Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wednesday 11th June

Young Mallards

I was in the Park from 10.30-12.30 today. It felt a lot cooler today with an overcast sky and an easterly breeze. Due to the timing of my walk not much bird song was heard, but plenty of insects were seen in the meadows and rough grassland.

3 Blackcap, 3 Chiff Chaff, and 2 Whitethroat were singing, a Goldcrest sang from a Yew, 3 Pheasants were seen and heard in the rough grassland, 3 Green Woodpecker were seen, a Great Spotted Woodpecker called from an Alder on the edge of the Lake, 3 House Martin were catching insects over the rough grassland, a Stock Dove was heard, 1 Jay was seen as it flew past, and a Cormorant flew east.

On the Lake the number of Canada Geese had increased to 69, there were 4 Great Crested Grebes, the resident pair of Mute Swan, and the countless Mallards, Moorhens, and Coots. There were 3 Black-headed Gulls, and 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull also on the Lake, and 6 Reed Warblers were heard singing around the perimeter of the Lake.

3 species of moth were seen. A Yellow Belle was spotted in the meadow next to the Old Bothy, and the photos below show the other 2 species which were found in the large area of rough grassland - I unfortunately cannot identify them, if anyone is able to identify them I would love to know!

2 male Banded Demoiselles were seen, and both Common Blue Damselflies and Blue-tailed Damselflies were seen,

Blue-tailed Damselfly
Ichnura elegans

I also found this immature female 'lactea' phase White-legged Damselfly - it is the first time I have seen this species of damselfly in the Park.

White-legged Damselfly
Platycnemis pennipes

A Black-tailed Skimmer was watched hunting insects over the rough grassland, returning frequently to a bare patch of soil on the track to eat its prey.

Black-tailed Skimmer
Orthetrum cancellatum

A Common Blue was seen feeding on the Birdsfoot Trefoil on the edges of the main track that runs through the rough grassland,

Common Blue

...and whilst taking the photo of the Common Blue I discovered this Six Spot Burnet caterpillar feeding on the Birdsfoot Trefoil.

Six-spot Burnet caterpillar


Warren Baker said...

Hi Simon,
That Damsel fly looks like a White Legged to me. But I am just a beginner with these insects!

Simon said...

Thanks Warren, - have just looked it up and I agree with you there. Cheers.

Steve said...

Simon with some investigation I think the first one is The Nettle-tap Moth, Anthophila fabriciana and possibly moth 2 is one of the Epiblema species, possibly E. sticticana.
That is early for Chalkhill Blue Simon - well done!

Steve said...

Hi Simon - I have just looked at the Kent Butterfly web site and looking at the first sightings for the last few years the earliest CBs have been is second week in July. Well worth reporting to Mike Easterbrook. Steve

Simon said...

Thanks Steve - some great investigation work! Cheers.

Steve said...

Having had another good look at the Chalkhill Blue I think it may be a Common Blue. Check out the spotting on the upperwing. Did you get a good look at the upperside?

Steve said...

Nettle-tap is here simon

Anonymous said...

Simon ,
Have had a long hard look at your Blue , and have come to the same conclusion as Steve , that without your confirmation of seeing the top wing ,and given the timing , the ' probable ' ID is Common .

Simon said...

Thanks guys. I only had brief far off view of the top wing and could see it was blue. I shall update my post.

Next Event - TBA