Monday, 10 August 2009

Monday 10th.August 2009

RESPECT , and a big Thank You , to a fellow Blogger , ShySongbird's Twitterings , for identifying , in such a short period of time , that the 'Big Rayband Fly' , found last Saturday nearDorking is in fact , Tabanus bovinus-Pale Giant Horse Fly . Given the size of the Insect world , to identify a single species , is to my mind incredible . I am still working on the Sawfly that I found the day before .
Thanks again ShySongbird , and I hope I can return the favour in the future .
Today , with deteriorating weather , I headed for Fackenden Down , to do the Reptile survey . As often seems to happen here , I was confronted with a Corvid , driving off a bird of prey , and once again , I hadn't even got my camera out . A very hurried shot , just before they disappeared behind the nearby trees , was all I could manage . I'm going for Common Buzzard , but stand to be corrected . The most noticeable thing on the site , was the wind , which was blowing across the slope , making it very difficult to identify , or count many of the butterflies seen . Occasionally , one was found on the ground , with the vegetation sheltering it , like this Small Copper . This species is just starting to appear in numbers again , whereas the Small Skipper , is right at the end of it's time , and it shows by the lack of hairs on the abdomen . But they can't really complain , as they have had a really good year , and should show well again next season . The fact that nothing has been said so far about reptiles , reflects just how bad things were in that respect . After checking the 20 sets of refugia , not a single Adder or Grass Snake had been found , and only 8 Slow Worms recorded , 2 pictured , looking very cosy . Just recently , I have posted , and commented on other posts , stating that Roesel's Bush-Cricket is identified by the cream coloured edge to the side flaps of the pronotum . Well , today I am going to have to extend the identification to cream or lime green , as I found this specimen , sporting the new colour scheme .
It went through my mind yesterday at High Elms , and again today , that when the largest number of butterflies were about , there wasn't that many nectar sources for them , but now with fewer about , there seem to be many more flowers . Many of these later flowers are of the Hawkbit/Hawkweed families , and are orange or yellow/orange in colour . But every now and again , a splash of lemon yellow , usually quite short , catches the eye . It is Mouse-Ear Hawkweed . The Mouse-Ear bit , refers to the leaves , not the flowers , but the ID can be confirmed by looking under the petals , the outside ones having a reddish tone . Even on this not ideal day , I recorded 14 species of butterfly , but my day was made when I was passing the very first refugia checked earlier , on my way back to the car . My attention was drawn to the male Dark Bush-Cricket , sitting on the tin , showing off those long rear legs . As I had got down to photograph the Cricket , I decided to turn the tin again , and there underneath was a beautifully coloured female Adder , which I don't think I have recorded before on this site .

As I was finishing this post , Carol called up to say that there was a dragonfly in the carport . I grabbed the camera and went down , to find a female Southern Hawker , bashing itself about on the underside of the plastic roof . I got a stick and offered it to her , which she accepted . After a few shots , still on the stick , I took her outside , and a few seconds later she was gone .
For once the weather people got it right , with cloud and drizzle all afternoon .


Warren Baker said...

Looks like a Commmon Buzzard Greenie. I had one over my place today. I like that Adder colour - alot!

ShySongbird said...

Thanks very much Greenie for your generous words, praise indeed! That means a lot coming from someone as knowledgeable as you!

The Southern Hawker photos are lovely, a beautiful creature! I'm glad you were able to get it out of the carport safely. Also nice photos of the Small Copper and nice to see the Adder and the Cricket too.

Simon said...

Some great photos Greenie. I would say Common Buzzard too.