Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Tuesday 10th. April 2012

Good to see the sun again this morning after a typical Easter weekend , albeit accompanied by a very cool breeze before things warmed up some . With needing to go to the local tip / recycling yard , and as it would have been my old Dad's 101st. birthday today , I did the tip followed by a visit to the cemetery and then a walk around South Norwood Country Park , before lunch . Entering the Country Park from the tram line / cemetery gate , the sound of Spring was most definitely in the air , with at
least 3 male Blackcaps , singing for supremacy over the scrub patch that lays to the far side of the stream . Along with the scrub , Giant Hogweed / Heracleum mantegazzianum , which was abundant
last year , looks as if it is going to more so this year , having already reached 30cms. out of the ground . Searching the ground amongst this , whilst it is able to do so , were a pair of Song
Thrushes , one stopping just long enough to give an over the shoulder photo opportunity . The small area proved to be most productive for birds , with Great , Blue and Long-tailed Tits , House Sparrow and Dunnock , Greenfinch and Chaffinch , Wren , Chiffchaff and Moorhen all showing well , with flyovers from Woodpigeon , Rose-ringed Parakeet and several Corvid species too . But , I'm afraid that was where the species list came to a stop , until I got around to the lake . I did however come across the first of 4 male Orange Tips , looking a bit chilly in the conditions , but of course had the
wrong lens on , but managed just one shot before a dog came around the corner , and he was off . A couple of Small Whites and a Speckled Wood flew past me before I came across the second Orange
Tip , and this time , I had the Macro lens on , but the wind certainly wasn't helping things , and he was disturbed by a young family wondering what I was doing . The third specimen was found down by the lake , having settled on some White Deadnettle whilst the sun went behind one of the many passing clouds . At least I wasn't disturbed this time , and with the butterfly in an almost torpid state ,
I couldn't help but try for the finger shot , and I'm glad to say , he obliged . The expected species were found on the lake and on the way back to the car , and no sign of any nesting at the Kestrel box .
After lunch , I had a quick look up on the Greensand Ridge for reptiles , admittedly with one eye
constantly on the ever darkening sky . I did better than the last few visits , finding a total of 7 Adders , all males . Interestingly , apart from the first specimen , all the others were in their silvery white & black phase , which probably means that mating will begin soon . It was difficult to
find the majority of the animals today , as they were well tucked away , probably to keep out of that
keen wind , and very easy to walk by the likes of these two , one on each side of the shot . The only one that showed really well was this 'doughnut' found on the way back to the car , coiled up to retain
the heat that it had gained from the sun , but now losing with more cloud cover . A very quick stop up on the Common on the way home , found both LTTit nests still intact and the first leaves bursting
on the Buckthorn , hopefully the female Brimstones will be around soon , laying their eggs on this , their only foodplant . The only other interest found was this ladybird , snuggled down in a cluster of Oak buds . I thought at first that it was a Harlequin , but now I think it is one of the variants of the 2
spot Ladybird / Adalia bipunctata . Strangely , the 'normal' insect is red with two black spots , this variant is black with 4 red spots .
Very shortly after arriving home we had the first of the heavy showers .


Jerry said...

Very enjoyable shots. You can't beat a Blackcap in full song!

ShySongbird said...

Ah the times I've tried the ' Greenie butterfly finger ' trick....but it never works for me! Lovely photos of it, I still haven't seen one here yet this year. Nice to see the Blackcap doing what it does so well too.

Good news on the LTT nest, I was wondering if all was still well, fingers crossed!

Warren Baker said...

Another action packed post Greenie, nice macro work :-)