Friday, 14 November 2008

Friday 14th.November 2008

Whilst working in the garden this morning , I had a look to see how the Stag Beetle larvae were gettin on , Getting bigger by the day was the answer .
After lunch , I went for a walk over the Common and on to Keston Ponds . In the sunshine , it was barmey , 15C. and warmer than many days this Summer .
It wasn't only me that thought so either , on the heathland part of the Common , I had a fly by Peacock butterfly and also a Buff Tailed Bumble Bee , frantically nectaring on the yellow Gorse flowers . Even a small moth was dancing amongst the Heather .
I hardly saw or hear a bird on the Common , but did find a nice specimen of Stropharia aeruginosa-Verdigris Agaric . When I posted this fungi before , it was in a woodland situation , but this was in a grassland situation , which is where I have seen it more often .

I got to Keston Ponds twenty minutes before the sun went out , and it was back to the grey cloud again . As I had a bit more time , I had a good look around for the Mandarins , as they were not obvious . Eventually I found them well camouflaged at the back of the bottom pond .You can just see two males and one female , resting on a half submerged branch . The other male and female were even harder to see a bit further back . At least I know that they don't actually disappear off site when I can't find them , just that they are good at hiding . On the top pond , a group of Mallards were taking communal ablutions , probably knowing that the sunshine was short lived .They took it in turn to have a good splash , followed by a good flap to get rid of the surplus water .
Then it was the Drake's turn .

Just before the sun disappeared , I noticed a large dragonfly , hawking along the far side of the pond . I followed it backwards and forwards along the bank . It was a male Southern Hawker , but despite my efforts to keep it in sight and get a shot , it disappeared as the cloud cover came over , not to be seen again , but it was my latest ever record for this species .

Answers to last night's birds and end of list :-

Bird 15 . Devil's Bird ---------------Yellowhammer

Bird 16 . Least Willow Wren -------Chiffchaff

Bird 17 . Gay Pie -------------------Jay

Bird 18 . Cuddy --------------------Moorhen

Bird 19 . Cock Up ------------------Pheasant

Bird 20 . Bellringer ----------------Long Tailed Tit

Tomorrow is hedgelaying alongside the Hogsback on the A31. in Surrey , doesn't sound like wildlife , but who knows .


Warren Baker said...

Those Stag Beetle larvae look a bit exposed. Did you uncover them to get the photo greenie? be nice to see them emerge.

Steve said...

Really interesting to see the stag Beetle good to keep track of them