Friday, 7 October 2011

Friday 7th. October 2011

First workday of the season up on the Common yesterday , and after the long lay off , needless to say it didn't come easy . The only thing of interest found , was this caterpillar , spotted by one of the
other volunteers , and then asked me what species it was . As luck would have it , after finding the
adult moth during the Summer and identifying it as a Beautiful Yellow Underwing , I looked up the caterpillar , and have spent some time recently , looking on the Heather , the foodplant of the species , whilst walking on the heathland area , needless to say without success .  Tony , who found the caterpillar was just phoning his wife to get a lift home , when he happened to spot it , well camouflaged on the young Heather shoots .
This morning , with the temperature half of what it was last week , I thought I would give Knole Park one last go for the Fallow Deer rut . As I arrived in the area before the gates had opened , I had a very quick look in at Sevenoaks Reserve . Just two cars in the car park didn't bode well , and indeed the lakes were very quiet . That all changed when several skeins of Greylag Geese , a conservative estimate of 200/250 , flew in noisily en mass , and landed in front of Tyler Hide . They would have made a good shot had I been out in the open , but with the canopy still pretty full , it wasn't possible .
The only other interest found was a female Grey Wagtail , which landed in front of Willow Hide ,
and an up close pair of Gadwall from the same spot .
Arriving at Knole Park , not a sinle deer was seen on the way to the car park , and as I rounded the high ground , no sign or sound of any bucks . I did a round of the wooded area around and only sighted a small group of does , no more than 12 in number . Heading back up to the high ground , I met another couple of people with cameras , like me , hoping to witness the rut . One had walked in from the far end of the estate , and hadn't seen a single animal en route . I headed back to the small
valley between the car park and the entrance gate , and found in the distance a group of 10 does , and by the look of them , the majority of the group I had seen earlier . Just one buck was found , but he
wasn't the contender that I had seen on previous visits . The only other interest found was a large
stand of the 'chunky form' of Honey Fungus / Armillaria mellea , and a very inquisitive Jackdaw ,
that kept it's beady eye on me all the way back to the car . On the way out , I had to pass the Fallow
buck , and his attitude seemed to sum up the rut at Knole Park this season .


Alan Pavey said...

Will the rut ever happen Greenie? :-) said...

Nice picture of the gadwalls!
Saludos camperos.

Warren Baker said...

I have the attitude that deer has got sometimes Greenie - can't be arsed :-)

By the way I have changed my web browser to Firefox, and fingers crossed my problem of not being able to comment on some blogs has been resolved.

Try it out if you havn't already, you can run it alongside your old browser and just use firefox for blogging :-)