A day of two halves today , really Autumnal this morning and wall to wall blue sky and sunshine this afternoon . I left just before things changed , to have a look at Saltbox Hill , below Biggin Hill Airport , in a fleece , wondering , should I be wearing more . Ten minutes later , fleece was tied around my waist , and glad I wasn't wearing more .
Butterflies were hard to find when I arrived in the cool , breezy conditions , but when the sun came out , the wind dropped and things got much better . By the time I left the site , I had recorded 15 species - Common Blue (104) , Meadow Brown (24) , Red Admiral (1) Small Copper - pictured (1) , Marbled White (1) , Brimstone (9) , Small White (5) , Speckled Wood (6) , Gatekeeper (10) , Brown Argus - male pictured , an impressive (23) , Small Heath (4) , Large White (4) , Green-veined White (1) , Peacock (2) and Holly Blue - pictured (1) .
With fencing contractors on site , no chance of Fox or Roe Deer today .Found on a conifer stump , Hypholoma capnoides , a relation of Sulphur Tuft .Yesterday I posted the Robber Fly mating , today it was lunch time .
As the blue skies continued , I called in at the Farm lake on the way home . My concerns re. the Little Grebe were well founded , as once again , just a single adult was seen , and a probable cause , a Grey Heron flew off as I arrived . Within minutes , the air was filled with calls from about 30/40 House Martins , hawking insects and taking a drink on the wing , before heading off South . 7 species of butterfly were recorded here , with another species for the day , Comma .
A series of calls from over the woods , the other side of the lake , resulted in at least 2 Hobbies , I couldn't be sure of the third bird . I had several single sighting during the visit , but no more multiple ones .
Odonata did better than on the last few visits , with 8 species being recorded . The Black-tailed Skimmers ate getting very over mature now , but still mating and egg laying . Two male Emperor Dragonflies are sharing the lake . This one kept returning to the same Bullrush every now and again , giving an opportunity to get an approach shot ,
before settling for a minute or so , before charging off again . 3 Brown Hawkers were recorded , 1 male and 2 female , this female egg laying in the vegetation at the edge of the lake .
Numbers of Common Darters are still very low , although several pairs were seen egg laying in tandem today . 4 male Ruddy Darters ( all black legs , no yellow stripes on thorax ) , one pictured were also recorded . Also recorded were Common Blue , Blue-tailed and Small Red-eyed Damselfly .
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