Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Wednesday 1st. May 2013

First job this morning was the bird survey at Down House . It was chilly to start , but warmed up somewhat during the survey , which was more than could be said for the survey itself . An average count of 21 species , produced nothing special , with just two migrants recorded , two singing
Blackcaps , which could have been over-wintering birds . Three Song Thrushes , this one on one of the formal lawns and a flyover Common Buzzard were about the best of the list . In the Sandwalk
woodland , the parasitic Toothwort - Lathraea squamaria , a member of the Broomrape family , looks as if it is going to have a good year . A look in on the Common on the way home , found the LTTit nest intact , especially after hearing from John that the one we had watched being built on the small reserve has been predated . I almost managed to photograph a female Brimstone egg laying , but she
flew just as I got to the Buckthorn that she was laying on , but her freshly laid egg was attached to the fresh new leaves , a first meal for the caterpillar when it emerges . The female only flew a short
distance before resting , then flew off to continue her laying . After lunch , I headed for High Elms LNR , to do the first full butterfly transect of the year . Once again , recording was very slow , but it was warmer now . Just 25 butterflies were recorded over the 2 hour transect , from just 6 species . Peacock (10) topped the list , with Brimstone (7) , Orange Tip (4) , Comma (2) and singles of
Green-veined and Small White bringing up the rear . I had hoped to find one of the early Skippers ,
Dingy or Grizzled , or even a Green Hairstreak , but it wasn't to be . Whilst on Burnt Gorse , I met up with fellow enthusiast Keith , also hoping for the same species that I was looking for , but at least it gave a chance to catch up , good to see you again Keith . Only other interest found was a small group
of Coltsfoot -Tussilago farara , a member of the Daisy family , much already gone to seed , along the bridle path , I don't remember seeing it in that spot before .


Marc Heath said...

Love the Brimstone shot, one of my targets to get this year.

Spock said...

Hi Greenie

No sign of Dingy,Grizzled or Green Hairstreak yet, which you seem to confirm also. Had a good Hutchinsons Bank transect today 42 butterflies of 8 species, and we had 2 small tortoiseshell males off transect also.

Marianne said...

Very nice to read about the early butterflies. I'm looking forward to the spring skippers and Green Hairstreaks too. There seem to be plenty of Peacocks out now, in various states of repair.

ShySongbird said...

Good to see the Song Thrush Greenie, not such a common sight as they used to be unfortunately, definitely not in my garden anyway.

Lovely to see more butterflies. I've been unwell and unable to get out to look for them throughout the better weather, so frustrating!

Spock said...

Grizzled Skippers are about at Hutchinsons Bank today 3rd May, so should be about over the weekend.

There has also been a sighting of Green Hairstreak in Surrey, so again these should be starting to appear