Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Tuesday 5th. June 2012

With rain on the cards for the afternoon , and much of the rest of the week too , I set off this morning to do the bird survey at Down House . The strong wind kept the temperature down , and I was expecting the same with the species found on the survey , but it turned out to be an above average visit , with 27 species recorded . Nothing out of the ordinary , but an interesting song competition in the Sandwalk woodland between a Blackcap and a Garden Warbler , another Great Spotted Woodpecker nest , and whilst checking five Common Gulls flying over with binoculars , found lots of Swifts feeding so high that they couldn't be seen without optics . I managed photos of just two
individuals , a Dunnock I found as I entered the large meadow and on the cricket field , a very light
coloured Mistle Thrush which allowed me to get so close , but no further before it flew off . The large meadow also produced several strong specimens of White Helleborine / Cephalanthera
damasonium , I don't recall seeing them here before .It also held a female Roe Deer , which , when I first spotted it , was head down grazing , and with me being down wind of her ,I managed to get
reasonably close in the long grass . But then she looked up , directly at me . It took about six good

bounds , and on the seventh , she was in the safety of the field edge bushes , and that was the last I saw of her . During the survey I failed to see a single butterfly , which is most unusual here , but tucked down in the grass , I did come across a moth which I thought at the time was of the Carpet
family , but looking through UK moths gallery , I think it might be a worn specimen of Small Argent and Sable , but that is only my ID , and my track record with moths is not good . Sure enough , it wasn't . Thanks to Spock and Dean/DDD , for the correct Silver Ground Carpet identification . In the walled
vegetable garden , my third Cinnabar moth in a very short period of time , and the purple relation of
Jack-goes-to-bed-at-Noon , Salsify / Tragopogon porrifolius . On my way home , with the cloud thickening , I had a quick stop at Keston Ponds , finding not a single Odonata , until a male Hairy Dragonfly flew past , the first time I have recorded the species on site . The usual cross breed duck and a couple of Canada Geese , with Coot and Moorhen was as interesting as it got , until I spotted
what I thought was a pair of Mandarin on the far bank . When I got round there , sure enough one
was a smart drake , but the other turned out to be a juvenile , just starting to get his finery , but some
way to go to match Dad . On the edge of Keston Common , the Broad-leaved Helleborines are
showing well , and the semi parasitic Common Cow-Wheat / Melampyrum pratense is already in full flower . Needless to say , the rain moved in after lunch .


Warren Baker said...

Not too bad a visit then greenie. Not the same without finding the Flutters and Dagons/damsels though is it :-( Only had the flutter here today, a Peacock.

Phil said...

At NH this morning just one Hairy dragonfly, eventually. On the butterfly front a couple of Speckled Woods and a single Red Admiral. Dismal, dismal, dismal!
Nice deer shot in the long grass Greenie.
Still haven't seen a Cinnabar yet this year either.

Spock said...

Hi Greenie

I think the moth is a silver ground carpet moth


is a comparable picture

We will be moth trapping at Hutchinsons Bank with Bernard Skinner Friday night, weather permitting.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, deffo a Silver-ground Carpet.

ShySongbird said...

Another enjoyable post Greenie and some lovely photos. The flower is very pretty and good to see the juvenile Mandarin. Beautiful photo of the deer!