Friday, 26 September 2008

Friday 26th.September 2008

A morning visit to the farm lake , in warming sunshine did not produce a single butterfly or dragon/damselfly . I did get sight of the Little Grebe , which I thought had been chased off by the Coots . The resident four Moorhens are still intact , and have been joined by four Tufted Duck , two of which pictured above . Whilst I was there , four Jays flew in formation , heading for the large Oak trees , beyond the farmhouse , probably collecting acorns for their winter cache . Three Rose Ringed Parakeets also flew over , much noisier , but were heading up the valley . No sign of the Goldfinch flock , must have moved on to pastures new . About a dozen Wood Pigeon were feeding in the horse paddock , but quickly left the area . One male and three female Pheasants were fossicking in the longer grass .
I moved on to High Elms Country Park , and walked the top perimiter of the Conservation Field . With the woodland behind , sheltering any breeze , it would be easy to think it was mid summer . Surprisingly , several species of butterfly were recorded , but only in these sheltered , warmer spots .Two Meadow Brown were found , both in pretty poor condition .
In the warm morning light , the four Commas recorded , looked very autumnal .
Three Brown Argus , all faded or very faded were recorded .
On Burnt Gorse , a distant flash of yellow made the heart skip a beat , a Clouded Yellow ? No , too lazy a flight . As I got nearer , my supposition was confirmed , a male Brimstone , probably out of hibernation , on the strength of the temperatures of yesterday . If the weather changes , he will just go back into hibernation again . This is why butterflies that hibernate as adults , can be seen on warm days in December and January . He was the first of three seen today .
Two Large and three Small Whites were also recorded , along with rather fresh looking female , from the two bold black spots on the forewing , Green Veined White .
Also recorded were five Speckled Wood and three Common Blue , including a very , very faded female . Fungi is still in very short supply , but the Lepiota rhacodes - Shaggy Parasols that I posted a few days ago as closed cups , have now fully opened and are showing how they get their common name . I also found another member of the same family , Lepiota cristata .
One fungi that is numerous is Hypholoma fasiculare-Sulphur Tuft .
There were a few dragonflies on the dipping pond , mainly Common Darters , but there were two Southern and one Migrant Hawkers . Several of the Common Darters were ovipositing in tandem , making the most of the good weather . Also on the pond were two juvenile Moorhen and two juvenile Mallard , the last two seemed to be expending large quantities of energy , trying to catch the Common Darters . Whilst I was there , no Darters were caught , but there was a lot of huffing and puffing from the chasers .
On arrival home , I was approached by a neighbour to have a look at a caterpillar in his garden .
The caterpillar refused to uncurl , but I knew I had seen this one before , with its yellow tufts , black bands , and that mauve bristle on the rear end . Later I looked back pictures on the computer and found it , Pale Tussock moth caterpillar .
Tomorrow is hedgelaying at Leith Hill , wildlife ?
Sunday , helping KRAG at Shorne Country Park , so might not post again before Monday .

1 comment:

Steve said...

Neat Pale Tussock picture Fred. Planning to go to Shorne today so shame I wont bump into you