Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Tuesday 9th. September 2014

Well , my outings have been somewhat curtailed , as I have sprung a hernia . My GP has referred me to the hospital , but am still waiting to hear from them . I am still getting out , but have to keep on the flat and not walk too far , which means that I have had to cancel the remaining transects at High Elms , which is where the whole thing came to the surface , so to speak . Annoying , as there were only five more to do for the season . I did manage the Down House bird survey , just , which produced 19 species , but nothing out of the ordinary , and two Roe Deer , but with all the meadows having been cut , much to the disgust of the chap who does the butterfly survey , they saw me as soon as I stepped into the field , and they disappeared into the woodland . A visit to the causeway at Bough Beech early one morning did produce a long distance shot in poor light , of the Wood Sandpiper that
seems to have taken up residence on the main reservoir . Shame about the rubbish in the foreground .
A trip to Hutchinsons Bank found an almost fully grown Elephant Hawk Moth caterpillar feeding on
Rose Bay Willowherb  , showing how the species gets the 'elephant' bit in it's common name . I only managed the bottom of the site , but butterfly numbers were few . A short walk up on the Greensand Ridge looking for young reptiles failed to produce proof of any successful  breeding , but one female
Adder was found , sunning herself . I'm reasonably sure it was one of the females I saw being mated back in the Spring . I also found a specimen of Hedgerow Cranesbill / Geranium pyrenaicum ,
looking very similar to it's more often found relation , Herb Robert / G.robertianum . I spent the weekend reading about the fantastic fall of migrants around the Dungeness area . Waking Monday morning , and with Carol having an old friend over for lunch , I decided to see if I could see some for myself , and arrived at the ARC car park just after 0800 . My initial feeling was that I had missed the boat , and that was how the day panned out . From Hanson Hide , just the common waterbirds , the drive along the entrance track was devoid of birds , not even the Tree Sparrows at the farmhouse , and in particular no sign of the Red-backed Shrike that was seen on the return track the previous afternoon . As I made my way from hide to hide , having a rest at each , I couldn't believe how few birds were on view , and it became obvious that overnight the migrants had made use of the cloudless sky covered in stars , and headed off . Even though I was disappointed , I hope they make it to their
wintering sites . The only shots I got were of a GBBGull in flight , and another , posing with a
juvenile Common , I hope , and a diminutive BHGull in the foreground . The only raptor seen was
this Sparrowhawk , which was soon sent on it's way by the local Magpie gang . A look around the
lighthouse and power station boundary fence , only found a couple of Wheatear , but better than nothing . I decided to have a last look from the screen at the ARC pit , and was pleased that I did , as ,
after a short wait , the Glossy Ibis showed itself distantly amongst the Lapwing , it's plumage reflecting it's name . At the same time , a Spoonbill was busily sleeping on the rocky Cormorant Island . Only other interest found was a first for me , if I have identified it correctly , a female Grey
Bush Cricket / Platycleis albopunctata , a coastal species . Today , I had a look up on the Common ,
finding a smart male Southern Hawker resting on Gorse , and one of three Beautiful Yellow
Underwing caterpillars found feeding on the Heather .


Warren Baker said...

Oh Dear, Doesn't look good for my planned Dunge visit on Friday then Greenie!

Hope the doctors can sort your Hernia out mate, they generally do :-)

roger.wood800 said...

Sorry to hear about the hernia. I had one last year. After a bit of a wait I had the op last October and have been fine since.
All the best for getting it sorted

Ken. said...

So sorry to hear about your hernia. I know what it is like waiting for a hospital appointment, I am still waiting to get a appointment to see my specialist to see what showed up on my epeilepsy scan.
I hope it is not causing you too much pain. Well done with the Glossy Ibis and Spoonbill at Dunge.