Friday, 25 July 2014

I had a three hour patch visit this morning, under some mostly cloudy skies, but not much was noted, I am still a bit numbed by the loss of a good chunk of habitat over at the Greenhouse Grounds.

I made a circuit of the paddocks and sheep pasture at Migrant Alley first thing, just in case an early migrant had dropped in, but it wasn't to be, only the LINNETS, STARLINGS, WOODPIGEONS and Corvid flock were seen. Over flying HERRING GULL, LESSER BLACK BACKED and SPARROWHAWK were also noted, along with the local SWALLOWS, no Swifts were seen today though, I suspect they will be few and far between now, as they are leaving the country slowly but surely.

I checked the remaining habitat at the Greenhouse Grounds, just two WHITETHROAT were seen for the summer species, but plenty of ROBINS, DUNNOCKS and BLACKBIRDS foraged around on the now bare earth, a SONGTHRUSH also joined them for a while, as did a PIED WAGTAIL.  Whilst looking over the devastation there, I noted that a few new Oaks and a Silver Birch had been planted, and a gully had been opened up allowing a pool of water to collect, just a couple of feet in diameter, but it's something!

I spent a short time over at the Scrubby Woods and lakes, the best sighting was of the MANDARINS, the same four I saw the other day, a GREY HERON was also seen though. I looked across to the paddocks that are adjacent to the lakes, not a place I often look over, as I cant get access, but it looked good for a passage ''Chat'' maybe i'll take the time to look across more often at Migration times. There were lots of GREYLAG and CANADA GEESE out there though, a mixed gaggle of of least 50 were seen.

In the Scrubby Woods it was generally quiet, but some BLACKCAP and CHIFFCHAFF song was heard, plus the calls of NUTHATCH, TREECREEPER, BULLFINCH and COAL TIT.

On the walk back home I saw two BUZZARDS low over the Wet Woods, being mobbed by a KESTREL. I also stopped in the Small Holding to photograph some Butterflies.

After failing to correctly Identify a Brown Argus a couple of days ago, I have made amends and am certain this is one!



Underwing shot to confirm



There were plenty of Common Blue Butterflies about as well, plus a few of these Small Coppers




Thursday, 24 July 2014

It was good to be out in the cool of the morning in some beautiful sunny skies, but the ''good to be alive'' feeling came to an abrupt halt as I reached the Greenhouse Grounds.

I had noticed a digger turn up at the Greenhouse grounds yesterday afternoon and assumed that some drainage work was going to be done around the Greenhouses, but when I arrived this morning I found that about a third of the wonderful habitat there had been completely obliterated!  Bramble as high as my head, Elder trees laden with fruit, wildflowers and grasses - the lot just totally wiped out  :-( 

I spoke to the guys there, who were sympathetic, but they were only doing what they had been asked to do by the bosses, more space was needed to enlarge the migrant pickers campsite.  I was told that some of the grounds will be left to regenerate, but that could take a couple of years, and wont help any second broods of nesting birds that have just been destroyed  :-(  Another sad day for my patch.

I didn't really have the incentive to carry on the walk today, it may take a while to come to terms with the situation.

Later in the morning I made a trip out to sevenoaks wildfowl reserve to try and cheer myself, the place was alive with pushchairs and buggies being pushed by nattering mothers!  What has this place come to!!

I found a couple of quiet places though, and settle down to take a few Damselfly images, here's my efforts  :-)











This is the Male Banded Demoiselle, I tried experimenting with different backgrounds some work better than others!

I was pleased to come across a few Red Eyed Damselflies, a species i've not got any decent photo's of


















There were hundreds and hundreds of these Common Damsels about too!