Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Wednesday 19th. October 2011

With the hedgelaying season really getting under way now , visits have been somewhat curtailed , but also very thin on interest . A roundup of the visits since the last post reads :Whilst visiting the local tip , a walk around South Norwood Country Park , before returning home , produced my first Winter visitors of the Autumn . A small Finch flock , high in the top of a Silver Birch , contained
at least two Lesser Redpoll , one just about caught on camera , whilst the central scrubby area produced a small number of Fieldfares and Redwings , all feeding on one particular Hawthorn bush , the fruit of which were much deeper red than the rest . Unfortunately these were far too flighty to get a shot of these though . The lake did produce at least 10 Shoveler , mostly males , and these too
seemed very camera shy , keeping well tucked in to the island in the middle . A pair of Cormorants
were feeding in the lake , one appearing very close to where I was standing . As I left the park , a
specimen of Scaly Polypore , Dryad's Saddle /Polyporus squamosus was found on the ground , having been ripped from where it was growing . In the last couple of weeks , I have made three quick visits to Salt Box Hill , to look for the results of the female Hummingbird Hawkmoth that I saw ovipositing . I searched for some time on each visit , but did not find any caterpillars . I did however record several Red Admirals , all heading South , probably on their return migration . I stopped in at the Farm lake on the way home , but of interest , only found this Caddis Fly , which I believe to be
Limnephilus lunatus , but as always , stand to be corrected . I did also record yet another Red Admiral , and this too was heading South .
On Monday , I was hedgelaying on the A25 west of Dorking , and on arrival at the site , alongside
the A25 , I found two Roe bucks in a field , along with the farmer's cattle . As can be seen , they were not in a mood to be photographed . After a good day's hedgelaying , I decided to see if they were still around as we left the site in the late afternoon . Sure enough , they were still in the same field , albeit
further back off the road , and the animal on the left was a different one to the one on the left in the morning , going by the antler growth , so there must have been a minimum of three animals . A quick visit to Sevenoaks Reserve revealed that little had changed , but any chance of finding anything of interest was dashed by a workparty out on the islands on the East Lake , cutting and burning the vegetation . The usual species were seen , with the addition of at least 3 Shoveler . As I passed the
back of the Willow hide , I came across this juvenile Mute Swan that posed in the dappled sunlight .
before proceeding to see me off it's territory . Just a single Speckled Wood was recorded , but there
were still good numbers of Common Darters on the wing , but these will reduce now with the frosty conditions . Today , was the last Dormouse/Reptile survey of the year , and although it was a beautiful crisp autumnal day , the results were low . Just 4 Dormice were found , two at each site ,
all in separate boxes , and included this male with only half a tail . He seems to be getting around all right though , as he weighed in at 21 grams , which should be enough to see him through hibernation . Reptiles were even thinner on the ground , with just 3 Grass Snakes , an adult and two
juveniles being found . Not a single Adder , Slow Worm or Common Lizard were found today . Two Wood Mice and a Short-tailed Field Vole were found under refugia , and birdwise , Marsh Tit , Common Buzzard and at least 7 Bullfinch , 5 of them leaving their roost in tall Bracken , were the
species seen of note . Just one butterfly , a Small Copper was recorded all day , and was found in the same area as the aberrant specimens found on the last survey . And finally a couple of fungi , Fly
Agaric / Amanita muscaria , which had already been munched and seemingly few and far between this season , around here anyway , and , hoping that you are not eating , Cheiltmenia stercorea , no
common name , found on it's favoured habitat , cow dung .


Warren Baker said...

Took me a while to find that Redpoll Greenie :-) I've not had any stay on my patch yet this Autumn, they just fly through - no habitat here for them, might get one in the garden late winter though :-)

Alan Pavey said...

It sounds like you have been busy Greenie, another really interesting read.