An account of the wildlife I come across and hopefully pictures to bring the account closer
Monday, 2 May 2016
Monday 2nd. May 2016
With weather conditions seemingly unable to settle down and produce a proper Spring , things in the wild are proving a continued problem to find interesting material , but a few have been found on recent outings .
The Glanville Fritillary larvae at Hutchinson's Bank near Croydon seem to have over-wintered well in the Cutting , emerging to feed and sunbathe on suitable days . It looks like the adults will be seen in good numbers again this year , thanks to the ongoing work by Martin .
On another visit , a confiding LTTit posed on Dogwood , but the two Common Whitethroats in the area were not so willing .
Up on the Common , the Green Tiger Beetles chose a warm day to emerge en masse ,
and on arriving home , found Carol entertaining the first Orange Tip of the year in the back garden . We have also recorded a couple of Holly Blues here , but I have seen any elsewhwere .
A visit to New Hythe produced my first Odonata of the year with 3 freshly emerged Large Red Damselflies ,
an accompaniment of Nightingale song ,
backed up by Blackcaps and a few Willow Warblers .
In reasonable conditions , the High Elms butterfly transect failed to record a single butterfly , but plants like Bugle / Ajuga reptans , a member of the Labiate family are starting to add colour to the grasslands .
This time of year also brings predation , as proved by this Blackbird egg found .
Adder numbers up on the Greensand Ridge remain low , but this slough , the cast off skin , proves they are
around . I took it home and fully unfurled the slough , it measured approx. 70 cms .
This 'silverback' could well have been the owner of the slough , and before leaving , managed to find my first
female of the season , so the 'silverback' should be lucky .
A few Common Terns were found at Bough Beech Reservoir , along with the odd Swallow feeding over the
water , but some of the residents take some beating for their breeding , 'punky' , plumage . A look around
the area was similarly quiet , apart from a dozing Tawny Owl .
A trip over the border into Surrey found a distant Red Kite , perched on a fence post . I waited ages hoping that it would fly closer . My hopes were raised when 6 Common Buzzards drifted into view , all interacting
amongst each other . When they got close to the Kite , it did take to the wing , but after initially flying
towards me , about turned and disappeared over the horizon . On the way back home , I stopped off on the Greensand Ridge and was treated to a few seconds of ' handbags ' between two male Adders . Referred to
as such , because of the short time and effort involved , nothing like the 40 minutes non-stop witnessed there last year.
A look up on the Common over the weekend produced 8 Brimstone , one seen here nectaring on Spanish
Bluebells , which seem to be coming more and more common in the wild , and 7 Peacock , but no new
species for the year . In areas where the secondary woodland has been cleared , good areas of Common
Cow-Wheat / Melampyrum pratense , a member of the Lousewort family , are taking the advantage of the increased light , and if the Sheep's Sorrel is anything to go by , there should be good numbers of Small
Copper butterfly seen , as it is one of the foodplants of that species .
The forecast is for better , warmer weather , if it's right , this Spring could start to get it's act together .