Monday, 2 August 2010

Monday 2nd.August 2010

The Bird Survey at Down House , on the eve of the announcement as to whether the site will get World Heritage Site status , was probably the quietest one I have ever done , with just 44 birds recorded , that's birds not species . The species count was a measly 14 , with the best of a poor lot being Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker .

So it was as well that there were other things of interest on the way round . All three meadows have been cut , whilst the flowers were in full bloom , meaning that butterflies were in short supply too . Only one spot hadn't been cut and that was in the largest meadow . As I approached the area , a movement in the uncut grass revealed a male Roe Deer , and I didn't even have the camera out of the bag . I quickly got it out and put it on the tripod , to find the buck had hardly moved . I had expected him to be well gone , but he just slowly moved out of the long grass into the cut , turning occasionally and stamping his hoof . He moved off further , but then turned and came back to the long grass . By this time , I had got 25+ shots of him at close range . Then , I found out why he didn't run off , when his girlfriend stood up in the middle of the long grass . She wasn't as keen to be photographed , and almost immediately led the pair off at speed . They stood and looked back every now and then , before disappearing over a rise and out of sight ,by which time , my shot total had exceeded 55 . I noticed that whenever the pair did stop , the buck was very interested in the doe's rear end , and when I got home , I checked up and this is the time of the rut for this species of Deer , unlike September/October for the Fallow and Red . In the woodland , the Violet Helleborine , that I posted as a 10cm. plant on my last visit , is now 60-70cms. high , and the lower flowers are fully out . As I said , butterflies were few , but there was still a very fresh looking female Meadow Brown , nectaring on the Creeping Thistle . As other posts have pointed out , Autumn is approaching , and a couple of examples were , the seeds on the Hornbeam , unlike the mast on the Beech , and the acorns starting to form on the evergreen Holm Oak . A quick look in at High Elms on the way home , for once in some sunshine , found several species , including Red Admiral sharing the Buddleia flowers , just three White-letter Hairstreaks , but it was quite breezy on the Orchid Bank , and three female Silver Washed Fritillaries , this one missing half of it's hindwing , were busy egg laying on the Scots Pines .

And finally , whilst writing this , we had our regular visitor to the car port , a female Southern Hawker , escorted outside once she settled on the fish pond net .


Warren Baker said...

I very nearly paid a visit to downe house this afternoon Greenie, looks like my wifes change of mind was just as well ?

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie.
All that camera work really paid off. You got some nice photo's of the Deer.

Phil said...

Blimey Greenie, 14 species, maybe New Hythe isn't so bad at the moment after all.
Great Roe buck photo.

Kingsdowner said...

That buck would have been dead meat if you'd had a rifle, not a camera.
Good pics - love the Violet Helleborine.

I see that the UNESCO decision has been deferred - I assume you're in favour?