Two days strimming paths , stiles and gateways , up on the Greensand Ridge was sweaty work , but these areas , where mechanical means cannot be used has to be done manually , so we had to just get on with it .
I mentioned in my last post that I had more on the Kestrel nest , on the farm , just inside the entrance of RSPB Dungeness . It is the story of 'a sinister Cuckoo clock' plus more .Word has it that the juvenile which rose to fame on another Blogger's site a short while ago , now wants to be known as 'Phil' . Only trouble is , that there is another juvenile in the nest , and word has it that this one wants to be called 'I-want-to-be-called-Phil-too' . Only trouble is that the entry hole is only big enough for one of the juveniles at a time to stand in the front . 'Phil' and 'I-Want-to-be-called-Phil-too' , spend much of the time jostling each other for the best view from their vantage point , to see what is happening in the big world outside . That is until a distant call from Mum , turns sibling friendship into winner takes all . With her still calling , and the pair returning in shrieks , the whole farmyard is aware of what is happening .
In swoops Mum , with a small rodent in her bill , and basically tosses it into the entrance . Squabbling is heard from the nest , and Mum waits just to make sure that that is all that occurs . Then , with a backward flip , she is off , to find the next meal for her ever hungry family .
It probably won't happen many more times at the nest , as 'Phil' and 'I-want-to-be-called-Phil-too' look as if they will be out in that big world very soo now .
Last night , after volunteering , I had a meeting on the London Wildlife Trust site a Salt Box Hill , with the Grazing Officer , regarding the continued presence of the two Dartmoor ponies on the site . Despite my opinion regarding the detrimental effect on the butterflies that are found on the site , particularly Marbled Whites , I was told that the horses will remain on site for at least another month , as part of the Natural England demand that either the site makes forward progress as chalk grassland , or LWT will loose the designation of the site being a Site of Special Scientific Interest , which I am amazed that it presently holds . My opinion against Natural England , no chance .Before the meeting , I had a quick look at the unfenced area , and found the first two Marbled Whites that I have recorded this year . Of interest , although called a White , it is in fact a black butterfly , with white markings . I also recorded 15 Ringlet , 1 Common Blue , 3 Meadow Brown and 3 Large Skipper , all females , identified by the lack of the prominent dark line , sex brand , on the forewing . Whilst walking through the fenced section with the Grazing Officer , just a few Ringlet and Meadow Brown , plus a fly through Red Admiral , no sign of a Marbled White .
And finally , one for Dean . This was the best I could manage of this small , active moth . With many thanks to Dean/DDD , now identified as Agapeta hamana .
And definitely finally , in answer to Steve/Kingsdown's question , no I didn't see the Purple Heron , when I reached the viewing mound , there were so many people and gear around , and the RSPB warden telling everyone that there were very good views - yesterday , I left them to it and found my own space on the site .
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