Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Wednesday 6th.October 2010

It was a good call to cancel volunteering today , as the morning started with constant drizzle , interspersed by heavy downpours . These conditions continued until lunchtime , when a ribbon of blue sky showed up in the South-west , which came tantalisingly close many times , but didn't reach overhead until an hour later .
That was my nod to get out , and headed first to the Farm Lake . Very quiet on my arrival , with a noticeable increase in the water level following the recent rains . Nothing unusual on the water , but around the bank , at least 20 pairs of Common Darter were making the most of the weather , mating and ovipositing . There must have been the same number again of single males , many trying to muscle in on the tandem pairs . Two male Migrant Hawkers were also recorded , each patrolling their preferred lily pad . Only birds of interest were a juvenile Grey Heron that flew in as I was leaving , and a Swallow overhead , heading South . A single Large White was also recorded .
Then on to Salt Box Hill , below Biggin Hill Airport . Contractors were working on one area , clearing more trees and scrub and burning off the brash on a fire , so I concentrated on the other area . Three species of butterfly , Comma , Speckled Wood and Brimstone were recorded , which sounds reasonable , but it was a single sighting of each species that went into the book . As it happens , the most numerous species recorded , two , was the Silver Y moth , which I thought would have migrated back to warmer climes by now . Those that stay too long will be killed off by the first Autumnal frosts . Very little colour remains , the odd stand of Common Centaury andYellow-wort , an odd Greater Knapweed flower and several Small Scabious , pictured , is all that is left now , amongst the Marjoram seed heads . The flowers on the Traveller's Joy/ Old Man's Beard have also gone , to be replaced by the seed heads that give Clematis vitaiba it's second common name .
And finally , a view along the slope of Salt Box Hill , where the Dartmoor ponies were forraging , and beyond on the skyline , Canary Wharf and it's adjacent towers , looking quite close , but actually some 10/12 miles away .


Warren Baker said...

Could be more flutters about this weekend Greenie, a decent spell of weather is heading our way :-)

Phil said...

Snap with the Darter Greenie. I think we got the decent weather before you today. Hope Warren's right about the weekend weather. I'll keep my camera and bins alongside me while I sit by the river.

ShySongbird said...

Nice to still see signs of Summer down your way. We have had some pleasant weather the last few days and it seems set to continue over the weekend so maybe I will see a late butterfly or two.