Friday, 26 June 2009

Friday 26th.June 2009

There was a better chance of dinosaur watching than bird watching today , with practice for the Biggin Hill Air Show taking place locally . That , combined with 'extreme weather' forecast by the Met.Office , I decided to take Carol shopping this morning . The shopping was 'shopping' , but the weather was so 'non extreme' , that I didn't want to be shopping , even with Carol .
By lunchtime , the warm , humid weather continued , without a sign of anything to the different , so I set off for Spring Park Pond , thinking that if things change , I'm not too far from the car . With the exception of Damselflies , the pond was surprisingly quiet . There were plenty of Azure and a few Large Red Damselflies , but nothing larger , until a mature Four Spotted Chaser settled on the seed head of Ribwort Plantain , and posed for a shot . In fact , apart from a male Emperor Dragonfly that I found hawking over the meadow , that was the only Dragonfly that I recorded on my visit . With very little happening around the pond , I started searching the surrounding vegetation . It was there that I found a Red Admiral and a Comma , resting within 15 cms. of each other , in a patch of Brambles . Just around the corner , on a patch of Stinging Nettles , I found another very fresh looking Red Admiral . The egg that this butterfly hatched out of , was probably layed by a female that arrived from the Continent , already having mated , earlier in the year . In the same patch , I found 35 Peacock caterpillars . They had spread out from where they had hatched out , but , back there , there were many caterpillars , that had hatched out from the egg , but then for some reason , hadn't made it any further . This sight made me recall the statistics of egg to adulthood in butterflies . If a female lays 50 eggs , 20-40 will make it to the caterpillar stage , of which 10 might survive to form chrysali , of which 2-3 might achieve adulthood , a survival ratio of 2-6% .
In the smaller , sheltered meadow , Skippers , Ringlets and Meadow Browns were recorded , along with a fresh , very richly coloured Comma , which was finding something of interest on a tissue . A walk back towards the pond , produced a Green Veined White , having it's fix of 'honey' from the Creeping Thistle , which have opened up greatly in the last couple of days .
A few posts ago , I posted a very tatty male Common Blue , and today , on the way back to the car , I found his wife . The full butterfly count was , Red Admiral (2) , Ringlet (12) , Meadow Brown (24) , Comma (6) , Large White (8) , Large Skipper (12) , Small Skipper (5) and singleton Small White , Speckled Wood and Green Veined White . Damselflies/Dragonflies recorded were , Large Red Damselfly (7) , Azure Damselfly (50+) , Four Spotted Chaser (1) and Emperor Dragonfly (1) + another 6 exuvia of this species found and removed . Not sure where I'm going tomorrow , but it will not be around Biggin Hill .


Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie. I can tell that you really love shopping. At least you did finally go out. That Comma is a lovely colour.
Thanks for your offer Greenie re Fackenden Down. I will hopefully be able to take you up on your offer.. Have a good weekend.

Warren Baker said...

Thanks for the ID help Greenie, especially the flower.
Good to see you found a Red Admiral, nice pic. of it too.