Thursday, 21 August 2008

Thursday 21st.August 2008

The morning was pretty grim , but towards mid day , the sun did make an appearance , and for the next couple of hours , it alternated with cloudy periods . I took myself off to the farm lake , hoping to catch a sunny spell . A pair of Migrant Hawkers welcomed me , but the lake seemed very quiet . The Coots were spread out all over , and the Moorhens were in their usual corner . But no sign of the Little Grebe , adults or the last remaining youngster . During my stay of about an hour , I did not see or hear them at all . I can only think that they have been driven off by the Coots , who seem to run the place , or been taken by Foxes .
More signs of Autumns approach , with the Guelder Rose laden down with ripe fruits . I must admit , I have never seen anything eating these , and the hips starting to ripen on the wild Dog Rose .
The Common Darter was the most numberous dragonfly on the wing , and there were probably between 25 and 50 pairs in tandem , ovipositing in the shallows around the edge of the lake . The female , behind , depositing an egg each time she dips her abdomen into the water . Probably out of desperation , some males try to break up the pair in tandem , so that he can get his chance , but they are not often successful once the male is locked onto his female , with his claspers , behind her head .
Common Darters are still emerging , and given reasonable weather could go on till late October or early November . One Blue Tailed and a handfull of Common Blue Damselflies made up the day's count .

The only Hawker dragonfly seen on the wing was the Migrant , and all seen were males , I haven't seen a female at this site yet , but I am sure they will emerge and continue their species here into next year .

Commonest butterfly seen was the Common Blue with 14 seen , including three females , boding well for next year . Meadow Brown (5) , Small White (2) , and a single Speckled Wood made up the total .

I met the owners on their way out , and they informed me that the Swallows had jhad a second brood in the stables . They kindly gave me permission to go up and take a few shots .

The pair have a family of five in the nest , and are working very hard to feed and deal with the consequences of feeding . It was very interesting just standing in the doorway of the stable , what a difference the sun makes to them finding food . When it is out they are backwards and forwards every few seconds . Without the sun , it was sometimes 2/3 minutes between feeds . The parents took no notice of me in the doorway , and were passing within inches of my head as they flew in and out . like yesterday , the shots are not as sharp as I would have liked , but didn't use flash for fear of disturbance .

On my way home , I stopped at the Common , and there are still 5/10 Purple Hairstreaks in the Ash tree . The number of eggs has increased as well . The number of Small Heaths in the glade has increased to three , causing constant territorial battles between them . A single Common Blue and Speckled Wood , together with 7 Meadow Browns , were all that was seen on my quick visit .

1 comment:

John Young said...

Hi Greenie, out at Sevenoaks reserve this morning and just loads of dragonflies there. Haven;t seen a copper underwing for a few years now.