Saturday, 2 October 2010

New Hythe lakes 2nd October

After yesterday's horrendous weather I was glad to get out in the relatively calm and dry conditions this morning.
Still no winter migrants to report but all in all not a bad day. My first October visit to New Hythe got off to a good start with 39 species seen in less than four hours. I can't compete with Warren who i'm sure will find 69 or more species this month but it'll be interesting to see how we stack up.
I don't usually post a complete list but just for a change I think I will on this occasion, so here goes:

Carrion Crow, BH Gull, Mute Swan, Tufted duck, Coot, Moorhen,Wood Pigeon, Green Woodpecker, Magpie, Blue Tit, Cetti's Warbler, Starling, Mistle Thrush, Blackbird, House Martin, Herring Gull, Reed Bunting, Chaffinch, Sand Martin, GT Spotted Woodpecker, Kestrel, Mallard, Cormorant, Great Tit, Song Thrush, Long Tailed Tit, Greenfinch, Gt Crested Grebe, Robin, Jay, Blackcap, Goldfinch, Wren, Little Grebe, Chiffchaff, Greylag Goose, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail.

Some obvious absences include Kingfisher, which i've been seeing regularly recently, Dunnock, Bullfinch, not seen for a while now and Sparrowhawk. I'll be looking for this lot on my next visit along with Shoveler, Gadwall and Pochard which should all be making an appearance now.

There were still one or two butterflies on the wing including the Comma pictured below and a couple of Small Coppers which didn't settle.

It was also a shield bug day today. I've never seen so many in one visit i've posted a couple of pictures of what seemed to be the main species seen but i'm not sure which one it is. I think it's either Green Shield Bug (Palomena prasina), the brown version before hibernation or Dock leaf Bug (Coreus marginatus) but i'm by no means sure. Both of these and other related species are capable of secreting a smelly poison if threatened hence the family name of Stinkbugs.

Another fly that I noticed was the one pictured below on a piece of chainlink fence. Again i'm not sure of it's name but I think it's an Ichneumon Suspiciosus. Quite an impressive looking chap, let me know if i've got it wrong.
*Many thanks as ever to Greenie for suggesting Ichneumon stramentarius for our friend on the fence. Having looked at it i'm inclined to agree. And also for suggesting that the Shield bug is most likely the Dock leaf species.*

I was really surprised to find three different Common Lizards today. I found them all in fifferent places in the open this afternoon, despite the fact that it wasn't sunny. Maybe they wanted a last bit of fresh air before going into hibernation during this month. If you look closely at the top right picture you can see evidence of what looks like recent skin shedding. They lose their old skin in patches unlike snakes which shed them all in one go.

A couple of bits of other news include a couple more Chiffchaffs in the garden as I type this and a great sighting of an Osprey while Carol and I walked near Penshurst on Thursday. My first in Kent for a few years. Pity it wasn't at New Hythe!


Warren Baker said...

No Fog ! It was a real pea souper here ! Like the Lizards Phil. I see you recorded a sand martin today, something I should keep an eye out for, as ive not seen one in October.

Anonymous said...

Great photos Phil.
I`m also hoping the Pochard return soon. They`re a tad late this year.

Sorry can`t help with the Ichneumon.

Greenie said...

Phil ,
Nice collection of species . Like you , it's been a long time since seeing an Osprey in Kent , but I saw one repoerted at Bewl Water recently .
Re. the Shield bug , I would go for your second option Dock leaf Bug-Coreus marginatus , from the long narrow shape and the shoulders .
Re. the Ichneumon . Rather than sitting on the fence , as she was , I would go for a female Ichneumon stramentarius . But , like you , always stand to be corrected .

Phil said...

Thanks Greenie. Funnily enough Bewl Water was where I had my previous sighting of an Osprey. I was trout fishing at the time from a boat and it circled quite low overhead but unfortunately declined to join in the fishing!

ShySongbird said...

A nice selection there, Phil. I haven't seen a lizard for years let alone three in one day!

You are so lucky to still be seeing butterflies, they already seem like a distant memory to me. Having said that we had a beautiful day today so there may have been some around, unfortunately I wasn't able to look.