For once the forecasters were spot on , with a wind building throughout the day to the strength of a winter storm at times . I decided it would be a waste of time and money to visit a couple of sites way down in Kent , so just stayed local . As I will be working up on the Greensand Ridge tomorrow and Wednesday , my first stop was at the Great Spotted Woodpecker nest site up on the Common , now things have returned to normal . The female was showing the signs of a dotting mother , being very calm and collected as she fed one of the youngsters , then dealing with the result of her feeding shortly afterwards . I thought that they would just drop the sack as they flew off , but I watched them several times fly into nearby trees , and although not certain , think that they actual ate the contents . Thinking about it , the food given to the youngsters would pass through very quickly , and would still contain a lot of goodness , meaning that the adults would not have to look for food for themselves . Sorry about that , I hope you weren't eating at the time . The male is definitely not calm and collected when he arrives at the nest hole , in fact at times he looked dead scared of what was inside . I also had a look around the rest of the Common , and spotted a male Emperor Dragonfly over the heathland area and tried to photograph it . I failed completely , the wind making him very twitchy , but whilst following him , found this immature Broad-bodied Chaser , sheltering in the low vegetation . Around one of the fire sites we used over the winter , Common Toadflax/Linaria vulgaris , a member of the Figwort family , is just starting to flower , and on the remains of last years Bramble , an immature Black-tailed Skimmer was also sheltering . The only butterflies recorded were Large and Small White and a single Small Heath .
After lunch , a quick visit to Spring Park Pond , found the pond almost without Odonata . A few Common Blue and Azure Damselflies tucked away in the vegetation , and a single male Broad-bodied Chaser , at rest with a smile on his face . Why a smile on his face ? Those two marks on the sides , half way down his abdomen , are where a female grasped him as they mated in mid-air , and removed some of the powder blue from his abdomen in doing so . In a sheltered corner , a male Large White was nectaring on Bramble flower , and a Green Hairstreak , not often recorded here , was also found . Along in the small , normally , sheltered meadow , I found a very fresh looking Small Tortoiseshell , flat down on the path . The new brood would not normally be on the wing till July , but the way this year has been going , who knows . Also found , being buffeted by the wind , a very small male Brown Argus . Over the back in the Bracken patch , I found three groups of dark caterpillars , all three in or on a silken web , and all on Common Nettle . Although still very small , I'm reasonably sure they are Peacock caterpillars , as the other species that use Common Nettle , Comma lays single eggs as does Red Admiral , and Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars are black with broken bands of yellow . Also recorded were Holly Blue and Small and Green-veined White . A couple of day flying moths were also found ,
Cinnabar moth ,and Burnet Companion , not usually found posing on Bramble .