Friday, 23 May 2014

Friday 23rd. May 2014

After Monday's away day , a catch up on some visits made during the rest of the week .
A trip to Hutchinsons Bank failed to find a fresh emergence of Glanville Fritillary , but whilst
looking , I did come across this Glow Worm / Lampyris noctiluca larvae , looking very similar to a Ladybird larvae , but larger and with different markings . Also found were two species of
Ichneumon , a very large family , with over 2,000 in Britain alone , so needless to say , I am having
trouble identifying them . If anyone has any ideas , I would be grateful to hear . Always a problem to
photograph as they just don't stay still . Another of the site's rarities is just coming into flower , Greater Yellow Rattle / Rhinanthus angustifolius , not to be confused with the much more common Yellow Rattle / R.minor , a plant on the Red Data list . Also just coming into flower is Kidney
Vetch / Anthyllis vulneraria , a member of the Pea family ,and just in time , as this is the foodplant for the caterpillar of the Small Blue butterfly , the female laying her eggs on the open flowers . Just as
well , as the numbers of the species has increased noticeably recently , although I haven't yet spotted
a female , which like many of the Blue females , has a brown upper wing colouring .
A very poor butterfly transect at High Elms LNR , almost turned into an Orchid hunt on my way
round , finding Birdsnest Orchid , for once out in the open , in full flower , and several of the White
Heleborines have come into flower , and the first Broad-leaved Heleborine that I have found this
year , yet to come into flower . Additional Fly and Man Orchids were also found .
This morning I visited Sevenoaks Reserve with very changeable weather and a strong wind blowing
across the site . Very little was found on the water , but overhead , Swift (pictured) , Swallow and Sand and House Martin were hawking for insect low over the water and high overhead . Outside
Tyler Hide , a drake Shellduck was doing his best to get the interest of a female , but she was only interested in feeding and preening . Whilst , on the closest island , a Lapwing was sitting tight on her
nest , a job I wouldn't have fancied with the recent thunder storms . On the way down to Sutton Hide ,
some new arrivals at one of the many nests of the species around the site . 3 of the 4 Garden Warblers heard last visit were heard this time , but not a single sighting . The practice with the Swifts was put to use down alongside Long Lake , when amongst the Odonata seen was a dapper male Downy
Emerald , but only showing in periods of sunshine .
Two success stories to finish on , the Coal Tits have fledged from the bottom of the garden , and the Treecreepers have gone too . I was hoping to see them go but it didn't work out . One of the last shots
I got shows just how well developed they were .


Marc Heath said...

Great write up Greenie, liking that Downy shot, a tricky species to nail with the camera.

Warren Baker said...

Bet you were ages taking that Downy photo greenie, I did the same thing at Sissinghurst the other week!

Nice to see the Coal Tit and Treecreeper producing young, it promises to be a good breeding year so far......if the weather holds!