Wednesday, 22 September 2010

New Hythe Lakes September 22nd

Another warm, sunny day tempted me down to New Hythe this morning where I was greeted by a Great Spotted Woodpecker calling from the top of a tree behind the soon to be reopened Brookland Cafe. As with most local areas at the moment, there didn't seem to be too much to get excited about.

With most of the summer migrants departed, or departing, a steady southerly trickle of Swallows confirming this today, and the winter visitors still to arrive, we seem to be temporarily stuck and it's down to the year round residents to provide the entertainment....if you can find them.
Jays are very active at the moment, they know that harder times are just round the corner and are busy stashing acorns in readiness. An abundance of Oaks at New Hythe makes it a good site for these shy birds, one day I hope to get a good photo of one but it hasn't happened yet.
Much easier to snap was this gall I found growing on some Dog Rose. I believe it's common name is Robin's Pincushion and it's caused by the larvae of a gall wasp Diplolepis rosae which lives in the middle of it.

There were still plenty of dragons about, almost exclusively small darters and Migrant Hawkers like the one shown here. This one I think is an immature female which looked as if it had just emerged. I know i've featured these regularly but I think they are terrific and the colour of this one looked great.
Lapwing, Sparrowhawk, Kingfisher, Goldfinch, at least three Green Woodpeckers and a surprise quartet of Jackdaws which flew noisily along the river were seen and appreciated. Last time I saw Jackdaws down here, which is quite unusual, there were four of them and I wondered if this was the same group.

This Magpie seemed to want his picture taken. I know they're not always popular but they're birds and you can't deny their handsome features. Anyway, the reason I included it was that I noticed it had been rung, which I thought was a bit unusual. 
I was really pleased to find three Common Lizards on the site today. Not because I hadn't seen any recently, but because I hadn't seen any at New Hythe at all this year which concerned me as they had been quite numerous in previous years. We've already seemingly lost the Water Vole population at the moment and I didn't want these little chaps to go the same way.  
Biggest surprise of the morning though was finding eight Wigeon on Abbey Mead lake. I certainly didn't expect that today and this is a new 2010 New Hythe year tick!! If you needed any convincing of an imminent seasonal change, this must surely be it.


Greenie said...

Phil ,
I can well understand you saying that the female Migrant Hawker was recently emerged , especially from the condition of her wings , but she is in her mature adult brown and yellow colouration .
Those Wigeon are a surprise , what do they know ?

Phil said...

Thanks Greenie. I thought I was on thin ice there!

Anonymous said...

Great photos Phil and yep, the winter birds are arriving.

ShySongbird said...

Another interesting post, Phil and lovely photos. I always think how striking Magpies look and your photo shows that. Lovely to see the lizard also, I never seem to see any these days.

Warren Baker said...

Wigeon! nice one phil, That would be a patch tick for me! Just 5 more for the 100 species now mate, surely they will come this winter?