Monday, 10 August 2015

Monday 10th. August 2015

A picture catch up on the last week , began with a look in up on the Greensand Ridge and finding 5
Adders . Most were half hidden under heathland vegetation , but this male was sunning himself on a log .
A look in at Keston Ponds on the way home , finally found a few Small Red-eyed Danselfly / Erythromma viridulum . This species seems to be slowing up in their colonisation in recent years , after initially seeming to be making inroads at some pace .
The Holly Blues on West Wickham Common are still in good numbers , with fresh males like this one emerging , seemingly by the day .
All is not so peaceful on the Heather patch , as this Honey Bee found , when it was caught , dismembered and eaten by a Hornet .
The High Elms butterfly transect produced 18 species , the highlights being 7 White-letter Hairstreak , 31 Silver-washed Fritillary ( including 3 egg laying females ) , 8 Brown Argus ( female
pictured ) and 26 Common Blue , a count that already has overtaken the best first brood figure . The dry weather seems to have finished off the Ringlets , with just one recorded , and the golden
underwing of the Comma form hutchinsoni , has been replaced with the standard dark underwing .
Helping with the Down House transect , these results were reflected , but good numbers of Small Copper were recorded . Once again whilst in the large paddock , we made contact with the two Roe
Deer fawns , and just before leaving the site , found a moth on a Black Knapweed head . I thought I was going to trawling the web for an ID , but fortunately Marcus emailed me before I got started ,
Dusky Sallow . Also found on the way round was a female 'long-winged' Roesel's Bush Cricket ,
similar to the one Phil / Sharp by Nature found loafing in his garden on a chair .
A look up on the Common found things very quiet , the only interest found was the flowering of
a few of the Broad-leaved Helleborines , a few because the Deer have browsed the flower spikes of
probably 75% of the plants , which is very disappointing .
I have made a couple of visits to the slope below Biggin Hill Airport , and on one of these recored 11 species on a very small site . Having found male Chalkhill Blues previously , it was good to find the
first female of the year , and by the time I passed returning to the car , she had been found by one of
the males and they were starting on next year's population . Also seen , a Common Buzzard that flew
over continuously calling . On a much greyer day , as I passed Keston Church , the unmistakable shape of a Red Kite drifted over . I jumped out and fired off a couple of shots without having a
chance to adjust any settings .The result was a silhouette , but on the computer , I managed to lighten
things up .
A few insects I have found , starting with Hoverflies :
Another of the larger species , Volucella inanis ,
to one of the smallest , Sphaerophoria scripta .
An unusual Sawfly , Tehthredo marginella ,
a fly of the Conopid family , Physocephela rufipes , which is parasitic on the larvae of Bumblebees .
A flower I don't see very often these days , Soapwort / Saponaria officinalis , a member of the Pink family . Sometimes double flowering specimens are found , but these are cultivated garden escapees .
And finally , I found this female Southern Hawker , crashing about in the carport the other day . I
grabbed a mop from the garage and encouraged her to settle on the head . When quietened down , I managed a few shots before taking her into the back garden , where after a bit of cleaning up , she flew off .

1 comment:

Ken. said...

Nice posting, plenty of species of animals/creatures, big and small. You must have pleased with seeing 5 Adders, plus 18 species of butterfly was a great days find.
Not so sure about the bee being disposed of in that way, but that's nature. The Red Kite was a lovely surprise, not having your camera on the right settings wasn't so bad, you got some records shots, thats what counts.