Thursday, 23 April 2009

Thursday 23rd.April 2009

Firstly , before I forget them again , the other two poor shots of the large bird of prey , seen as I arrived at Fackenden Down last Monday .On the way out this morning , I did a quick lap of the Common on the way . Blackcap (2) and Chiffchaff (3) were still competing in song , and I put up one Blackcap from the Gorse , that might have been on a nest . I think the Long Tailed Tits may have a family now , as I saw both parents to and from the nest . Because of the hazy sunshine , not many butterflies were on the wing . The softer light was good for one Peacock that I found warming up .
From the Common I headed for the London Wildlife Trust site at Salt Box Hill , just below Biggin Hill Airport . Since my last visit last year , the site has been stockproof fenced , with the probability of grazing . I'm really pleased about this , as money has been spent several times clearing the site , only for it to become overgrown again . I hope that the grazing goes ahead , not just another white elephant . This site has always been good for Brimstones , and the further clearance for fencing seems to have improved it further . A conservative estimate of the fenced and smaller unfenced areas population of Brimstone would be 35/40 insects , nearly one half of them females , and nearly every female I saw was egg laying on Buckthorn . Those females that were not actively egg laying were being pursued my one or more males , sometimes numbering four .Here , the sulphur coloured male attempts to mate with the paler coloured female . I think the 'headache' word was used , as he was unsuccessful , and flew off to meet his mates down the pub . Other species recorded were , Speckled Wood (2) , Green Veined White (3) , Large White (2) , Small White (4) , Orange Tip (2) and Peacock (2) . At one point , standing counting the Brimstones around me , I had , Willow Warbler , Blackcap , Chiffchaff and Robin , all sounding off at once . Other birds recorded included , Jay , Magpie , Woodpigeon , Chaffinch , Wren , Blackbird , Mistle Thrush , Blue and Great Tit . There are several bits of tin lying around the site , and these produced 15/20 Slow Worms and a Short Tailed Field Vole . On leaving , I disturbed a Roe stag , who saw me off the premised with a series of barks .
I must admit that I was not happy with the Green Hairsteak shot that I posted yesterday , but , with the time constraints of the butterfly transect , it was the best I could get . So I decided to call back on the way home and have another go . There was more breeze than yesterday , but the glare of the sun was less , and almost immediately I started finding them again . Some wer in the grass and some were sunning , when not scrapping , on a Wayfarer Tree . Eventually I got a few shots that I was happier with and this is one of them . I said yesterday , that I would have expected to find Dingy Skipper as well as Grizzled Skipper as they both emerge about the same time . Well , all I could find again today was the Grizzled ,but then , just before giving up and going home , I found my first Dingy Skipper of the year , albeit looking more like a moth , but once again those clubbed antennae give it away .
Tomorrow , I'm taking a page out of Warren's book , and taking Carol to the coast . She doesn't know it yet , but it will be Dungeness RSPB Reserve , and the binoculars and camera WILL be going .


Warren Baker said...

That bird of prey is not a buzzard greenie, trouble is, I dont know what it is!! More harrier than buzzard though.
That green hairstreak butterfly is superb, wish I could get one on my patch.....Oh, and have a good time at dunge tomorrow, and don't forsake the wife, for the optics!

Warren Baker said...

Oh yes, nearly forgot. Thanks for the Orchid info!!!

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie.
Deer Deer, seen off the premisies by a Roe,not nice.
I like the picture of the Green Hairstreak, never seen one before.
When you do eventually tell Carol where your going you better hope she is in a good mood, otherwise when your packing your optical gear, you might as well pack your bags.Just kidding mate.

ShySongbird said...

Lovely photo of the Green Hairstreak, I don't think I have ever seen one.

Adam said...

Lovely pics of the skippers and hairstreak - how strange we placed them in the same order!