Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Tuesday 8th. October 2013

Firstly , many thanks to Ken / Focusing On Wildlife for offering Tenthredo livida for the sawfly on the last post . I checked that species , but it didn't quite fit , but the Tenthredo images on Google , after much searching , did turn up it's identity , Tenthredo serotinus , also known by Apethymus serotinus , so between us Ken , we managed to solve that one , thanks for your help .
Secondly , I hadn't expected to post again so soon , but I noticed a report of 10 Long-tailed Blue being seen inland from Reculver on the north Kent coast . With my brother visiting in the afternoon , I decided to make another attempt to find the species , leaving early on Monday morning , hoping to get back for the visit . Once again , Wrotham Hill made me wonder if I was doing the right thing , as all lights on the car , including front and back fogs were on going over the top , but as I travelled further on , brightness was showing in the direction I was heading . I arrived at the car park at Reculver Towers just about 0900 , in beautiful sunshine , albeit still a bit nippy . I checked the rocks for Black Redstart but none were found . The tide was on it's way in as I started along the seawall to Coldharbour . At the Wantsum outfall , a few Brent Geese were feeding , and two of them , one a
black-bellied , the other pale-bellied , posed to show the differing sub species . A bit further along , two waders caught my eye , one was a Redshank , and the other larger bird , I think is a Bar-tailed
Godwit going by that slightly upturned bill , but as ever stand to be corrected . Not much else around as I approached Coldharbour , but there was work going on with heavy machinery all over the place , and a tractor ploughing the fields inland . At Coldharbour I headed inland towards the railway embankment , then left towards the Wade crossing , where the butterflies had been seen on Sunday . I started to find Everlasting Pea plants , some still with the odd flower , as I got closer to the Wade crossing , and scanned every flower . No butterflies were seen , until one was disturbed from the path in front of me , which flew just a few metres , then landed again . It was a worn specimen and it was blue , but I couldn't be sure which blue until I took a couple of shots and enlarged them on the
screen . Joy of joys , it was my first Long-tailed Blue , and I managed a few more shots as it warmed up in the sun . Finding one so quickly , I thought there must be several more around , but it was not to be , as for the next 90 minutes , even with a second pair of eyes , another enthusiast who had seen the reports looking as well , there were no further sightings . It became like Kingsdown Leas , constant patrolling , checking every flower , but finding nothing . By now the temperature had risen quite a bit and I was down to just a tee shirt , but it triggered several Whites , a Peacock and a couple of Commas onto the wing , then another small butterfly dropped into the grass on the side of the path , but didn't open it's wings . Once again I took shots and checked then on the playback , and there was
the unmistakable stripes of the LtB underwing . I called the other chap and he too was able to get his
first shots . A while later , I found this specimen on a Pea flower , and once again the other chap came
running . The sightings continued for about 45 minutes , with long spells between , with this being
the final specimen , after which sightings , probably 4/5 males , finished as quickly as they started . Another chap came along from the Plumpudding Stables end and said that he had sen a single female down that end , which would have put the icing on the cake . When the other chap left for lunch , I stayed on but didn't have any further sightings . I gave up and headed back to the Towers with time to get home before my brother's arrival . On the walk back a few bits of interest were found , including ,
Salsify / Tragopogon porrifolius , a member of the Daisy family , and a close relative of Goatsbeard / T. pratensis , found on grassland ,
4 of 6 Little Egrets that were roosting over high tide in a drained lagoon at the oyster farm ,
and , on one of the rock groynes , a flock of Sandering , also waiting for the tide to turn .

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

Well done on seeing your first LTB'S Greenie, I didn't think there would be any Butterfly species left for you to add to your sightings in England!