Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Tuesday 4th. October 2011

Like most , the temperatures of the last week or so have made finding anything of interest very difficult . I have been out most days , but hot and sweaty was basically all that I got . A few things did turn up , which I have rolled together into one post .Since the last post , Carol has had two and myself one , further sightings of Hummingbird Hawkmoth , both being in the garden .
One morning , before things got too hot , I found this Speckled Wood there , and the low angle of the
sun gave a different photo opportunity to normal .
A look around High Elms produced the small disc shaped Bisporella citrina / no common name .
In a previous post , I mentioned Feral Pigeons landing on the surface of the Farm lake , and on a
recent visit , managed to get a shot of this happening . The water depth would have been 2/3 feet , and this time the bird managed to take off again , having cooled it's underparts . That was obviously
not the outcome , when this individual tried the same manoeuvre some time previously .
A few dragonflies were recorded on that visit , the most photogenic being this male Migrant Hawker
On the edge of the nearby arable field , I found Common Flax / Linum usitatissimum .
Back in the garden again , on my return , Carol had found a female specimen of the Southern Oak
Bush Cricket / Meconema meridionale , a species that Alan / Sissinghurst Birds posted , found in a moth trap a while back and identified by the yellow making along the length of the abdomen . The
first recording was in 2001 and have now been recorded as far North as Nottingham ,
and all this by an insect without wings . How did they get here and spread Northwards , like many other immigrants the most likely answer is in/on lorries using the Channel Tunnel .
Today saw a dramatic change in the weather with grey clouds draped across those bright blue skies . Thinking that this would encourage the rut at Knole Park , I set off for another visit . I got there early , before the gate opened , so had to park along the back road and walk to the high ground by the
 house . Whilst on that walk , I'm sure I saw more Green Woodpeckers than Fallow Deer . Three bucks were in their pits around the high ground , but no sign of any females , and even the bucks trotted off into the Bracken as I approached . I saw probably five bucks , all in the Bracken /wooded
area , just below the high ground , and even witnessed a skirmish between two of them , but it could not be considered as rutting , more  'you're in my way , shift' . On my way back to the car , I spoke to a local walker who said that many of the Deer had been rounded up and sold / sent to the abattoir , since the arrival of a new gamekeeper . This could well explain why so few animals have been seen on visits this year , compared to those in previous years . I had time to visit Sevenoaks Reserve on my way back home , and found it pretty much as I left it last time . I headed straight to Willow Hide ,
 where all the disturbance was coming from the Coots , who were practising their 'square dance' routine , where four form a square , and attempt to do damage to each other , usually reserved for
Spring , but they they didn't seem to mind . Just one different species out on the water , a Wigeon , a female I believe . I am still waiting to get a Kingfisher on the sticks outside the hides , but got closest
so far , when this individual landed briefly on the stick that has fallen into the water on the right , looking out of Willow Hide . A few seconds later , it dived , caught a fish , and disappeared as quickly as it came . Just a shame the light was so bad , would have loved to have got it in last week's sunshine . The only other interest found , was this male and female Teal , that dropped in to have
their 'wash and brush up' .


Alan Pavey said...

Lots to catch up on there Greenie, I don't think I've seen the pigeon thing before, obviously a work in progress for them!! Nice Speckled Wood shot the light is great.

Warren Baker said...

Seems you had to settle for rutting Coots then Greenie :-)

If you think you have trouble with Kingfishers, look at my blog today :-)

Warren Baker said...

hooray - ....a blog I can comment on!