Monday, 11 August 2014

Monday 11th. August 2014

On Saturday , with forecasts of destruction from the remains of 'Bertha' the following day , I set off to do the High Elms butterfly transect , in case nothing would be seen 'post Bertha' . Both species and overall numbers were down again , with just nine species being recorded , the best news being 22 Brown Argus and 46 Common Blue . With both species overwintering as caterpillars , I just hope that the offspring will have the chance to develop before the contractors come in and cut the meadows . The reader will remember that the cutting took place far too early and fiercely in my opinion last year , with the resultant poor numbers of first broods of both species . One can only hope ! 13
Silver-washed Fritillaries was pleasing , more than half being females , who are showing scale loss
and dullness in colour now , but still looking better than the males , especially this specimen . This damage would have been caused by aerial battles with rival males , but also , hopefully , whilst courting and mating . On Burnt Gorse , I found another , or the same , Sitochroa palealis , an unusual
moth for the area , and this time it was willing to pose out in the open , on it's larvae foodplant Wild Carrot . No White-letter Hairstreaks were recorded , but in the bottom glade whilst looking for them ,
came across a specimen of Forest Bug / Pentatoma rufipes , I hope I've got it right this time .
This morning I made a visit to a very windy Bough Beech Reservoir , finding the water level much lower again , and just for Warren , the hedge had been cut . Very little was on the water on the main reservoir , with most birds hauled up on the two points , or on the sheltered bank on the VC side . With the wind blowing straight down the reservoir , the more sheltered North Lake was a bit more populated . Canada , Greylag and two Egyptian Geese decided to depart shortly after I arrived , but I spotted a Tern seemingly resting on some now uncovered concrete . I thought it unusual at the time ,
but it wasn't till I got home and cropped the shot that it was an Artic Tern , possibly , or a Common Tern waiting for the black tip of it's bill to show ? No sign of the Greenshank today , but the Common Sandpipers were seen over the back of the North Lake , but the Green Sandpipers were more mobile ,
this one landing  close in . Keeping out of the wind amongst the vegetation on the concrete apron of
the lake were several moulting ducks and lots of Lapwing . The lower they hunkered down the more sheltered it was . The culvert that passes under the causeway is now visible and seemed a popular fishing spot for a family of Great Crested Grebe , the youngsters still wanting to be fed by the adults ,
but they were having none of it , ignoring the youngsters and sometimes administering the odd nip when they got out of hand . But the adult's way worked , as the youngsters started to catch small fish ,
then this one came up with the biggest one , swimming off with it before someone else snatched it .
All the noise attracted a Little Egret to the area , but the water in the culvert was too deep for it to join in the fishing . The whole time I was there , there was a constant stream of House and Sand Martins , Swallows and a single Swift , crossing the causeway and heading South down the main reservoir , so
I was surprised to find a pair of Swallows , the female on the nest , and the male standing guard , up
in the roof of the open barn at the VC . I would imagine it would be touch and go for a successful fledging for the pair .
And finally , whilst looking for the LE at New Hythe , I found several iridescent , purple beetle on the
Sedges around the lake . I tried to ID them but didn't get very far , so I asked the experts for their opinion . Two species were suggested , both very similar , Donacia marginata and Plateumaris sericea , and the former seems to be the popular favourite .


Marc Heath said...

A bit of everything in this post Greenie, lovely write up and nice shots too.

Warren Baker said...

Good to hear the hedge has been lowered for those of us who are of a shorter stature :-)

Cant tell what that Tern is, think a good chance of Arctic :-)

Phil said...

Nice post Greenie.
Can't comment on the Tern species, I'd have to call it Commic.
Nice late brood of Swallows.

Alan Pavey said...

Good numbers Blues and Argus, fingers crossed they leave the cutting a while. I'm a bit rubbish on terns but the bill doesn't look like it's got any black on the tip?

Ken. said...

Good to know that there are Green and Common Sandpiper at Bough Beech.
As for the Tern I would say that it is a Arctic,not only has it got no black on it's bill, it is paler above than a Common.
Nice pics, especially the one of the G/C/Grebe youngster with a fish.