With the morning booked , I managed to get out for a while this afternoon , in mixed weather conditions . My first stop was on the Common , to see if there was any sign of the Purple Hairstreaks , well , answer no there . Quiet as a grave at the master Ash tree in the Bridleway Clearing . The only things showing were Meadow Brown and Ringlet butterflies , and one of each posed for this shot . The only other thing of interest was this beetle , Strangalia maculata , and if last year was anything to go by , we will be seeing many more of his relatives this year . From the Common , I headed for Keston Bog , near the Ponds , where the Bog Asphodel is just coming into flower . There cannot be many sites for this species within the M25 , so we are lucky to have it in LB Bromley . On the Bog , I recorded Large Red (7) , Azure - including mating and egg laying (20+) and Blue Tailed Damselflies (2) . Two Large Skipper butterflies were also recorded . On Keston Ponds , where fishing has resumed after the closed season , with it's attendant increase in rubbish left around the banks , five species of Odonata were recorded . Emperor Dragonfly - including egg laying female (4) , Black Tailed Skimmer (5) , Red Eyed Damselfly - pictured , including mating pairs (25+) , Azure - including mating pairs and egg laying (50+) and Common Blue Damselfly - including mating and egg laying (35+) .
From there I headed to burnt Gorse at High Elms , to see if there was anything new about . As it wasn't a full transect , I estimated the Meadow Browns at 50+ , and the Ringlets at 25+ .Other species were , Common Blue (3) , a very tatty Peacock - pictured , Large Skipper (5) , Brimstone (1) and the first Marbled White of the year , the species that I hoped to find yesterday at Salt Box Hill . Interestingly , although called a White , is in fact a Black butterfly with white markings . The only other species recorded was a single Speckled Wood . I did disturb some Deer whilst on site , but didn't see what or how many , just heard them leaving .
Heading back to the car , I checked on the Violet Helleborines , which are fine , and headed to the farm lake for a quick look . I checked skyward on my arrival , and found not only a Hobby , but also a Sparrowhawk , both riding on the thermals , but well out of camera range . I am not sure , but I could only find 2 of the first family Little Grebe youngsters , I just hope the others were snoozing in the reeds . I heard , but did not see any of the second family , over on the other side of the lake . Black Tailed Skimmers are all over the area , and on my short visit , saw several mating pairs , females egg laying , and males snoozing in the afternoon sun . But he has earned it , as the marks of a females legs can be seen on his abdomen , just above the black tip . Butterflies were quiet , with the odd Meadow Brown and Ringlet showing up , until , just before leaving , a very fresh Small Tortoiseshell landed on the path in front of me . Really good news to have found so many of this species in the last week .