Monday, 31 March 2014

Monday 31st. March 2014

Whilst in the throws of painting the outside of the house , I have managed a few visits , resulting as follows ;
A grey , morning visit to Kelsey Park in Beckenham , found the Nuthatch pair 'mudding up' the entrance to their nest hole . At one visit , one of the birds went in , and seconds later , a Rose-ringed
Parakeet clamped itself onto the entrance , then proceeded to attempt to enlarge the hole with it's
strong bill . As it did so 'her indoors' sat a metre away watching , and no doubt giving advice . After several minutes , I became worried about the Nuthatch trapped inside , and with clapping making no difference , I shook one of the bushes below the hole and the two RRPs flew off , for how long I do not know . The Nuthatch emerged immediately , and the pair resumed the repairs . If you remember , last year the problem was a Magpie and the previous year , a GSWoodpecker .
Also seen on he visit , at least 5 juvenile Grey Heron , 3 pictured here ,
a pair of Egyptian Geese , where the Beck enters the lake , and several Coot and Moorhen sitting on nests . A quick look up on the Common with things starting to warm up , found at least 4 Chiffchaffs in song and 10+ Brimstone on the wing , including 2 females .
I made another visit to New Hythe , without being caught this time , hoping for a Nightingale , but failing , but did find a Water Vole that dived down and returned to the bank with a reed stem , which
it started to eat , but then froze when a second animal appeared . The second animal slowly
approached , then the two animals squared up to each other  and had a bit of handbags , with the
original animal retreating , leaving it's meal to the intruder . I failed on the Nightingale , but did have two singing Blackcaps near the Treatment Works entrance .
A visit to the Adder site overlooking the M25 produced this Bloody-nosed Beetle / Trimarcha tenebricosa , so called as when threatened , exudes deep red blood from it's mouth and various joints , to warn off it's attacker . I also doubled my Adder sightings to four males .
An afternoon visit to Hutchinson's Bank , just over the border in Surrey , produced 10 Peacock , 6 Brimstone , 7 Small Tortoiseshell and a Speckled Wood , my first non-over wintering butterfly of the year .

A second juvenile Adder , born last Autumn was found on one visit to the Greensand Ridge , along
with several males , one pictured , and the odd female is also showing up . A subsequent visit this
afternoon found things have moved on somewhat , with this male , above , already in breeding colours , guarding a female . Only time will tell if he will succeed in mating with her , when other males realise she is around .


Alan Pavey said...

Another great selection Greenie, especially love the Voles :-)

Phil said...

Bad luck with the Nightingale Greenie. Usually about the second week in April I think. The Water Voles seem to still be fighting fit at NH, well done for keeping below the radar!

Warren Baker said...

Like the battle of the Voles Greenie, must have been fun to watch :-)