Sunday, 24 May 2009

Sunday 24th.May 2009

Before the temperature got too high , I stopped at the farm lake again for the Mandarin family , and once again I was unsuccessful . I wonder now if the bossy Coots drove her off , or whether she has taken the youngsters back to the woods , we shall see . More and more freshly emerged Damselflies were lifting off from around the lake , leaving their larval skin , the exuvia behind . Of course , lots of Damselflies means lots of possible food for those who have placed their webs in the right places . Several more Black Tailed Skimmers were seen again making their maiden flights into the adjacent trees , and whilst walking around the lake , I put up a Dragonfly from out of the grass , bigger than the Black Tailed Skimmer , which could possibly be the Downy Emerald that I have been waiting for . Lots of bees were feeding on the large number of Yellow Flag Irises all around the lake , and some couldn't even wait for the flower to open . It was still a bit early for butterflies , but three day flying moths were recorded . The Cinnabar moth , the strange looking Plume moth , and finally , a visitor from the Continent , the Silver Y moth , so called for the marking on it's upper wing , my first sighting this year .
My next stop was Keston Ponds , where in the shallows of the top two ponds , Carp and Tench were spawning . This pair of Carp were really good sized fish , my estimate would be 4-6 kilos each . Not much happening on the Damsel/Dragonfly front , but these ponds are always late , as they are spring fed , and therefore colder than a pond not so fed . One old friend was around , looks like he didn't manage to find a mate this year , and was paddling around with the bachelor Mallards .Before leaving , I went just down the road at Keston Bog . I did better with Damsel/Dragonflies here , recording Azure (3) , Large Red (6-including a mating pair) and Common Blue (2) Damselflies , and Broad Bodied Chaser (7) . A large area of the bog is now covered in Bog Cotton . The Bog Asphodel is in bud , and should be in flower in a week or so . My last stop was at Salt Box Hill , below Biggin Hill Airport . Last visit , it was alive with Brimstones , but this time just one male and four females , all egglaying , were recorded . In a couple of weeks , it will be alive with Marbled Whites and Meadow Browns . Large White (2) , Small Heath (2) , Common Blue (4) , Small White (2) and a mating pair of Brown Argus were also recorded . A good opportunity to see the lack of a spot on the forewing , under the 'boomerang' marking , on the female on the right . The 'blueing' of the male can also be seen . In the smaller , unfenced section , White Bryony , a member of the Gourd family is in flower , and the white flowers that will produce a cluster of deep red berries in the Autumn , on the Guelder Rose , a member of the Honeysuckle family , are also opening .
In the same clearing , there seemed to be a convention of Cardinal Beetles , they were
everywhere . It was nice to hear Willow Warbler , Common Whitethroat and Blackcap , all singing their hearts out on this site .
And finally , the flowers might be going over , but the Minature Lilac in the garden is still attracting Painted Ladies . I think we have seen them on it every day for well over a week now .

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

I had one of those Silver y's in my gardenyesterday Greenie, feeding on Chives.

Lots of Painted Ladies flying past today as well.