Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Tuesday 12th.May 2007

Had my work days cancelled again this week , perhaps they are trying to tell me something .
The weather this morning was pretty miserable , and feeling very cool . Anticipating the forecasted rain for the afternoon , I settled for a day in , for once . I got some bits and pieces done , but by lunchtime , instead of thickening , the cloud started to thin . I decided to take a chance , and , on the strength of Kingsdowner's posts of Small Blues on the wing , set off for Hutchinsons Bank , a chalk grassland site , just over the border in Surrey . Although the top of the site was windy , it was reasonably sheltered down at the bottom of this South facing slope .
On my last visit , fencing was being erected around the site to enable grazing , and the fencework is still ongoing . Almost immediately , I came across some of the grazers , within a paddock that had been finished . To my mind , grazing means from the bottom , but the goats put on the site , have a different opinion . As weel as fencing , conrtactors have cleared large areas of scrub , which now is regenerating . But do the goats graze the re-generating scrub , no , they are demolishing the Buckthorn bushes , and most probably the Brimstone eggs and caterpillars .
Talking butterflies , I soon recorded both Dingy and Grizzled Skipper , and like the Dingy posted recently , the Grizzled are showing signs of wear as well . I made my way to where scrapes have been made down to the chalk beneath , and where the Kidney Vetch , the food plant of the Small Blue , is growing . Amazingly , just one plant on the site was in full flower , the others being in bud still . I did find a Blue in the area , but it was the Common Blue , not the small relation that I was looking for . When the sun came out , it spread it's wings , but , when the clouds came over , it closed up and waited for the sun again . Lots of Brimstones were found racing around , and constantly stopping to refuel , their favourite tipple seemed to be Common Vetch .
On one of the paths , I found a rather dapper looking Comma , who was happy to pose for a shot , showing the 'comma' on it's underwing , and the fact that , although an insect with six legs , only uses four for walking , the front two being non-functioning .
Green Veined , Small and Large Whites , all put in appearance , with a male Large White , showing his 'spotless' topwing . The female has two spots , and the Small White male has one and the female two , but obviously much smaller than the female Large White . Small Heath and Speckled Wood were also recorded , but no Small Blues , perhaps next time .
I saw two Foxes whilst there , or at least , they saw me first , and chased off . The second one dashed off , but I just sat down and waited , and sure enough , it came back to have a look . I tried to get closer to get a better shot , but it disappeared again , this time for good .
A couple of plants found on the site were , Common Fumitory-Fumaria officinalis ,
and a plant that Kingsdowner posted recently , that the leaf is often found , but not that often the flower , Silverweed-Potentilla anserina , a member of the Rose family , found usually in damp places .


Adam said...

Hi Greenie

Thanks for your comments on my blog. Any chance you could take a butchers at the 'brown argus' on my 10th May report - it's been suggested it may be female Common Blue.



Warren Baker said...

That goat is like the sheep on my patch greenie. They eat the newly planted hedgerows!