Incidentally , I half heard a report on the radio this morning , that although a protected species , Parakeets can be shot starting next year . I haven't heard the report again and haven't been able to confirm it , but I'm sure that was what was said . Having experienced them in the area for many years , I have often said that once they spread into the fruit growing areas , they would be treated like the Bullfinch was many years ago , because of their destructive habit of sitting in the tops of trees and ripping out the buds .
Around the Sandwalk , where Darwin mulled over his thoughts , I found some Armillaria mellea-Honey Fungus , but the dry warm weather is certainly holding things up , as this area is usually very good for several species . Also on the side of the path , is what is left of the Violet Helleborine that I posted back in the Summer . Now all that remains are the seed pods , hopefully these will provide more plants in the years to come . Around the cricket field , are many Hawthorn trees , but this one stands out from all the others , producing marble sized Hawes , and much fewer leaves that the normal ones . I had hoped that I might have had another Clouded Yellow on my visit , but the meadows have been 'topped' since my last visit , and what flower there was has gone , leaving nothing to attract butterflies . I always have a second look around the walled vegetable garden before leaving , and found this small Small Copper , nectaring on Michaelmas Daisies . It was tiny , and also one of the blue spotted variants . Apart from this , just a single Painted Lady , warming up , high in a hedgerow , and two Hornets hunting insects , were the only other interest .
After lunch , after doing a few calls in the town , I stopped off at Spring Park Pond , on my way home . My first sighting was this caterpillar , found on the leaves of Yellow Flag Iris . I have looked through the images , and the only one that I can find is the Yellow Tailed moth , but , the flight time does not match . Any help would be appreciated .With thanks , once again , to ShySongbird/Shysongbird's Twitterings , the caterpillar has been identified as that of the Knot Grass moth . A species that I have never heard of , and a very drab adult resulting from a very colourful caterpillar . Personally , I think 'SS' should be changed from 'ShySongbird' to 'Super Sleuth' , another great ID effort , thank you very much .Walking around the pond , I also disturbed a male Southern Hawker , that went into a few manic laps , before settling back at rest . As I was photographing this one , another movement , to my left , produced a second male . Walking further round , numbers 3 , 4 and 5 appeared , and continual aerial battles ensued . Added to this , 20+ Common Darter , mostly males , eager to defend their territory , it sometimes seemed like WW3 had started . I moved on to the small sheltered meadow , and was surprised to find , after yesterday's fresh female Brown Argus , a fresh male of the same species .
Fresh was not the word to describe my next find , a very tatty male Common Blue , the wings of which were almost see through , and well camouflaged on some late Bramble flowers . Along with these two , I recorded another 4 Small Copper , 1 Comma and 2 Small , 2 Large and 1 Green Veined White . On the edge of the meadow I had yet another male Vapourer moth , that only just evaded being a meal for yet another male Southern Hawker .
Tomorrow is the last day hedgelaying at Leith Hill , will it produce a Raven ?