Monday, 21 September 2009

Monday 21st.September 2009

After helping with the shopping this morning , I headed off for a look around Sevenoaks Wildfowl Reserve , managed by Kent Wildlife Trust . As is the norm , the sunshine I had travelling there , quickly disappeared behind clouds . The water level on most of the lakes seems very low , even though there seems to be plenty of water in the River Darenth which passes through the site . Apart from the usual geese and water fowl , the most exciting species seen were a Snipe and a Little Egret . I visited all the hides , and didn't see another person in any of them . Even the feeders outside Grebe Hide didn't manage to attract any interest , but I must admit that the constant call from this juvenile Great Crested Grebe , hastened my decision to look for wildlife elsewhere . Two species of butterfly were recorded towards the end of the visit , when the sun appeared again , 6 Comma and 3 Small White .
I had to almost pass Fackenden Down on my way back , so stopped for a look . Surprisingly , within the first five minutes of being there , I recorded Green Veined and Small White , Brown Argus and a couple of Silver Y day flying moths . I had to lift a few tins , but only found 3 Slow Worms , a single Common Lizard and an immature , female Adder . More butterfly species were recorded , with Small Copper , Brimstone , Meadow Brown , Large White and Comma going into the book .
I carried on to the nearby site that I visited last time , and found a couple of fungi growing on , or very near , the droppings of the ponies that grazed the field last Winter . The first I have identified as Panaeolus campanulatus-Bell-shaped Mottlegill , and the second , Psilocybe coprophila, actually growing out of the droppings . Both species probable brought on by the heavy rain on Friday night . Several more Small Coppers were recorded , this one nectaring on Devilsbit Scabious , as was an unexpected male Common Blue . Speckled Wood , and another Brimstone were also recorded here , along with the best butterfly sightings of the day , but no pictures , were definitely two , probable three , possible four Clouded Yellows . I saw the two at the same time , the others separately , but as they were so active in the warm sunshine , somewhere between 2/4 is as good as I can say . The warmth also put up at least three Common Buzzards , but they were so high , they would have been just specks on a photo . Just a single male Adder was found on this site . Taking both sites together , 11 species of butterfly and 4 Silver Y moths were , surprisingly recorded , albeit in small numbers .
And finally , a caterpillar found once again on the Devilsbit Scabious , a moth I'm reasonably sure


Warren Baker said...

You seem to find snakes whever you go greenie!

ShySongbird said...

An interesting post again Greenie. I'm really not at all confident on this but could the caterpillar be the Mullein Moth?

You have some nice photos here, I thought the one of the Small Copper was lovely.

roger.wood800 said...

I too was about to suggest Mullein Moth for the caterpillar... no matter that they take their name from the fact their regular foodplant (from which they get their name) is the mullein [which looks a bit like a hollyhocks with hairy leaves).

Great to see about the wasp spiders - I've heard they've been seen in the UK but the only two times I've ever seen them have been in Italy.

Anonymous said...

Definately not a Mullein. Not enough spotting on it, Greenie. Not sure what it is.

Greenie said...

ShySongbird & Roger ,
Thanks for your suggestions , but it was definitely not a Mullein , or the Sawfly larvae that is coloured almost the same .

Dean ,
Thanks for having a look anyway .