Thursday, 13 May 2010

Thursday 13th.May 2010

After 3 days of volunteering , it was good to get out today . The plan was to do the full 2 hour Butterfly transect at High Elms , but on the way , I stopped at the Farm Lake to see if there were any signs of damselflies . Walking around the bank , one of the first things I found were a few flowers of Ragged Robin , swaying in the breeze . The majority of the flowers were in bud , but it was nice to see the odd few in bloom . A wasp type , which I think might be a Social Wasp species was the next to catch my eye , and although I have tried to identify it since getting home , I have so far been unsuccessful . I also found the first of what will be large numbers of grasshoppers on the site and another of the Snipe Flies-Rhagio scolopacea . Along with the large number of St.Mark's Flies around the lake , there was a lesser number of Alder Flies-Sialis lutaria . I found no sign of damselfies , so headed for High Elms to do the transect , stopping first at the dipping pond , where I found this drake Mallard looking comfortable on an uncomfortable hand rail to the dipping platform . The 2 hour transect produced 5 butterflies in reasonable conditions , 3 Speckled Wood , 1 Peacock and one Green-veined White . Neither Burnt Gorse or the Orchid Bank managed a single species . When I got home , I checked back on last year's records , and on the 11th. , I had 47 butterflies of 12 species .
Close to the Golf Course , another of the large Speedwell family , Thyme-leaved-Veronica serpyllifolia was found down amongst the grass . There may have been no butterflies on the Orchid Bank , but I did find my first Fly Orchid-Ophrys insectifera of the year , not yet in bloom , but already one flower spike has come to grief .
On the way back home for lunch , I was pleased to see that the House Martins have returned to their usual nest site in Shire Lane . I couldn't stop for long on the narrow lane , but I saw at least three nests being used , so there could well be more , which is good news . I managed one quick shot , just as an adult was entering the nest . Will have to return and get the timing better .
After lunch , the skies opened , and I had an hour up on the Common . Not a lot happening , but in the middle of the heathland , in the same area as the Blackcap , Chiffchaff and LTTit are nesting , I found this Common Whitethroat , proclaiming his territory from on high . I watched him for some time coming and going , and at one point , caught sight of what I thought could be
'the wife' . My suspicions were further confirmed , when just before I left , he returned with a feather , and a smile on his face , having just earned a few 'brownie points' .


Kingsdowner said...

Snipe fly? There's just so much to learn in this world.

Nice shots of them, anyhow.

Rob said...

Hi Greenie, Might that hymenopteran be one of the Nomada (goodeniana, perhaps) bees that parasitise Andrena mining bees? I've seen something similar loitering around mining bees' nests in a Sandown park..

Greenie said...

Rob ,
I would say that Nomada goodeniana is a pretty good fit .
No wonder I couldn't find it with the Wasps !
Thanks very much for your help .

Warren Baker said...

Nice Whitethroat photo's Greenie. I cant get near them on my patch, if I do they skulk away :-)