Monday, 21 May 2012

Monday 21st. May 2012

It took till well after lunch time before any warmth could be felt , so with the first glimpse of the sun , I headed for Slat Box Hill , below Biggin Hill Airport for my first visit of the year . The site was trashed by two Dartmoor ponies that were on for most of the year and I heard through the grapevine that any grazing would be light this year , so the sight of at least 6 feral goats on the site made my heart sink . Also new , two water troughs supplied by mains water have also been installed , so it looks like the site is in for another thrashing this year too . As if to rub salt into the wound , I only recorded 7 butterflies , 2 Brimstone , 2 Large White , 1 Grizzled Skipper , 1 Small Heath and a
Peacock that had obviously been through the wringer before it hibernated . In fact I found more Orange Tip eggs on the way back to the car , 9 in total , but it will take luck for any one of then to
make it to adulthood , especially as two were on the same flower head of Garlic Mustard , and given the caterpillar's cannibalistic tendencies --- . The females usually check for other eggs before they lay their's . I'll try and keep an eye on these two . I also had a look in the meadow on the other side of Salt Box Hill , but it was much more open and windy . Even so , without any goats , I recorded 7 species ,
1 Holly Blue ( male - pictured ) , 1 Small White , 1 Peacock , 3 Small Heath , 7 Dingy Skipper and a
pair of Orange Tips , and I thought I was going to get them mating at one point , but the female had
other ideas , and the abdomen pointing skywards was enough to dampen the male's passion , and it fizzled out before I could get to them . Only other interest found was Horseshoe Vetch / Hippocrepis
comosa , a member of the Pea family in flower , just the Adonis or Chalkhill Blue needed now , perhaps one day . As I got back to the car , I could hear a Yellowhammer calling , but couldn't find it . The call was coming from a cereal crop sown field , the bird must have been calling as it walked about .


Warren Baker said...

I know the feeling of watching prime habitat get ''munched'' to bits greenie, happens here all the time with the bloody sheep!

Thanks for the possible Moth ID on mine :-)

Ken. said...

It is a shame to see these places ruined by grazers. As they say "S--- Happens".

ZielonaMila said...

Beautiful photographs, beautiful nature. I am greeting