whilst looking around , in a really boggy bit on the edge of the top pond , I found a member of the Marigold family , Trifid Bur Marigold to be precise , sounding like something from outer space .

After lunch , I had a feeling that the conditions were right for a Clouded Yellow to be found . Well , I walked for two hours in the hot sun and never found a sign of one . I did find a tawny Comma , and a plant straight out of ' A Tale of Two Cities ' , Scarlet Pimpernel .
The closest I got to a Clouded Yellow , was another yellow butterfly , a male Brimstone .

In all , I must have seen 15/20 Brimstones today , all eagerly feeding up for hibernation .

Tomorrow afternoon , 1200-1600 hrs. , when the weather is said to be at it's worst , I shall be doing a Hedge Laying Demonstration at the High Elms Open Day . If I am not struck by lightning or washed away , I shall post it tomorrow evening .


Warren Baker said...

Interesting post again greenie. I wish I could find a Brimstone Butterfly!

Good luck with the hedge laying tomorrow, hope it's not too bad weatherwise. (it rarely is if they predict it to be bad!)

Steve said...

Like Warren i don't get many Brimstone around you say great minds think alike with the Migrant hawker flight shot. I try every year. I posted a better one on my blog last I will keep trying! Good luck with the Hedge laying