Monday, 14 June 2010

Monday 14th.June 2010

With the sun shining , I set off to do the butterfly transect at High Elms . Right from the very start , it was obvious that numbers were going to be low , but with a freshening wind and clouds being blown in as well , I wasn't expecting the almost drought that followed . I did however record the first Meadow Brown of the year on this transect , and managed to get a shot of the very dapper male . A very fresh couple of Large Skippers , both males and a very small Small Copper , waving about on the end of a grass seed head , together with a few Common Blues , saw me at the halfway mark wondering what I was doing there ? 3 Speckled Woods , 2 Green Hairstreaks , now starting to look very 'ungreen' having lost most of the green scales from their underwings , one very 'dingy' Dingy Skippers , and Common Blues finishing with a count of 35 , meant that over the two hours transect , 45 butterflies from 7 species , were all that were recorded . A few Orchids on the way around , kept some interest going , especially finding the first Bee Orchid of the year on Burnt Gorse . The Fly Orchids are starting to go over now that the Common Spotted are coming into flower , no sign of Greater Butterfly Orchid on the Orchid Bank this year , but with a total count of 47 Birds Nest Orchids on site , 3 more found today , and 57 White Helleborines in flower , with more to come , things look pretty good .
On the way home , I stopped off at the Farm Lake which was even more affected by the wind , keeping much of the Odonata sheltering in the surrounding trees . Of course there was always the exception to the rule , like this male Black Tailed Skimmer . A patch of purple amongst the vegetation caught my eye , and on checking it out , it turned out to be a Southern Marsh Orchid -Dactylorhiza incarnata , sub species pulchella . I have never found this species on site before , but as most of the ground that retains the lake was brought in , anything could appear . With lower water level in the lake and soft mud on the banks , I wasn't surprised to find Deer prints . The damp margins are also alive with frog/toadlets , in places the ground seemed to be moving en masse . Only other interest was A Grey Heron on the far bank when I arrived , looking very 'full' , and finding difficulty to lift off when I got too close , and a Yellowhammer in song for the whole of the visit .
Although it was a family affair yesterday , we did spend some time down by the River Nene just outside Peterborough , and consequently I did get a couple of shots . A very friendly Common Whitethroat , they seem to be everywhere this year , and a Common Turn that patrolled the bankside constantly while we were there .
And finally , whilst processing the shots from Ranscombe Farm on Saturday , I noticed that the Common Buzzard that was being mobbed by the Corvid , had a very full crop . I would have expected it to carry food in it's talons .
Dormouse/Reptile survey up on the Greensand Ridge tomorrow .


Warren Baker said...

Ive never thought about crops on Buzzards Greenie, I like you thought they would carry food in thier talons. They do have crops, as they can store food to see them through on those poor weather days.

ShySongbird said...

I am still struggling to keep up with comments but have enjoyed all your weekend posts and found them as informative as always.

It was interesting that you pointed out the deer prints, I would have overlooked those entirely if I had seen them...something else to keep a look out for! Interesting too to see the Ladybird comparisons on the earlier post, I don't think I have seen a Harlequin but will know how to identify it if I do now.