And on the Conservation Field , I found the first Pyramidal Orchid flower spike of the year .The Bird's Nest Orchids are steady at 10 , and fully out ,
The Man Orchids are fully out ,
All over the Park , Common Spotted Orchids are in flower ,
The full butterfly transect was the undertaking today . In the short time taken to get there from the farm lake , the Painted Ladies had warmed up and were starting to steam through , although , not in the numbers seen earlier in the week . By the end of the transect , 48 had been recorded .Apart from Common Blue (21) , other species were few and far between . Dingy Skipper is really living up to it's name now , perhaps 'Ragged' might be more appropriate . Speckled Wood (4) , Large White (2) , Small Copper (1-pictured) and Brimstone (1) made up the numbers .Day flying moths were in good numbers , with Burnet Companion (23) , Silver Y (3) and Mother Shipton - pictured (4) . Most of the birdsong on the way round was provided by Blackbird , Blackcap , Common Whitethroat and Chiffchaff , with the noise coming as usual from the Rose Ringed Parakeets .
The best Fly Orchid is now on it's 7th.flower , with three more to go ,
And the Greater Butterfly Orchid is in flower too .Before heading home for lunch , I made a quick stop at West Kent Golf Course to see if there was any sign of the Small Blues there . Unfortunately , as I arrived where they are usually found , the sun went behind cloud , and this species really does need the sun to be on the wing . With the sun in , I was again joined by butterfly , this time a male Common Blue with a mis-formed front wing . It didn't seem to bother him , and when the sun started to show , he flew off without trouble . Most of the species seen at High Elms were recorded here , with the addition of Holly Blue and Peacock . Just before leaving , I disturbed what I thought was two Foxes . One definitely was , but the other was a Deer , a very small Deer , not much bigger than the Fox . I only got a glimpse as it made off for cover , but when it got there it 'coughed' back at me . I am not saying it was , but there is a possibility that it was a Muntjac , from the size and from the cough , as the Muntjac's other name is the Coughing Deer . Was it ? I shall never know for sure .
After lunch , I set off for Spring Park Pond . Immediately on arrival , it was obvious that several male Broad Bodied Chasers were holding territories around the pond , and aerial battles were continuous . In one corner , a female , taking no notice of what was happening above here , was diligently dipping the end of her abdomen into the water , each time , releasing a single round egg , that will sink to the bottom of the warm shallow water , to start the next generation . Whilst there , I managed another two year firsts , with my first Meadow Brown , feeding on Bramble flower around the edge of the pond . Not the best of shots , but it just wouldn't get into the position that I wanted it to . Then came the second , when a male Emperor Dragonfly , swooped across the water , much to the annoyance of the male Broad Bodied Chasers , who lifted off to engage him in battle . He flew backwards and forwards across the pond , and I thought , there is no chance of a picture . Eventually , he rested for a few seconds , and I got this shot . It was literally seconds , before the Broad Bodied Chaser males 'saw him off'. I carried on watching and , after quite a while , he came to rest in front of me , showing nicely the dark dorsal line along the abdomen that is helpful in this species identification . The only other species recorded were Azure and Large Red Damselfly . Other butterflies recorded around the pond were Painted Lady (50+) , Common Blue (1) , Orange Tip (1) , Speckled Wood (2) , Small White (2) and Large White (2) . Lastly , can anyone help out with this bad shot of a small moth , found on a walk yesterday near Ashford . I took 3 shots , but the AF obviously didn't want to know .