Saturday, 26 September 2009

Saturday 26th.September 2009

Dropped Carol off in the town , not knowing where I was going today , but finally decided on a Surrey Wildlife Trust reserve , where , last year , we layed the hedge alongside the road . I've been going to visit ever since , and made it today . Spynes Mere , right alongside the M23 motorway , was a ballast extraction site , and when worked out , leased to SWT . The reserve covers only one of the three man made lakes , another is totally fenced off , and the third used as a water sport / angling centre . The reserve is a good size lake , but why was a hedge planted , within the stockproof fencing , with hardly any viewpoints for wildfowl and water birds ? In hazy sunshine , I set off around the reserve , and almost immediately found a Peacock butterfly , nectaring on Creeping Thistle . I could hear geese as I walked round , but it wasn't till I got to a high point , that I had a view of the water and bank . The geese I had heard , were a mixture of Greylag and Canada , and a single , what I can only describe as a 'bitsa' , as in bits of this and bits of that . From the legs back , it looked like a Greylag , but the white breast and neck was from something else , and to finish off , a white mask of a White Fronted Goose . The Greylags , with which it was trying to associate did not want to know it , and had several attempts to drive it off . Not a great shot , but it was at quite some distance . Other sightings around the bank included Green Sandpiper , Lapwing , Teal , Gadwall and Cormorant . In total 26 species of bird were recorded on the site , the best of the rest being , Sparrowhawk and Green Woodpecker . Walking round , there was very little in flower , but one that was , was Goat's Rue-Galega officinalis , a member of the Pea family . Also providing colour , was a very good crop of Rose Hips , that should satisfy the hunger of the Winter Thrushes , when they arrive . Butterflies were very few , with 8 specimens from 6 species being recorded . Most were ragged to say the least , but this Small Copper was very dapper indeed . Odonata , given the large water area were very poor , with just two Common Darters , mating , and three male Migrant Hawkers being recorded . Mind you , one of them posed and allowed me to get within 15 cms. , and he was rather dapper as well . Once again , I had several sightings of male Vapourer Moth , but , once again , failed to see any of them come to rest . The only other thing of interest was a Forest Bug-Pentatoma rufipes , which was in almost the same spot as the Peacock , and seen as I was leaving the reserve .

6 comments:

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie. Nice insect photo's, especially the Small Copper.
That Goose certainly is made up of odds and sods.

Ken Browne. said...

Have a good w/end Fred.

Rambling Rob said...

Lovely composition with the shot of the Forest Bug.

ShySongbird said...

Beautiful Small Copper and a good pic of the Forest Bug which I had never heard of. Sounded like a nice place to visit.

Kingsdowner said...

The name Spynes mere means nothing to me, but after a bit of googling I see that it is the new name for the Merstham lakes, which I tramped around in my early birding days.
Apart from a few waders and a red-throated diver, they held only little - I hope that the formalisation has improved the place!

Warren Baker said...

Hello Greenie,
I had a rather dapper Small Copper today as well. It settled next to a clouded yellow, and I opted to photograph the latter!