Friday, 9 July 2010

Mad Dogs & Englishmen............

Unfortunately I couldn't get down to New Hythe until 11am today, by which time the sun was high and so was the temperature.
As you can imagine there wasn't a lot on the wing by then. The tide was full on the river which didn't help but the Shelduck family were on the water and all five youngsters looked fit and healthy.
A single Swift and a Pied Wagtail over flew Brooklands lake and a couple of Whitethroats flitted around in the lakeside bushes. Further on a family of Nightingales called softly to each other alongside the sunken marsh but not much else braved the searing heat. Except of course the butterflies. There were plenty to see and they included Commas, Large Whites, Meadow Browns, an abundance of Skippers, Gatekeepers and Red Admirals. I couldn't find any Purple Hairstreaks around the Oak trees, but further on Iwas more than a little bit pleased to find my first ever White Admiral at New Hythe which flew past me and into the trees on the Eastern edge of the Railway lake as I was watching a large Common Carp cruising around. What a good find!
Photo opportunities were hard to find but I did get a chance to get a quick snap of this Moorhen having a preen in the sun. I stopped for a while at The divers' bridge where I heard a Kingfisher calling and noted a couple of Banded Demoiselles, a Grass Snake enjoying a cooling swim through the reeds and best of all four juvenile Green Woodpeckers which flew out of the trees along side Streamside lake together and all headed off over the West Scrub. Absolutely brilliant!!

I decided to walk up to the dipping pond in the Country Park to see how the Tuftd Duck family were doing and here they are (below) looking fit and well. While here I also saw Reed Buntings and Reed Warblers in the reedbed alongside the lake. Both appeared to be feeding young but I couldn't see them.
There were a lot more Dragonflies about today, mostly Brown Hawkers it seemed but I couldn't find one resting to photograph, but I did manage this Common Darter which posed nicely.......or is it a Ruddy Darter?
I took the shadier Brooklands Western side footpath back and found this Blackbird which I think was a juvenile sheltering from the sun and looking a bit stressed so I took a couple of quick shots and left it in peace.


The Four Spotted Chaser below was having a busy time chasing off a Black Tailed Skimmer which flew into his territory about every thirty seconds triggering a chase and a boundary dispute. Who'd be a Dragonfly. While this was going on I watched a large Mirror Carp cruise by right in front of me. I'd put it's weight in the high teens probably. I took a couple of pics but they weren't clear enough to go to print.

And finally..................
What are these cherries doing growing on an Oak tree? The things you see at New Hythe!


Warren Baker said...

I can empathise with the White Admiral find Phil. I had my first ever one last week. Fantastic!

Steve said...

Fantastic to hear about the White Admiral. Superb! So jealous!!!

ShySongbird said...

I really enjoyed my walk with you Phil :) You write so descriptively that I always feel I am actually there! Well done on the White Admiral. I have never seen one :(

Beautiful photos again, the darter and chaser photos are particularly nice.

I have left a late comment on your previous post also.