Friday, 1 June 2012

Friday 1st. June 2012

The way the Broadband connection is playing up , even the provider's engineers can't work out what's happening , it will be a miracle if this post gets completed , but here goes .With a bit of brightness this morning , I set off to do the High Elms butterfly survey , sure in my own mind that things would be better than last time . Truth was , that by the time I finished doing the Conservation fields I had seen far more day flying moths than butterflies , which once again is disturbing . Over the whole transect , butterflies only just outnumbered the moths by four . A single
Cinnabar moth , a favourite of mine , wasn't willing to show any more than closed wings , but Burnet
Companion , 14 recorded , and I'm sure many more were sheltering down in the vegetation . The biggest surprise were 9 Yellow Shell moths , all found in the grass , but when disturbed , headed straight for the nearest trees , and as far from the viewfinder as they could get . Finding butterflies , of any species was really hard work , and finding Orange Tips next year was made even harder ,
when I found that the edges of the path where I had found their eggs on previous visits had been mown , thus destroying the eggs , and this is a Local Nature Reserve . The species tends to fly along the edge of woodland /rides/paths , laying their eggs on the foodplants found there rather than going into the woodland . I emailed the Ranger when I got home and he agrees it has been done by contractors far too early and will make sure that it doesn't happen again , but it doesn't help next
year's butterflies . Once I reached Burnt Gorse , the species list started to grow , but still just a single Green Hairstreak was recorded . A very fresh Speckled Wood was also recorded here , but after
leaving the area , very little else was added to the list . The 29 individuals recorded produce 11 different species , but the majority in ones and twos . On the way round , I did do quite well with
orchids , finding three Man Orchids spread around , the Orchid Bank produced lots of Common
Spotted Orchids , many of which had come into flower since my last visit . The Common Twayblade seems to be having a really good year , they are all over the Orchid Bank , but I found no sign of the
Bird's Nest Orchids in their usual places yet , but whilst looking for them did find several White Helleborine already in flower . The stars of the show though , were two Bee Orchids , with their
flowers in great condition , found within a metre of each other on Burnt Gorse . Many years ago , this
species could be found with ease here , but recently they have become few and far between , so it was good to find these today . Birdwise , nothing out of the ordinary was found , but on the end of the Orchid Bank , the constant calling from a hole in a tree could be heard for quite some distance .
The juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker didn't show very often , but I managed a shot when he did . On the way back home I spotted House Martins at their usual site and along the lane found Greater
Celendine / Chelidonium majus , a member of the Poppy family , as opposed to it's Lesser cousin in the Buttercup family , in flower . And finally , my neighbour knocked yuesterday evening as she had a bird in her front garden that couldn't fly . It was a juvenile Jackdaw , and every time it flapped it's
wings it went backwards , like an ice skater in reverse . The parents could be heard nearby , so it was left where it was . It must have sorted things out , as later I saw it in a bush a couple of houses along , still with parents in attendance .


Alan Pavey said...

Wonderful pics Greenie and a real Man Orchid ;-)

Warren Baker said...

Bloody mowing regimes, whats up with people, it just costs time and money. I suppose someone complained that the edges were untidy! The gang mowers were out on my patch today too - hence the rant :-)

Ken. said...

Those that trim hedges at the wrong time of year are a right pain in the arse, especially on nature reserves.
I have seen it many a time,tractors with cutters flailing the hedges on both sides by the road side at breeding time. Why haven't they been informed by now to wait until breeding season is over. Does it really make that much difference to them if they was to hold off for a few weeks or so? I have seen nests on the ground, and it won't be the last.

Phil said...

I'm still not seeing many butterflies anywhere Greenie. Lets hope things get better.
I've never understood the reasoning behind mowing or strimming the edges of path. They have done it at NH on paths that are about 12ft wide to start with. Gives the dogs somewhere to 'go' I suppose.
Poor little Jackdaw reminds me of myself before my first cuppa every morning!

Rob said...

I'd say butterfly numbers are generally down hereabouts, Greenie. Plenty of Speckled Woods, Holly Blues, a scattering of Orange Tips but little else crossing my path.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Greenie, I definitely, sadly, think butterfly numbers are not what they should be here and the expected, forthcoming conditions don't look good for them!

Lovely photo of the Speckled Wood and I love that photo of the juvenile GSW too.

The mowing was a very bad error and unforgivable on a Nature Reserve! I'm glad you complained!

I do love those Bee Orchids.