Monday, 12 July 2010

New Hythe Lakes 12th July

Because the weather was wet and i'm a wimp I didn't go out until 13.30 this afternoon. It was still warm and the air around the lakes was heavy with the smell of rain on dry grass and parched earth, lovely!
A flock of at least 100 Woodpigeons were in the air as I looked towards the North Downs in the distance. I thought they might have been put up by a bird of prey but a scan through the binoculars found the culprits to be a couple of black labradors bounding across the farm fields over the river.
Once again the tide was at it's highest and not much was to be seen on the river. I decided that this would be another butterfly day and despite the lack of sun there were plenty to be seen.

Gatekeeper numbers seemed to be up since my last visit and I was soon able to get a picture as I walked through the damp undergrowth.
I always find it more difficult to pin down a large or small White for some reason, they just keep on flying through. So I was pleased to finally get what I believe is the small version in my sights at last.
I made my way along the southern end of Brooklands lake past the small group of Common Spotted Orchids, now finished flowering, which I found a few weeks ago. They are the only Orchids I recall seeing on this part of the site although I expect there were others. A Kingfisher called loudly here but I was unable to see it unfortunately.
Now here's a thing. I know it's Gatekeepers which have the two small white dots in each eye, but this one was bigger and surely is a Meadow Brown. Isn't it?

Still good numbers of Ringlets but I've only found them along the path between Brooklands and Abbey Mead and the start of the railway path, which is where I found this one. Also along this path were a family of at least four Wrens which I would have loved to get a picture of but Mum would have none of it.

The little hover fly above caught my eye, I think it's a male Eristalis arbustorum. I don't like it when it doesn't have a common name, or maybe it does.

I realise you wouldn't forgive me if I didn't include a Red Admiral in the line up today, so here it is. Not a very good picture, it just wouldn't open it's wings for a full monty shot but hey, sometimes less is more!
And finally...........
I stood on the Divers' footbridge desperately looking for an Emerald damselfly as seen and photographed by Terry Laws last week. I thought i'd found it, I was so excited to be probably only the second one to see it, but it turned out to be a female Banded Demoiselle. Lesson learnt!



Greenie said...

Phil ,
Yes , Whites are hard to identify , unless they settle like yours . Some Large can be quite small . The more extensive dark marking on the wings of the Large is good ID .
Your Meadow Brown is so , a female , IDd by the orange on the top forewing . There can be 1 or 2 spots in the eye . Were it a Gatekeeper , it would have orange on both fore and hind topwings .

ShySongbird said...

Ah! I may well have just learnt the same lesson then, I thought I had an Emerald Damselfly too but now I am not so sure :( I will put it on my next post to see what the consensus is!

Anyway lots of lovely photos here, that Meadow Brown is very smart looking!

No rain here until today, it started about an hour ago. It is much needed, everything is so parched.