Friday, 1 October 2010

Friday 1st.October 2010

The forcasted rain duly arrived mid morning , along with gusting wind , and is still falling heavily now , so needless to say , I didn't get out today .
As I mentioned yesterday , I made a visit to Spring Park Pond for a look around after lunch , as the high cloud started to roll in . It looked totally devoid of interest at first sight , but that changed when a male Southern Hawker came ' to give me the once over ' , as they often do . A second male soon appeared , and the usual aerial battle started . But I thought to myself , why are they fighting with the season almost over ? Walking around the pond , my question was answered , when a quivering movement and rustle of wings in the vegetation on the bank , revealed a female , depositing her eggs in dead and live vegetation . Having laid in one spot , she then took flight to search out another suitable site . At times , she even oviposited on the top of the bank , almost under my feet . Watching her at work , it was noticeable that all eggs were laid on the side of the pond that would be in the sun for the longest part of the day , to give them the best chance of hatching . The only other species of Odonata recorded , were four Common Darter males , like the one pictured , all in their mature state , with the wings becoming suffused rather than clear when they first emerge .
Looking around the pond , a life and death situation caught my eye , when a Common Wasp and a Garden Spider had a coming together in some shady vegetation , hence the not very good shots . I saw the Wasp fly into the web and start thrashing about , trying to escape , but getting more enmeshed in the web in doing so . The Spider approached the Wasp gingerly , and always from the head , keeping well away from the sting . Once thw Wasp's wings were subdued , the Spider rolled the Wasp round and round , producing and wrapping more and more silk around the now entrapped Wasp . The web might have been damaged , but a good sized meal was waiting . Leaving the Spider to it's meal , I spotted one of the male Southern Hawkers resting at about knee level on some Creeping Thistles . I had seen both at rest earlier , but high up in an Oak . Only other interest found was a Plume Moth , which insisted that this was the only position it would allow for a photograph .
And finally , at both the pond and at the grounds of Down House , there seemed to have been an explosion of Crane Flies , they seemed to be everywhere , just too late to stoke up those migrant birds with long journeys in front of them . Today , they have probably all drowned . And a shot of the seed heads of Yellow Flag Iris , split open to broadcast their seeds .
Hedgelaying down on the Surrey/Hampshire border tomorrow , hope the weather changes .
You can relax now Warren , not a Coot or Tufted Duck in sight !


Phil said...

Super shots Greenie. I haven't managed a single one of a Southern Hawker this year. Not sure how common they are at New Hythe, seems to be mostly Migrant.
As for the Wasp, that'll teach it to surf the web!

Greenie said...

Phil ,
Wish I had thought of that line , brilliant .

Warren Baker said...

Well done greenie ;-)

Thats a cracking shot of the male Southern Hawker

ShySongbird said...

Fascinating battle between the spider and the wasp!

At least you still have signs of Summer there with the butterflies and Odonata. It all seems much too Autumnal here :(

Wilma said...

Very clever female to lay her eggs in the sunniest site. You sure did get great shots of her.

Anonymous said...

I like the angle of the Plume Moth shot, Greenie.