Wednesday, 2 July 2014


 I've had a couple of short trips to New Hythe lakes recently. Bird wise it's been very quiet as is to be expected I suppose. Alongside Abbey Mead a Chiffchaff was singing and was pre-occupied enough to let me take a quick picture.
Talking of Abbey Mead, there was a Buff-cheeked Trembler standing in the fisherman's swim in the south east corner of the lake. No, not a rare species of wader but a naked man. I kid you not.  A discreet squint through the bins revealed what I think was a towel and a pile of clothes nearby so I think the intention was nothing more sinister than a very chilly swim. A bit risky swimming alone in a gravel pit though, people lose their lives doing that each summer.

 Other than the 'Trembler' a Common Tern on Brooklands and a couple of juvenile Nightingales, above, were the main highlights really. Having said that, large areas are inaccessible now due to burgeoning undergrowth. The sunken marsh being one area, there could be all sorts of goodies unseen there. Or not.

 Still, there are other things to look at this time of year luckily. I spent some time on the mound hoping to find a Purple Hairstreak, i've seen them here around the Oak trees in previous years but not last year. I didn't find any, maybe it's a bit early. Plenty of Ringlets to see this year though like the one above.

 Lots of very fresh looking Commas.

 And Meadow Browns of course. Plenty of these across the site. These and Ringlets don't seem to mind too much if the sun goes in for a while. There were also a few Red Admirals on the wing and a single pristine Peacock.

With the Ragwort just beginning to flower, the Cinnabar moth caterpillar numbers are growing too. Don't know if they get predated, yellow and black generally says watch out!

Still not many dragonflies at NH it seems. I saw maybe half a dozen Brown Hawkers, a handful of Black-tailed Skimmers and a couple of Emperors, above.

Talking of dragons, I paid a quick visit to my local Quarry Wood reserve to see if any were on the wing there. Around the small ponds were just a few red and blue damsels and a single Beautiful Demoiselle. Still no dragons but things are moving as you can see by the pictures above and below. Sorry the bottom one is so poor, it was a bit distant.

I did find another couple of White-legged damselflies away from the ponds though and managed to get a picture. This is only my second record of this species, both from Quarry Wood. I also saw just one Brown Hawker along one of the sunnier tracks.

I struggle a bit with the white butterflies. I think this is a Small White, a female who has just been set upon by three males. The raised abdomen is a rebuff. The gang of three eventually got the message and moved on.

Lastly for Quarry Wood was this colourful little Sloe Bug I think. As ever i'll stand corrected.

Just a couple of pics taken in the back garden this afternoon after returning from the joys of the Bluewater Retail Experience. Mmmm, don't know about the joys bit.
Surely Small Tortoiseshells must be having a bumper year, they seem to be everywhere (I forgot to mention them on the New Hythe round up). Our garden is full of them, all day long. The Preferred flower, by a mile, is Lavender. They can be a bit territorial, I watched one in particular, twice see off a large Bumblebee which had the nerve to enter the Lavender patch.

 And finally, my first Common Darter of the year and I think the first in my garden since we moved here. Three Kestrels high overhead this afternoon, calling loudly, a family group probably. Loads of Mistle Thrushes around too, which is nice. 


Warren Baker said...

Been looking for Purple Hairstreak here Phil, none emerged just yet. I thought for a moment we were going to get images of said Trembler!! Thank god we didn't! :-)

Phil said...

Wouldn't do that to you or him! Have to confess I did do a long distance Paparazzi shot but the Y fronts were on by then :-)

Marc Heath said...

Lovely set of shots, love the Emperor shot. The Brown Hawker eludes my camera at the moment, one day!

Mike Attwood said...

Hi Phil, all those excellent shots and not one of the buff cheeked trembler.

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Beautiful pictures.. Congrats Phil..

Phil said...

Thanks. Would love to find some of your super East Kent species. Would also like to produce some shots like yours!

Greenie said...

Phil ,
Good to see the Nightingales were successful .
No problem with the Sloe or Hairy Shieldbug .
Right sex for the White , but it is a Green-veined . The dark markings on the trailing edge of the forewing gives the ID .
Like the Emperor shot .
Won't ask any questions about the 'trembler' , don't want to upset 'Robin' .

alan woodcock said...

Hi,thought you had found an Asian mega!.

Phil said...

Thanks for your comment. No pics of the BCT, it's not wildlife!

Phil said...

Hola! Thanks for your nice comment.

Phil said...

That'll be the day at poor old New Hythe!

Phil said...

Thanks for putting me right with the pesky Whites.
Enough said about the Trembler:-)

Bob Bushell said...

You should have put up the Buff-Cheeked Trembler, could be a laugh, ha ha. Beautiful series Phil.

Phil said...

I thought about it, but in the end discretion won the day. He had brown hair though and now I wish I had called him the "Brown-hair Streak" :-)

Frank said...

Phil. A lovely selection of flutters and Odonata. Good to see the Nightingales have been successful.

Keep your eyes peeled for Purple Hairstreak and Purple Emperor as I saw both at Bookham Common yesterday and these weren't the earliest Surrey sightings.