Sunday, 4 May 2014

Sunday 4th. May 2014

Yesterday morning , arrived early at New Hythe to enjoy more Nightingale song . It took a while to get going , but eventually 10/12 males were busy , trying to out-sing their neighbour . With recent leaf burst , seeing the birds was much harder , if at all , and I didn't manage a single shot on my visit , but the enjoyment of their song , more than made up for that . On the other hand , the Common
Whitethroats , though not as melodious , were quite happy to sit atop their favoured perch and sing their hearts out in full view , especially from the Hawthorns in the scrub areas . Down by the Water Vole ditch , which failed to produce a single sighting this visit , although it is the breeding season for the species so perhaps that is understandable , I found a presumably female Common Whitethroat
busily collecting nesting materials , then dropping down into the Brambles below . The same Hawthorne was being continually visited by a pair of Long-tailed Tits , and I was surprised to see two
or three juveniles being fed on the other side of the path , this one waiting patiently for the next delivery . During the visit , I heard a Cuckoo calling several times , but it had always moved on
before I could track it down . I did eventually manage a long distance shot of the bird in the middle of
the scrub area . Later on I got a shot of it closer , but the sun was almost behind the bird , not exactly what one would hope for . With the Nightingale song diminishing , and yet another Coot family on the Finger Lake , I decided to move on , but not before meeting up with firstly Alan , who put me on to the Hoopoe , which apparently decamped it's field early last week , and the man himself , Phil / Sharp by Nature , who I had arranged to meet to deliver some paperwork .
Before leaving , Phil and I had looked for Odonata on the Finger Lake , but failed to find any , so I decided that if Sevenoaks Reserve had any parking space , I would have a quick look at the meadow alongside Long Lake , and if lucky , see the Garden Warbler that has been seen in the area . Best laid plans , just two teneral damselflies were seen making their maiden flights into the trees , and no sight nor sound of the Garden Warbler . Heading back along the main track , I diverted along the small track which skirts the small pond between Willow Hide and the East Lake , and from thick vegetation alongside the River Darent came the incessant call of the Garden Warbler , albeit unseen . Brief
glimpses as it changed perch was all it allowed , until it settled in an Alder near the metal bridge over
the river , where it preformed brilliantly for a couple of minutes , before it was off again . I headed home for lunch , happy , after which I headed for Burnt Gorse at High Elms , to see if I could find Keith's early Common Blue . Alas that wasn't to be either , but 3 Peacock , 1 Sm. Copper , 6 Dingy Skipper , 6 Gn. Hairstreak , 4 Brimstone , 1 Red Admiral and 4 Green-veined White were recorded before the cloud rolled in .
This morning I did the bird survey at Down House , which wasn't exactly exciting , with 19 species recorded , but that did include Common Buzzard for the second time on site . Just one butterfly , a Peacock was also seen . Checking emails when I got home , I found that Martin had found two Glanville Fritillary earlier in the morning at Hutchinson's Bank , but had to leave to go on a Surrey BC trip to Denbigh's Hillside . So after lunch , I headed to HB to see if I could find them . With perfect conditions , things looked very quiet , apart from the odd Peacock , Brimstone and Dingy
Skipper . But , after a while , I did find one of the two butterflies . As expected it was in pristine
condition , hopefully this will be just the first of many to be seen on the wing in the near future .


Warren Baker said...

They really are superb Butterflies those Glanvilles, maybe i'll get out to see one one day :-)

Well done on the Garden Warbler images too, a hard bird to photograph!

Marc Heath said...

Wow, what a beauty that butterfly is. Sounds like most of the Nightingale population is at New Hythe.

Spock said...

There should be lots of Glanvilles flying over the next three weeks. In an early year like this they can have a second brood in July/August.

Im sure we will have a few visitors, looking for them, but the Glanvilles are easily fond onsite.

Marc Heath said...

Me again, this is very tempting. I have never been to this site. What is the parking like and are they quite easy to find? Maybe thinking early tomorrow morning if I can convince myself!

Spock said...

I will be on site during the day, early morning the bank that they are on is in shade, so not as good before 11am. Limited Parking is in Farleigh Dean Crescent, its better to park halfway up the little road. Today there was a loud event at Frylands Wood Scout Camp opposite the reserve.

Lots of Dingys Grizzled, Brimstones etc.

Phil said...

Hi Greenie. Nice pics, good to see some LT Tit juveniles already.
Found one Hairy dragonfly after you left, pls a couple of Hobbies and loads of Buzzards.
Well done with the Glanvilles!

Alan Pavey said...

Those Glanvilles are stunning Greenie, great stuff :-)