Friday, 11 September 2009

Friday 11th.September 2009

Needed to stay in this morning , but the time wasn't wasted . Carol called from the kitchen , 'It's back' , and I headed for the back bedroom window , with camera in hand , to get the first shot of the Nuthatch that has started visiting the garden feeders . I got three shots of it taking a single Sunflower heart on each visit . Then I went down and moved the Summer Jasmine that was masking the shot , and waited for it's return from the carport . Needless to say , it didn't come back again , but we did see it this afternoon . Whilst in the carport waiting , I did manage a shot of a young Greenfinch , without the Summer Jasmine . I shall try again for the Nuthatch another day .
Got out after lunch , and stopped first at the farm lake . Bird wise , everything was pretty much the same , with the exception of a juvenile Cormorant , denoted by the pale belly . It seemed very naive about what it should , or should not be doing , but seemed to like to be on the landing stage . As I walked around the lake , it kept a watchful eye on me , and , when I got too close , it moved off into the lake , to return to it's favoured spot , once I had passed by . Other birds of note seen on site were , Green Woodpecker ,Mistle Thrush , a pair of Swallows and the pair of Little Grebe .
For once , the forecast was spot on , as the sunny periods became fewer and the cloud rolled in , but I still headed for Salt Box Hill , just below Biggin Hill Airport . The smaller chalk grassland area produced absolutely nothing . The larger area was a little more productive . I walked the top of the reserve with nothing to record , but , dropping down slightly , I did record the first butterfly , a very worn male Common Blue , but it did provide a good example of the extra spot on the underwing of the Common Blue , compared to the Brown Argus underwing . It's that right hand one of the row of four , at 11 o'clock to it's eye , just under the boomerang shaped spot . Remember though , the wings need to be slightly apart to see this spot . Just after photographing the Common Blue , I disturbed a young male Roe Deer that had been laying in the long grass . By the time I got the camera out again , he was leaping out of sight , but still nice to find . Just one Small White and 9 Speckled Woods , were all the butterflies recorded on what will probably be my last visit to the site for this year .
The last half hour of my visit , was spent trying to get a view of a bird that I heard calling . The call , which attracted my attention to it , was very similar to a cock House Sparrow , and I thought , this is the wrong situation for a cock House Sparrow . It stayed well concealed in scrub for a good 10/15 minutes , without a sighting , but singing non stop . I did get one very quick glimpse , through binoculars , when it dropped to the ground momentarily . The notes I made at the time were , Olive/beige top , very light below , eye stripe , call like a House Sparrow , bigger than a Chiffchaff . After the only brief glimpse , it kept on moving , until , after another 10/15 minutes , it stopped calling , and was lost from sight . I have looked at the books since coming home , but cannot link it to any Warblers described in them . Will probably have to go down as another strange one .
A couple of plants to finish with . Firstly , a white specimen of Marjoram , the normal colouration seen bottom right , and , yet another member of the large Pea family , Hop Trefoil .


Warren Baker said...

I remember about the extra spot on the common blue greenie, hope it stays in my mind for next year!

your unidentified warbler sounds like a 'sedge'.

ShySongbird said...

I guessed at Sedge Warbler without looking it up but would never have dared suggest it if Warren hadn't :)

I think there is a conspiracy with you two as I am very envious of his Clouded Yellow and your Nuthatch in the garden!!

Well explained info about the Common Blue Greenie, I have read it in books but you made it much clearer.

Dave J. said...

Hi Greenie
Love the fox pics and the cormorant was great, and will comment I have not seen a nuthatch or treecreeper for years , don't suppose I ever will now.