Friday, 18 September 2009

Friday 18th.September 2009

Two visits today , and for once , the weather was kind , after a dull morning , at lunchtime there were signs of the sun , and that was enough for me . My first call was the farm lake , and as if by magic , the clouds opened , and warm sunshine followed . The conditions immediately produced large numbers of hirondine , mostly Swallows , but with a few House Martins mixed in , some taking a drink , some feeding , all heading South . They were followed by a Grey Heron , which seemed to take exception to my presence , circling , noisily , several times , before heading off for a quieter spot . At the same time , I saw a pair of Common Buzzard , two fields away , and unfortunately heading away up the valley . The sunshine really brought the lake to life , with 50+ Common Darter recorded , all with two things on their minds , mate , and then lay the eggs for the continuance of the species . This was probably the largest number of Common Darter I had seen on the site this year , and definitely the largest numbers recorded mating and egg laying in tandem . I also recorded 2 Migrant Hawkers and a single Brown Hawker . I had a look around the harvested field edge , and found Common Field Speedwell , and also Field Pansy-Viola arvensis , along with lots of Scarlet Pimpernel . By the side of the lake , I found the seed pod of one of the Irises , split open and ready to broadcast it's seeds , very Autumnal I thought .
Butterflies were very few , but I did record 1 Speckled Wood , 1 Small White , 1 Meadow Brown and this Peacock that almost landed on my boots , looking like it had been roused from hibernation by the somewhat barmey afternoon .
My other stop was Keston Ponds , and almost straight away met up with old friends , 5 Mandarin ducks , 3 females and 2 males , unseen since early Spring . But , having only just returned , they were very wary , and stayed amongst the tree branches that were in the water .
If things go the same as last year , the falling Acorns and the people feeding bread , will soon get them out in the open . Also recorded , for the second day running was a Grey Wagtail , but I didn't even manage a bad shot today . Three butterflies were recorded , Speckled Wood , Large White and a fly through Red Admiral . Odonata recorded were , 25+ Common Darter , 2 Southern Hawker , 2 Brown Hawker and 15+ Common Blue Damselflies .
Between the middle and bottom pond , I found this fine specimen of Laetiporus sulphureus-Sulphur Polypore or Chicken of the Woods , a good sized specimen as can be seen by the 35mm. film canister , placed for size comparison . Further on , a photogenic Grey Squirrel posed for me , and I couldn't resist . And finally , as I was just finishing my walk , a reminder of a children's craze of a few years ago , Ninja Turtles . I found this terrapin sunning itself about 10 mtrs. out from the busiest part of the area , where the ice cream van parks . It wasn't worried , as long as it got all parts tanned , especially those large back paddles .
Hedgelaying near Leith Hill , near Dorking tomorrow , Buzzards and Ravens in the area .


Warren Baker said...

I could do with one of those mandarins for the year list greenie.
I had a peacock today too.

Hope you get to see a Raven!!

Rambling Rob said...

Field Pansy is a cute one, Greenie - I haven't seen one of those yet.

ShySongbird said...

Very nice to see the Mandarin Ducks Greenie.

It definitely seems to be a good year for fungi, well it is where I am. The Water Iris photo indicates how much further south you are, ours are nowhere near that stage yet. The photos of the Common Darter have me doubting myself now, after labelling a dragon on my post Common Darter I now have cold feet and wonder if it could be a Brown Hawker, could I trouble you to see what you think please?