Thursday, 8 October 2009

Thursday 8th.October 2009

Firstly a big 'Thank you' to Orchids and Nature , and Shysongbird , for both identifying the floating water plant as Aponogeton distacyos-Water Hawthorn , as I thought , an alien invader , this time from South Africa .
Amongst a lot of rushing around today , I managed two visits , one either side of lunch , and both in beautiful sunshine , so welcome after all the recent rain and cloud . The first was a quick look up on the Common . The Hornets are still busy , but at a slower rate , and I'm sure I saw another Queen at the entrance to the nest . Butterflies were few , just 2 Small Copper and a single Speckled Wood . I had several sightings of male Vapourer moth , but once again , never saw one land . I did disturb a Plume moth-Platyptilia celidotus , I believe , and when it settled again , it allowed a few shots . The only other interest was a lichen , on the heathland area . It is Cladonia cristatella , but I prefer the second of it's two common names , British Soldier Lichen or Devil's Matches . The after lunch visit was to the farm lake , which was much fuller following the rain . I thought the Mandarins might have settled here as it is very close to Keston Ponds , but there was no sign , just the usual Coots , Moorhens , Little Grebes and 4 Tufted Ducks . I've posted a shot of the latter , as some Bloggers don't see many Tufties . Walking round the lake , I only recorded a single Comma , sunning itself on the warm side of a hedge . There was though , quite a good emergence of Caddisflies-Trichoptera , and one stayed still long enough to get a few shots . As things were quiet , I did a lap of the harvested field above the lake , and from the very top of the hill took this shot of London through the Autumn haze .It reminded me of pictures I've seen of New York , from Central Park . The tall building right of centre is the NatWest Tower and to the right of it , the Gerkin , and Canary Wharf further right again . On my way back to the lake , I found Shaggy Parasol-Lepiota rhacodes in the shade of the hedgeline . I did another lap of the lake , and found 3 Migrant Hawkers , all males , sunning themselves , when not fighting aerial battles . As has been the case for some time now , the most numerous dragonfly found was the Common Darter with 15+ recorded , and even a couple of pairs egglaying in tandem . Some males still had good colouring , but several were like this one , described as over mature , with the abdomen going a browny/beige colour , and the wings become yellowish . On the way home , there was a large , mixed , Corvid flock in the horse fields alongside the bottom lane , which contained a good number of Rooks , a species that was not found locally until a few years ago . It was interesting to have a size comparison between one and the more numerous Jackdaw .


ShySongbird said...

Thanks for the acknowledgement Greenie. Glad you had good weather today, we did too. It must be two weeks since I saw a butterfly here and we had a very cold night last night so I suspect that may be it for this year for us.

Love the common names for the Lichen especially Devil's Matches! A nice photo of the Plume Moth too.

We went back to Draycote today in the hope of seeing the Lesser Scaup which has been there for the last week or so, sadly no luck but I did get what I think is a Rock Pippit, I haven't put it onto the computer yet to get a better look but, very annoyingly, I think it is out of focus :(

I hope you have a lovely time visiting your latest grandchild, have a safe journey, we bloggers will miss you!

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie.
Nice selection of photo's. I like the look of the Devils Matches Lichen.Never seen it before, fascinating.

Anonymous said...

A fine gallery of wildlife observations Greenie. A good shot of London above the trees - I know those images of NY you mention.
Here's wishing you a very enjoyable family get-together in NZ.

Greenie said...

ShySongbird and Rob ,

Thanks very much .

Warren Baker said...

yes you're right greenie.....some bloggers don't see all!

Tony Morris said...

Platyptilia celidotus is I think an AUstralian Plume. Is it on the UK list? It looks like Emmelina monodactyla yo me, they are still around.