Friday, 30 July 2010

Friday 30th. July 2010

After two days volunteering and not getting out yesterday , I earned a few more brownie points , then set off to check the local sites .
The Ash tree on the Common only produced two high Purple Hairstreak sightings , but whilst there a migrant Silver Y moth posed , showing the Ys well , and the strange ear / horn type appendages on the head . Also in the dry grass , an Essex Skipper .
On to the Farm lake , where I was welcomed with the constant calls of three Little Grebe chicks .
These have to be a second brood , but I never saw anything of the first . Good numbers of Common Blue butterflies , second brood again , and also of Gatekeepers . This was one of three very fresh looking Red Admirals recorded on site . Odonata recorded were in small numbers , but Emperor , Black-tailed Skimmer , Common Darter , like these two in tandem , still a few Blue Tailed , Azure and Common Blue Damselflies about . As I was about to leave , calls from further down the valley alerted me to what looked like a family group of four Common Buzzard . As they came closer , they must have found a thermal , and started to rise on it . By the time they were overhead they were really high , but I still couldn't get all four in the same frame , and had to settle for these two .
After lunch , with clouds rolling in , I headed for High Elms , and as usual , as I got there the sun disappeared . Another three Red Admirals were recorded , all on the same Buddleia bush .
On the Orchid Bank , and on the area around it , I recorded 6 White-lettered Hairstreaks , some like this female , in pristine condition , but some , like this male who has obviously fought a few battles , not quite so pristine . The Hemp Agrimony is coming into flower , and is already become a nectar supermarket for the many Peacocks and Commas already feeding on it . Burnt Gorse produced another mating pair of Common Blues , and the male Silver Washed Fritillaries are still courting any females that they find , even though they are not so dapper as they were . At the far end , a male Brimstone had nestled himself down in the vegetation , waiting to see what the now wall to wall cloud would bring . As I walked back , a grey , fast flying insect caught my eye .
I managed to follow it , and when it slowed down , I recognised it as my second migrant moth of the day , a Hummingbird Hawk moth . Strangely , it wasn't nectaring , and almost appeared to be looking for a suitable place to lay eggs , who knows . It didn't stay long , but I managed about 6 shots . I saw it again a couple of minutes later , but this time is just disappeared at speed . I only saw one last year , but didn't get a shot , so was pleased with the result this time .


Warren Baker said...

That Hemp agrimony looks good stuff! Ive got some in the garden, but it rarely lives long enough to flower, it's so dry in my garden.

Phil said...

A veritable feast of winged creatures Greenie. There was some Hemp Agrimony at Stodmarsh during the week that was attracting a lot of attention. We get small amounts in the garden but not very much.Haven't seen a Hummingbird Hawkmoth for a couple of years now.

Dean said...

A good variety of Leps there Greenie. Far more than i`m seeing up here.