Thursday, 6 September 2012

Thursday 6th. September 2012

Firstly , a couple of bits of interest during local visits this week . The High Elms butterfly transect produced 11 species , and also a squadron of flies that were all intent on being in the correct position
on one particular leaf , or were they the fly equivalent of the Red Arrows working out a new manoeuvre ?  In the lake at South Norwood Country Park could juvenile Coots cause a diplomatic
problem over the ownership of the floating log ? Fortunately , the Red-eared slider / Trachemys
scripta elegans managed to summon up some support and the Coots decided discretion was the better part of valour . Today , I made an early start , and headed for Ashdown Forest , to see if I could catch up with a couple of Odonata species which have given me the slip so far this season . Arriving at Old Lodge Reserve in bright sunshine , but with a chill in the air , I decided to do some birding before concentrating on the Odonata , but walking along the top path , there was just nothing seen or heard . As I reached the gulley , I was pleased to see something , as four Fallow Deer crossed nervously
between two areas of cover . Down at the bottom of the gulley I could see movement and headed
there , but it turned out to be a few Chiffchaffs , one hanging around just long enough to get a shot . Green and GS Woodpecker were heard but not seen along the wires at the far side of the reserve . As I started down the hill to the small stream , the 'cronk' of a Raven was heard on the MoD land , but once again , the bird was not seen . The stream produced , nothing , but it was still quite chilly . On the way up the other side of the small valley , some more small birds were seen , and on getting
closer , they turned out to be a group of Spotted Flycatchers , along with one or two very active Common Redstarts . As I watched and tried to get a shot of one of the Redstarts , a couple arrived from the top and enjoyed the busily feeding birds as well . They left , heading down where I had come from , and almost immediately put up a couple of Wood Larks . One of them flew up into the
same trees as the Sp.Flys , and before it moved on , I got a quick shot . I carried on trying , and failing to get a Redstart shot , when , what I think was the other Woodlark , flew in and landed on the other
 side of the path , about 15 mtrs. away . I watched it for a while , searching for food on the ground , before eventually being lost from sight . I moved on to the small ponds half way up the hill , but , apart from the odd Common Darter and a roving male Southern Hawker , the only ineterest found
was a well mature male Keeled Skimmer . I decided to head down hill to the stream again , to have another try for my target , the Golden-ringed Dragonfly . It was a bit warmer now , but still it was just Commopn Darters that were found . I was just about to give up , when a glint of sunlight caught my
eye in the vegetation on the far bank , amazingly , just a couple of metres away from where I had the Diving Beetle on my last visit . The male GrD was being constantly harrassed by the Common Darters and eventually flew down beyond some Willows , still on the far bank . I came back to the bridge and crossed to the other bank to see if I could refind it , which I did , but also found a second
male , right where the stream flows onto the MoD land . Very soon afterwards , the two male started scrapping , and both were seen off by a male Southern Hawker , neither to be seen again . By now ,
female Common Darters had started arriving at the stream , and very soon after that , pairs in tandem were ovipositing in numbers . Heading back up the hill again , there was no sigh of the feeding birds , and nothing new at the ponds , so I slowly made my way back to the car along the top path . One third of the way back , I re found the feeding group , more out in the open , and managed to get a few
more shots of the Sp.Flys , and this time managed just two shots of one of the Common Redstarts ,
but it still wasn't willing to come right out into the open . The rest of the walk back to the car was almost in silence , and for once , not a single raptor was seen or heard on the visit .


Marc Heath said...

Great report, would love to see a Golden ringed dragonfly,one for next year I presume.

Marianne said...

What a great day you had. The Golden-ringed is a stunner - I've never seen one in England. Nice Woodlark pics too :)

Warren Baker said...

Now those flies must be doing that for a reason Greenie, nothing is just coincidence in nature ;-)

I wish I could get a photo of a Redstart! Well done mate :-)

Rohrerbot said...

Love your findings.....have to admit...those flies look like they have a plan:)

Mike H said...

A great trip to Old Lodge greenie, lovely to see those Golden Ringed very jealous never seen one!

ShySongbird said...

They were definitely preparing to outdo the Red Arrows Greenie. Well done with the Golden-ringed Dragonflies and the nice selection of birds.

Very amusing photos of the Coot versus sliders. The deer photo was lovely too, they were looking very Bambi like in the sunshine.

Ken. said...

Nice to see you finally caught up the a Golden Ringed Dragonfly.
A well deserved visit. said...
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