Saturday, 7 June 2014

Saturday 7th. June 2014

Thursday morning , I made a visit to Sevenoaks Reserve , hoping to find and photograph Odonata , heading straight for the small meadow alongside Long Lake . In the vegetation along the way , a few bits of interest were found including ,
the first of the large hoverflies found this year , Volucella pellucens ,
a pair of mating Harlequin Ladybirds ,
a Potters or Masonry Wasp / Ancistrocerus gazelle or A.parietum ,
and this strange fly with tucked under abdomen , Sicus ferrugineus .
The small meadow proved again , disappointing for Odonata , with just a few damselflies to be found , but the still singing , but not seen Garden Warbler was well worth while . On the way back I
looked in the fishermens swims along Long Lake , finding a male Banded Demoiselle , displaying to passing females , and a bit further on , another opportunity , after best part of an hour trying , to get
Downy Emerald in flight . Around at Tyler Hide , the islands were very quiet , but a Little Ringed Plover was flitting between islands , then landing on the waters edge out from the hide , but a long way off . Slowly it worked it's way towards the hide and I took shots as it did so . Still some distance
away it flew back to the islands , this being the last shot before it did so . On the way to Sutton Hide ,
a nice show of Biting Stonecrop / Sedum acre . Slingsby Hide produced a few Reed Warblers moving amongst the Phragmites , and a single male Reed Bunting defending his tree against all-comers . On
the way to the car , I stopped near the viewpoint to get a shot of the pair of Egyptian Geese with their 5 youngsters . I then spent the afternoon up on the Downs , looking for butterflies and Orchids . I
must admit , the latter were easier to find than the former , with Fragrant Orchid in their thousands . It really was a matter of watching every step taken , and Pyramidal Orchid look like they are going to
have a good year too . The most pleasing find though was 21 Bee Orchids in four groups , all on the
same South facing slope . AS I stated before , it was a different story with butterflies , as , although 12 species were recorded , numbers were very low , with just 65 being recorded . Taking 29 Common Blue and 6 Brimstone off the total , it shows how bad things were , in perfect conditions . There were
some high spots , like a very worn female Painted Lady I found nectaring non-stop on Dogwood , my
first Meadow Brown of the year , one of four recorded and my first , Kent , Large Skipper of the
year , one of four recorded . Just before getting back to the car , I came across some horses , Cobs I
think , in a field . Three of them had youngsters with them .
Yesterday I did the High Elms butterfly transect , prior to the forecasted heavy rain today . My fears re. butterfly numbers were enhance when , by the time I crossed the lane from the Conservation fields , only 4 specimens were in the book . The fenced off Conservation field did not produce a
single specimen . Only highlight was a female Broad-bodied Chaser , found on Bramble around the edge . The walk to Burnt Gorse was almost barren of butterflies , as was the top under the power
lines . The only excitement came at the far end , when I found another Painted Lady , Small Tortoiseshell , 2 Peacock and a fresh female Speckled Wood , all nectaring on Bramble flower . In total 32 butterflies from 9 species were recorded , and that total consisted mainly of 12 Common Blue and 8 Speckled Wood . The frightening thing is that in a couple of weeks time it will be Mid Summer . I did find two more Bee Orchids on the way round , bringing the total to 10 on site . On the vegetation along the way back to the car though the golf course , I found another variant of the
Harlequin Ladybird . And finally , whilst we were having breakfast this morning , we noticed this
Wood Mouse having his , clearing up under the feeders , taken through double glazing .

1 comment:

Phil said...

I've noticed a decline in butterflies at NH recently Greenie and it's the same in my garden at the moment.