Saturday, 23 May 2015

Saturday 23rd. May 2015

A cool , windy visit to Sevenoaks Reserve , in the hope of Garden Warbler , proved a failure , with not a single note being heard , never mind a bird being seen . The usual mixed Gull and Goose flocks were also absent from in front of Tyler Hide , but at least one Little Ringed Plover , seemingly
arguing with a Lapwing over territory on the furthermost island , did give a photo opportunity , albeit distant . Nothing out of the ordinary found until reaching Kingfisher Hide , where Wren was building a nest behind an open flap . Just hope nobody closes it . Several Reed Warbler singing around
Slingsby Hide , and a male Reed Bunting arrived with food and dropped into the reedbed in front . The Egyptian Goose family seems to be reduced by one gosling to 10 , but the remainder are growing
very quickly . Walking down to Long Lake , more exposed to the cool wind , just the odd immature damselfly was seen , everything else was sheltering . But when I got to the clay spit and looking over towards Tower Hide , House and Sand Martin , Swallow and Swift , were all making the most of the
conditions , hawking insects from just above the lake surface on the way up towards the Visitor
Centre , before returning to the far end to start over again . At least it gave an opportunity for some
in-flight practice , though once again the subjects were distant , in the middle of the East Lake , the
Swift proving most difficult to lock onto and sending the AF into a nervous breakdown . A stop on the Common on the way back home , found one of the Long-tailed Tit nests , that I have been
watching being built , lying out in the open and ripped apart , most probably by Corvids . The amount of work and the number of feathers which lined it was just incredible .
The Butterfly Transect at High Elms LNR seems to be going from worse to worse , with just 19 butterflies of 9 species being recorded on the two and a half hour transect . The only high spot was
my first Large Skipper of the year . Doing much better are the orchids , with a late specimen Early
Purple Orchid , the only one I know of on site , 5 Bird's Nest Orchids , which have shot up all of a

sudden , and the first White Helleborine to come into flower , a really robust specimen this one . Other than those , Man Orchid has increased to 17 , and Fly Orchid to 23 . Other interest found were
4 iridescent green beetle on a Hawkweed flower . There are several similar species , but I think these could be Green Dock Beetle / Gastrophysa viridola , but as ever , open to correction , and an Oak
Apple , about the size of a large conker , and formed by the larvae of a gall wasp of the family Cynipidae , not to be confused with the Oak Marble Gall which is also found on the same tree species .
A couple of visits to Hutchinsons Bank , when the sun was shining , most important to have any chance to see the Glanville Fritillaries on the wing proved successful , finding visitors from as far
away as Bristol enjoying the sightings . Numbers are really good , with Martin recording 33 GFs on
his transect this week . Just hope this cloudy , cool weather passes soon , and have something better , in the hope of successful breeding for the species . Also on site , the Small Blue has emerged , but in very small numbers . I have only seen 3 individuals , a mating pair and a singleton , some good

weather would help them too . Another Painted Lady was found yesterday , but it looked absolutely
exhausted , managing only to make short flights before landing again . I think it will be fingers
crossed for this butterfly too .
And , finally , the reader might remember the Emperor moth caterpillars that I was entrusted with last year , that hatched earlier this year , including a deformed female which I 'hung up' hoping for a male to find her , which did happen , and she laid around 30 eggs on Gorse , which on advice , I brought
home . Well , those eggs are now hatching and the caterpillars will be returned to the wild when they have grown on a bit . The story has now gone full circle .

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

very short on Butterfly species here this year Greenie :-(

You've got some ''keeper''shots there mate :-)