Sunday, 19 May 2013

Sunday 19th. May 2013

Yesterday morning , I set out looking for damsel/dragonflies at Spring Park Pond , and found none . I moved on across the border into Surrey , to look for butterflies at Hutchinson's Bank , a chalk grassland site managed by London Wildlife Trust , arriving just as the milky sunshine disappeared . The breeze got up and the temperature dropped , but I had a look around the site , sadly not finding a single Orange Tip egg on Garlic Mustard along the bridlepath . Last year , almost every other plant had an egg in it's flower head . A look in the woodland did produce a good show of Woodruff /
Galium odoratum , a member of the Bedstraw family , but very late coming into flower . This is the only place locally where I find this plant . I did find a single Green-veined White on the way back to
the car , and also some Common Vetch / Vicia sativa , a member of the Pea family . Undeterred , and convinced that Burnt Gorse at High Elms LNR would put things right , I set off after lunch for a look . Conditions were not brilliant , but well over an hour searching produced 3 Dingy Skippers . I mentioned recently that Common Milkwort could be found in several colour combinations , and
found the lilac / white variety whilst there . I looked in on the Orchid Bank on my way back to the
car , and was pleased to find my first Fly Orchids of the year . Three specimens , two in flower really made my day , especially as they are so difficult to spot . This shot is of the plant pictured above , and
 has already been cropped . The orchid is in the middle of the picture . This orchid , Ophrys insectifera , gives off sex pheromones that attract male Digger Wasps , and the Wasps try to mate with the flower , resulting in the flowers being pollinated . Once the female Wasps emerge , the Fly Orchids are left alone . Also in flower now are the Common Twayblades , but with green flowers
they are not the showiest of flowers . On the lane back home , the Greater Celandine / Chelidonium majus , is already in flower along with it's Lesser relation . The Greater is a member of the Poppy
family , whereas the Lesser is part of the Buttercup family .
This morning I visited a reptile site almost overlooking the M25 , in an attempt to get back on track , as my last few reptile searches have been terrible . The conditions were very good , thin cloud with the warmth of the sun coming through . Two hours later , another failure , without a single reptile found , I must be losing my touch . Interest found on site included a very freshly emerged Burnet
Companion , a day flying moth , a very mobile sawfly with incredible eyes , that I haven't been able
to identify yet , any suggestions would be gratefully received . Many thanks to Phil / Sharp by Nature , who suggested Rhogogaster picta . I don't think it is that , but because of the family put forward by Phil , I have done some more digging , and think it is R. viridis . Many thanks again Phil for pointing me in the right direction . Just one butterfly , a Small White was all that was recorded . Heading home along a narrow lane , I nearly ran down this male Pheasant
when it appeared from my left and ran across in front of me . I braked , he stood on the other verge with a look that it was all my fault . Further along I spotted something in a field and pulled over hoping that it was a Brown Hare , but it turned out to be a pair of Red-legged Partridges , but as I
watched them feeding a Common Buzzard drifted over the trees beyond , and I wondered what would happen if it drifted over the pair . But the Buzzard drifted harmlessly beyond the trees and out of sight . Back home , whilst having lunch on the patio , a female Orange Tip visited the garden to
nectar on the Honesty .


Warren Baker said...

Its proving quite a frustrating spring Greenie, I am loosing hope !

Nice bit of info on the wild flowers, something I know very little about :-)

Phil said...

Hi Greenie.
Try Rhogogaster Picta for your Sawfly....not entirely sure though.

Greenie said...

Phil ,
I think you have the right family , but R. viridis seems to fit the bill .
Thanks for your suggestion .

ShySongbird said...

Sorry to have missed commenting on your last couple of posts Greenie :-( I actually thought I had on the one with the Green Hairstreak and the Early Purple Orchid, it was lovely to see both of those and interesting info on the GH too.

You had a lovely series of photos on the Common Tern post, great stuff!

On this post I particularly enjoyed seeing the Fly Orchid, I don't think I've ever seen one but my goodness the photo showed you need very sharp eyes to spot them! I was a given a very nice book on orchids last year and read there about the wasps, really fascinating. Lovely photo of the Orange Tip. Great photo of the Pheasant also and it sounds like it had a great escape too ;-)