Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Wednesday 5th. October 2011

My first stop today was at Down House to do the bird survey . As I arrived in the car park , the sky got very dark , and although no rain was forcasted , 10 minutes of light rain fell , enough to make everything wet under foot . There was nothing unusual found amongst the 18 species recorded , with not a single Summer or Winter visitor showing up , and with no water in the area , the result was reasonable for the site . All three meadows have been cut , and the hay taken off since my last visit , so there was no sign of any Roe Deer . The only other interest found was a ring of large whitish fungi
 on the formal lawns at the back of the house , Agaricus macroporus , in the same family as the Field and Horse Mushrooms .
On the way back home for lunch , I had a quick look in Kelsey Park in Beckenham . Plenty of
Canada Geese and Black-headed Gulls , with just a few bits of interest . A Little Grebe , already in
it's Winter plumage , a couple of unusual Coots , with speckled heads and necks , one pictured ,
more 'Coot rutting' , as suggested by Warren yesterday , and the only Mandarins found on the visit ,
found tucked up in the overhanging bankside vegetation .
Whilst having lunch , the sky brightened considerably , which encouraged me to have another look up on the Downs for young Adders . Those brighter skies lasted for about ten minutes after my arrival , then it was back to the grey stuff with just the occasional sunny interlude . Should not
complain though , as I did find a youngster , not much thicker than a pencil , but still an animal to be
respected , and my question as to whether mating did take place has been answered . A few
butterflies were also recorded , including a very fresh looking female Brown Argus , possibly a third brood specimen , that was found ovipositing on Common Rock-rose , one of the species' food plants .
I thought that I had found it's mate , when another small butterflies was blown past me on a strong wind , landing on a Hawkweed flower to nectar , but when it moved on it turned out to be a female Common Blue . Two fly-by Red Admirals , seven Meadow Browns and a single Small Copper ,
found sheltering in the ground vegetation made up the remainder . Still quite a few Field
Grasshoppers about , but the cooler temperatures on the way , will put paid to them too probably .
Very little colour about , so it was nice to see an Ox-eye Daisy / Leucanthemum vulgare , still doing it's best to brighten things up .


Warren Baker said...

Weird looking Coots Greenie! I still wouldn't turn it down here though :-)

Good to see some flutters still around too.

Alan Pavey said...

I love the Adder head shot Greenie!