Monday, 24 August 2009

Monday 24th.August 2009

Firstly , the unknown plant from my last post . ShySongbird , Rob and Dean , have all put in time and effort to identify it . All three , and my first impression , say Willowherb . But the two species suggested , Marsh and Short-fruited , are found in wet habitat and are reasonably tall . Given the height , 15cms. and the fact that there was no water around , it will have to go down as a 'strange one' , but many thanks to those above for their efforts to solve it .
This morning started with a crisis , as another , or the same , female Southern Hawker , was bashing itself against the plastic roof of the car port , in an effort to get out . We don't know how long she had been trying , but she was obviously in a right state . I used the same stick as last time , and after a couple of efforts , she came to rest on the end of it , and started to get rid of the cobwebs that had become attached . She allowed me a couple of shots , and when I took her outside and she felt the breeze , it didn't take long to leave the stick , and head of to find breakfast . I decided to have a look at Hutchinson's Bank , a chalk grassland site , managed by the London Wildlife Trust , just over the border in Surrey . Another strange morning weatherwise , cloudy but very humid . Just walking to the top of the bank was an effort in those conditions . Still in flower , is a speciality of the site , Greater Yellow Rattle , in fact much this site and a few others locally , have the majority of the plants found in the UK . I must admit that it looks very similar to the ordinary Yellow Rattle , apart from the fact that it is more branched and obviously bigger . By the time I had got half way round the site , it was obvious that butterflies were very few on the wing . I did find a few Small Heath , that flew up out of the grass in front of me , and a couple of Painted Ladies , warming up on the paths . It was so slow , that even the site of a moth had me reaching for the camera . This one I believe is the Treble Bar . I must admit that I was stopped in my tracks when I found a pair of Common Green Grasshoppers mating on the track just in front of me . I'm not sure which is which , but it looks as if the upside -down one is having a bit of a hard time . I did record a few Common Blue , Brown Argus , Speckled Wood and Large and Small White on my way back to the car , but nothing else of interest .
I had my lunch in the garden , and was entertained by a pair of Collared Doves , partaking of their ablutions . This was the first one , making sure that the water got where it was needed , but the second one , just had a quick dip and the camera caught the moment of leaving the bath .
I forgot to mention yesterday , that whilst pacing up and down the Blackthorn bushes , I was treated to a Willow Warbler singing for a good 30/45 minutes .


Warren Baker said...

It was horribly sticky today wasn't it ! made me feel quite ill.

Are we going to be treated to ''greenies lunchtime sightings'' more often, as a follow up to your winter 'breakfast sightings'. :-)

ShySongbird said...

The Southern Hawker seems to have a thing about your car port Greenie, you are going to have to keep that 'rescue' stick handy! I too have a photo of the Treble Bar Moth which I managed to ID in preparation for a future post. My next post which I am preparing at the moment is only going to feature one creature!

Nice pic of the Grasshoppers.