Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Wednesday 19th. August 2015

A look up on the Common failed again to find any Purple Hairstreaks but a couple of butterflies did make it into the viewfinder ;
a pristine male Brimstone ,
and a very fresh Brown Argus .
Only other interest found was lots of stunted , like many other plants this year , specimens of Common Toadflax / Linaria vulgaris , a member of the Figwort family .
The first of two High Elms LNR butterfly transects was carried out in a brief sunny spell in an otherwise cloudy day , and the results reflected this , but it was my only chance that week . Just 12 species , including 15 Brown Argus but only 7 Silver-washed Fritillary and not a single White-letter Hairstreak .
A visit to Sevenoaks Reserve became a day of reflections , as the only opportunity to photograph a
Kingfisher was when one perched briefly in the Willow on the island outside Willow Hide . Plenty of sightings , but not a single landing on the stick in front of the hide . Whilst waiting , this juvenile
Grey Heron proved a bit more obliging . A pair of Gadwall began the reflections theme ,

An unexpected reflection came when a Green Sandpiper flew in . It spent a lot of time out of view ,
Not to be out-done , a Little Egret , that had been preening up in a tree on the left-hand island ,
decided it was time to reflect on looking for a meal .
The tiniest of Little Grebes joined in ,
as did it's Great Crested relation . Eight species of butterfly were recorded , all in small number , and Odonata were represented by Brown , Southern and Migrant Hawker , an immature male of  the latter
being the only one willing to be photographed . Damselflies were represented by Common Blue , Blue-tailed and Small Red-eyed . The walk back to the car , produced a pair of Speckled Bush-
crickets enjoying the sun on an Alder leaf , the female on the right , sporting her scimitar shaped
ovipositor , and on a flowering Hogweed , a Rose Sawfly / Arge pagana , showing it's orange / yellow abdomen .
A visit to White Hill , above Shoreham railway station , a site managed specifically for Chalkhill Blues , found reasonable numbers , 75+, several females amongst that figure , but I have seen many more on site in previous years . 10 species in total were recorded , including another 7 Brown Argus .
A couple of Treble Bar , day flying moths were also seen , a species I personally haven't seen much of in recent years . The strangest sighting was when I spotted something yellow down in the grass .
It turned out to be just a male Dark Bush-cricket , but it was the first time I had seen the underside of
it's abdomen and certainly caused some head scratching before it was sorted out .
Today's HE butterfly transect was in better weather this morning , though it clouded over as I got back to the car park . 16 species were recorded , 29 Silver-washed Fritillary , with over 50% of those
being female , although some of them are rather tatty to say the least , but things look very good for
next year . Several fresh Peacocks were recorded , hopefully , Winter will be kind to them in hibernation , to emerge and breed next Spring . Several Hawker dragonflies were seen on the way
round , Brown , Migrant and on Burnt Gorse a very smart male Southern Hawker , posed in the sunshine .
And finally , a moth found sheltering on the back of the house from the overnight rain , turned out to
be a Willow Beauty . Many thanks to Martin for the ID .


Warren Baker said...

I may well make a visit to Sevenoaks tomorrow Greenie, I think the stick is too far away for kingfisher images, so i'll wait for that Green Sandpiper to drop in! :-)

Phil said...

A very nice post on reflection Greenie!

Ken. said...

What a stunning colour that crickets underneath is. I suppose normally you would have to be knee high to a grasshopper to see it.
Well done with the Kingfisher shot.