Monday, 15 September 2008

Monday 15th.September 2008

Thought I would have a look at Spring Park Pond this morning , although it was only 15C. , there was little breeze , and it felt mild . Walking across the meadow to the pond , not a single butterfly came up from the grass . On arrival at the pond , the resident Moorhen gave an alarm call to the rest of the family as I opened the gate , and everyone disappeared into the Bramble around the edge . About a month ago , the Ranger with volunteers , cleared out a large amount of blanket weed that was throttling the pond and also a large amount of Marestail , which was spreading like crazy . I think both had grown with such vigour , because the pond is fed from a spring , hence the name Spring Park , and the nutriant rich water has encouraged strong growth . Both plants have regrown since the clearance , and given a not too cold winter , are going to be a problem again next year , they certainly affected the dragon/damselfly numbers this year .
Another quick look for Wasp Spiders on this site which produced about 12 two years ago , proved negative . But in the corner , where I had found them before , were two Hornets , and watching them foraging for a couple of minutes , showed they were having little luck finding breakfast . Whereas before they charged about , knocking into stalks and dislodging insects , this time they had to search for them below the leaf canopy . This one had just come up from such a sortie , and was cleaning it's head and eyes before heading down again . Eventually it gave up on the brambles and flew up to a tall Ivy bush , and in doing so , disturbed a Peacock butterfly which must have been warming up in the sun . Finding nothing else of interest , I headed back to the car , and as I did so , a large flock of Geese flew across from the farm , over the meadow and on over the woods .
With the sun still out , I headed for High Elms Country Park to see what the butterfly situation was like on the Conservation Field . To put it in a nutshell , it wasn't . My whole visit lasting about two hours produced 13 butterflies- 7 Meadow Brown , 5 Speckled Wood and one Green Veined White - pictured below .
The butterfly transect is obviously now finished for this year , even though one of the Meadow Browns looked very fresh , but given the numbers found , this one has missed the boat .
As I passed the nest tree of the Rose Ringed Parakeets , I counted at least ten in the tree and several more could be heard in the vicinity . Arguing amongst themselves seems to be a large part of their day .

On the roadside verge , I found the fading leaves , looking like a Palm Tree , of Green Hellebore-Helleborus viridis , a member of the Buttercup family . These leaves will die off over winter , and in Feb-Apr. next year , the green flowers will appear , I'll try and remember to post some shots when they are in flower .
The cloud was starting to roll in now as I headed up to Burnt Gorse . I was within 20 mtrs. of the kissing gate , when I heard a Buzzard call . I ran to the gate , and saw it almost overhead , being mobbed by Corvids . I got the first shot , just hand held as it was drifting towards Green Street Green , and the second just as it was passing over the trees . Looking at other Buzzard silhouettes , the wings are very pointed , but with the single call I heard , I can't make it anything else .

The walk back across the golf course was uninteresting to say the least , but as I left the bridlepath to cross the 1st.fairway , I found 10+ Mistle Thrush and 25+ Starling feeding in the practice ground . There was also a good sized flock of Chaffinches , and a smaller flock of Goldfinches . There was a mixed Tit flock in the trees an a couple of Nuthatches calling as well . Add in the 4 Rose Ringed Parakeets that noisily flew through , and it made the best stop of the morning for species . The Mistle Thrushes were very nervous , and as soon as I got too near , they gave the alarm and everything flew up into the trees .
This area is always good in the winter for Fieldfares and Redwings .
On the way home , near the farm lake , I noticed a flock of 15/20 Rooks in a horse field , not exciting to some , but , a good sighting for LB.Bromley .

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