Thursday, 21 July 2016

Hits, misses, bits and pieces

  It's been a while and a lot has happened, there was a week where I manged to get out 4 days in a row. 2 trips to Broadwater, 1 to Ashdown forest, 1 to Sevenoaks WR and one to Eridge roacks which is a new reserve for me, but, it actually connects to Broadwater.

I will do an update of sorts now. My notes seem to be all over the place at the moment and will need a day or two just to collate it all and get it organized. It seems to be more about dragon and damselflies and other insects at the moment. I have seen quite a few swallows that seem to be just passing. There have been gorgeous Redstarts, Spotted Flycatchers and Great spot woodpeckers at Ashdown Forest. Sevenoaks bought excellent views of Little ringed Plover and some young Sparrowhawks which have been nesting near to the path. one of the young birds was happily sitting on a branch. Apart from a wagtail that looked like a white they were the main highlights from the birds
So let's start with the dragon and damselflies then. Broadwater warren and it was literally rain, sun, rain, sun and a fairly strong wind with it. When the sun come out long enough a Golden-ringed settled on the leg of the bench I was standing next to. Stupidly I had forgotten my camera, but, thankfully had my ipad. Apart from that it was Azure damsel and a couple of Large red only.


Next day it was a trip to The Old lodge area of Ashdown Forest. Again the weather was undecided as what it wanted to do. This time though before I left the main area the sun shone and they all appeared. 8 different species that I noted. Common blue and Blue-tailed, Common Darter, Emperor, Small red, Emerald, Black-tailed and Keeled Skimmer. The Keeled Skimmer was a new one for me. It only ever settled a distance away hence the shot, however, you can see the difference between Keeled and Black-tailed. The Small red I think is one of the more unusual species that are here.

Keeled above, Black-tailed below.

Small red is not the easiest to focus on because of its size.

The day after that I went on a Summer butterfly walk and saw Brown Hawker there.
As the sun was out I then moved to Broadwater where this time there was also Brown Hawker, Azure, Blue-tailed, Large red, Emperor and Downy Emerald, which refused to settle at any point. The next day at Sevenoaks there were more there but no new ones. As I have been looking through my photos recently I have got a photo from Hayesden of a damselfly which I can't identify. Well saying that it is either a imm blue or a white-legged but it is not the best focused photo. I will see if I can get it identified and then put what it is up here. One last photo of a dragonfly laying eggs at Southerham. 

Butterflies next then. It doesn't seem to be the best year for butterflies, or maybe just because of the weather they are not being seen. Tried to connect with some of the other blues but no luck. The usual Large White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Large Skipper, Small Tortoiseshell and Gatekeeper. Finally got White Admiral while on the butterfly walk, but for this week the Comma was the most showy and Silver-washed Fritillary was the nicest.

While at Sevenoaks I was looking for Purple Emperor, in fact they can turn up anywhere it seems. I could see the best place for them but need to go out at the right time of day really to connect with them. Not sure what butterflies I am going to get now so maybe I will get a plan ready for next year and try and get as many as possible.

Here are some of the other photos from the last few weeks.


Bee with pollen stuck to it's legs

Trying to work this one out. Is it just a young large red?

Fungus that has affected the whole tree

Scarce seven spot Ladybird - think this is a ladybird that isn't seen very often

Blue lacewing I think

I think tonight I need to finally id some moths, have done some of them. The problem is the micro's as I don't have a book for them. So i will try to do a moth update tomorrow but here is one just to finish off with.