Thursday, 20 June 2013

Thursday 20th. June 2013

It was back to the grey skies with the occasional shower , but it was mild . Once again , it wasn't worth travelling , so I stayed local with visits to Keston Ponds , Keston Bog and up on the Common .With the start of the new fishing season on the 16th. of this month , the paths around the top two ponds are full of over-night tents for the dedicated Carp anglers , other anglers just there for the day , water weed dragged out by the anglers and just dumped , and the usual assortment of litter left by those who fished during the first few days of this season . There is always an amount of litter left during the closed season , but when the season starts it multiplies many fold , even though litter bins are provided .Without the sun , just a couple of male Red-eyed Damselflies were seen on the top pond , and down by the road that separates the middle and bottom pond , a freshly emerged specimen
was drying off on the concrete edging . At this point it is very difficult to identify sex as both look very similar . If I had to offer an opinion , I would go for male . Things were very similar at Keston Bog , one of the areas Charles Darwin visited whilst researching his book , The Origin of Species .
Just a handful of immature damselflies and a very fast flying Hawker dragonfly , too fast to get a positive ID , but the size of an Emperor . Amongst the Heather and Bog Asphodel , which has yet to come into flower , I did find a light green spider that I haven't come across before . Fortunately , it insisted on keeping the underside of it's abdomen facing me , which gave the clue to it's identity , a
pink/red spot towards the back end of the abdomen . A trawl of the Web later on , found the Green Orb-weaver Spider / Araniella cucurbitina . A few plants were in flower on the Bog ,
the vibrantly coloured Tormentil / Potentilla erecta , a member of the Rose family ,
Cross-leaved Heath / Erica tetralix , a member of the Heath family ,
and from the same family , Bell Heather / Erica cinerea .
Over on the Common , another search for Bee Orchids was successful this time , with three
specimens being found , and in several places in the same glade , Pyramidal Orchids have started to
flower too . Over on the heathland area three Black-tailed Skimmers were found , amongst them a
male , but he wouldn't let me get within 3 mtrs. before flying further down the path . My master plan to find a Brimstone chrysalis is in tatters , as all the caterpillars on the marked twigs have disappeared from both stands of Buckthorn . With rain starting to fall , I didn't have time to check both stands properly , but I will next visit . Packing away the camera , I was barked at and looking up saw a Roe Deer buck bound through the Heather and into the taller Gorse . I dropped as low as I could behind the Heather and waited . After a few minutes I saw a movement on the edge of the Gorse and then a pair of antlers . I waited for the antlers to move , but they didn't . With the rain getting heavier , I
stood up quickly and came face to face with the buck at about 25 mtrs. distance . The ' Mexican standoff  ' lasted a matter of seconds , before with another series of barks , he turned and bounded out of view . He looked to have a good set of antlers , and after doing a bit of digging on the web , would say he was about 5 years old . Whereas Fallow Deer rut in October , Roe Deer rut mid July-mid August , and although mating takes place then , the egg does not implant and start to grow until January , ensuring better conditions for the newly born in the late Spring / early Summer .


Warren Baker said...

You always manage to find something interesting wherever you go Greenie, no matter how small.

Longest day tomorrow, should be some decent light at some point!

Phil said...

Those fishermen won't take kindly to you calling their bivvies tents Greenie. Seems we both have problems with anglers at the moment.
Like your deer photo.

alan woodcock said...

Hi,interesting day out again.

ShySongbird said...

An interesting looking spider Greenie. Hopefully, I will recognise that one if I see it now. Lovely to see more orchids especially my favourite which really does look just like it has a bee on it.

Great deer encounter and photo. So glad it was him who ran off barking and not you ;-)