Originally , I was going to do a hedgelaying demonstration on the 3 days of the Kent County Show at Detling , but that was scrubbed , and after 3 days toing and froing from Detling , helping to set up the site , and especially given the weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday , I'm quite happy with that decision . As I will be down on Monday , helping to dismantle it all , it would have been seven days straight , worse than being back in full time employment .
Again , given the forecast , I headed out to do the High Elms Butterfly transect , and once again , stopped at the Ash tree clearing on the Common on the way . This is turning into a bad Purple Hairstreak year , as just one quick glimpse of a singleton was all that I got . 7 species were recorded in total , but most of them were singletons too .
Arriving at High Elms , I was hoping for a good result , with Kent Butterfly Conservation arriving for a visit in just over a week's time . Conditions were good , and the results were ,
Large Skipper (2) , Red Admiral (4) , Silver-washed Fritillary (6 , including 2 ovipositing females ) , Marbled White (1 pictured) , Green-veined White (2) , Large White (10) , Gatekeeper (12 male pictured ) , Peacock (2) , Meadow Brown (127) , Speckled Wood (8) ,Small White (11) ,
Brimstone (4 pictured ) , Small Heath (10) , Brown Argus (2) , Ringlet (14) , Common Blue (2) , Small Skipper (23 including ovipositing female , pictured ) , Dark Green Fritillary (1 pictured ) ,Purple Hairstreak (1) , Holly Blue (1) , Comma (4 pictured ) and a very tatty White Admiral pictured ) .A final total of 22 species on the day , and a probable top species count for the transect .
After only just starting to find 6 spot Burnet moths on the wing , I also started counting those found today . All three stages were found , caterpillar , several cocoons , and so many adults that I gave up , but would estimate the number in excess of 50 .
After lunch , a quick look around the Farm lake , where the largest species count were these fish , hundreds of them . I believe they are Rudd , but I stand to be corrected . If they carry on breeding , there will be very little invertebrate life left in the lake soon . Not so many Black-tailed Skimmers today , or Common Darters , but I did record two Brown Hawkers , frequently being harassed by the Emperor Dragonflies . Around them banks of the lake , there are now three clumps of Nettle-leaved Bellflower/Campanula trachelium . Even though she lost all 11 of her first brood , the resident female Mallard has five new ducklings , lets hope they do better . Here she was showing them how to wash and brush up .
Late afternoon , I received a call from High Elms , stating that a lady had reported a Camberwell Beauty on a footpath not far from the site , about two hours earlier . I knew it was a very long shot , but I headed out to the reported sighting . By now , the sun was going off the footpath and the wind was getting up . A large dark butterfly flew past me , but after chasing it down , it proved to be a Red Admiral , no sign of the Camberwell Beauty . But , I did get a sighting of a Roe buck , but in long vegetation , it disappeared before I could get the camera out .
And finally , a moth found at High Elms earlier , that I felt should be called a Double Bar , but it isn't , so , over to the man .