Tuesday, 17 July 2012

 At last, a half decent day for an afternoon patch visit! Variable amounts of cloud drifted over from time to time, but some short sunny spells were very welcome, these enticing me over into the Scrubby Woods to try and find some Purple Hairstreaks to photograph, and although I did find a couple they remained out of reach of the camera. Whilst I searched for the Purple Hairstreaks, I saw Comma, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, Small and Large Skipper, Small White, Meadow Brown plus Green Veined White butterflies, the best flutter day for a long time!
Small Skipper
Birds were few and far between, a SONGTHRUSH sang constantly all the time I was at the Scrubby Woods, while CHIFFCHAFF and BLACKCAP sang occasionally, at least 3 TREECREEPERS were heard calling, but went unseen. This immature JAY (below) flew from the wood and alighted in an Oak tree some 12 meters from me, we were both as surprised as each other! I pointed the camera, fought with the manual focus and fired off 4 shots, the young Jay flew of off in an instant - as they invariably do! Not a very nice photo, but I didn't have my bird lens on, and the light was very harsh.
Immature Jay
A quick look over the lakes was had before I left for the Tree Nursery, where a dozen CANADA GEESE were seen, plus 10 MALLARD, 4 MOORHEN, and only one adult COOT, has the the young Coot now left for it's own territory, or was it still here but hiding ? Time will tell I suppose.

I made my way over to the Tree Nursery, where I found a LESSER WHITETHROAT in the shrubs, but not much else of interest birdwise. I looked around the long grasses and wildflowers for some Damsels, and found Common Blue, Azure, and White-legged, as well as a Black Tailed Skimmer, Brown Hawker, and Emperor Dragonflies, then as I was starting to think about getting home for tea, I found my first Gatekeeper Butterfly of the year, the 21st species of 2012 so far, the only butterfly that is likely to turn up now for this years list is the Essex Skipper, but I'm always hopeful of a different species fluttering through my patch  :-)
My first Gatekeeper of the year  :-)
Common Blue Damselfly


The Flagpole in Sherenden Park said...

Genuine enquiry - do you know if the peregrines have gone back to nesting on Mereworth church this year

Warren Baker said...

I wasn't aware that Mereworth had nesting Peregrines. Maybe you are getting mixed up with the Pair that reside on Hadlow Tower, which to date have not bred in that location ?

Jason K said...

A nice splash of colour there with those flutters Warren! The weather is supposidly improving over the next week or so as the jet stream finally moves North!

ShySongbird said...

Lovely to see the little Jay Warren, I haven't even seen an adult for a long time although I have heard them.

Good to see the flutters particularly the Gatekeeper, I haven't seen one yet this year, mind you I haven't seen a Comma this year either!

Pete Woodruff said...

Yes the Jay youngster is a nice one and not an every day sighting Warren.

Warren Baker said...

As Jason says, the weather should be on the mend next week, a chance for you to find the Comma and gatekeeper :-)

The Flagpole in Sherenden Park said...

Warren, they are the same birds. They were on Mereworth church until 2008/9 when they were dislodged by the building works, and they moved over to Hadlow Tower. I believe they were breeding there. When the renovation began the tower was netted to stop them landing. It was a very sad sight to see them trying to perch. The tower is now owned by Vivat and the building work is in its final stages. I've just found out that Vivat are not going to add a nesting platform as I believe was promised. I'm trying to find out whether the falcons returned to Mereworth, in which case, it might not be so bad. Even so, they still come to Hadlow every morning and evening and fly around the tower, calling. I think they would return to nest, given the chance. If no platform, they might pick somewhere inappropriate on the tower, which would make things worse. I've contacted the RSPB and the parish council but I'm concerned that if action isn't taken soon, it will be too late, once the scaffolding comes down.

Love your pix btw, stunning.

Rohrerbot said...

Glad you had a nicer day today. I love the Comma butterfly. It's one of my favorites to spot in the wild. The wing structure is really nice.

I've never seen a juvenile jay before. Interesting.

I also read your comments today....the parish and nesting. Sounds similiar to my school and a certain Great Horned Owl pair who insist on nesting on the ledge. Hopefully they'll put something there for the birds.

Greenie said...

Warren ,
First juv. Jay for me too .
Nice one with the Gatekeeper ,
SWF next ?

Warren Baker said...

Interesting about the peregrines moving from Mereworth to hadlow and back. I saw one of the Peregrines perched on the Scafolding this Morning (18th) so the other one is probably still around. Typical of the Tower owners to renage on their pronise to put up a nesting platform, maybe a few emails to the hadlow tower group will help visit http://www.hadlowtower.com/ and send a mail to Caroline Elcombe to complain! I Did!

Gary Jones said...

Hi Warren, just come across your blog from Petes site, brilliant images mate, following now and added you to my blog list. Gary