Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Macro only

For various circumstantial reasons, I found myself at Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve yesterday armed only with camera and my 180mm macro lens (aka the BigMac). No birding lens and no binoculars. It was a lovely afternoon, though, and there was no shortage of suitable subjects for the close-up stuff.

We stopped on the way at Bradbourne Park Lakes, the duckponds off Bradbourne Park Road. This is the local dumping-ground for unwanted pet ducks as well as home to some actual wild Mallards like this one. There's also a little weir in here which explains why I've sometimes heard Grey Wagtails in the vicinity.

Still not at the reserve yet - a few photos from gardens on the way. Some nice variegated Holly.

Some kinda heather, out a few months ahead of our various native species.

And we're there. The wildlife garden proved a good hunting ground, with lots of Primroses growing on the grassy banks.

And now my plant ID skills start to show their shakiness. I think this is Bugle, about to flower.

More confident of this one - it's Green Alkanet. An extremely common 'wayside' plant and looking its best right now. Why it's not called 'Blue... something-or-other' I don't know.

I think the Cowslips in the wildlife garden are planted rather than naturally occurring.

Ditto the Forget-me-nots. It took a while to find a cluster of flowers that included a pink, newly opened one.

Another uncertain ID - Honesty?

Two people were sitting on the grass right in front of the particular 'minibeast hotel' that I wanted to investigate, as it seemed to be attracting much attention from bees, so I couldn't get hear it. Then they up and left while I was elsewhere in the garden, and when I went back to that spot I found that one of them had left her handbag behind. So I was obliged to take it to the visitor centre and hand it in. I decided from there to look at the rest of the reserve.

Elderflowers in bud. The walk to the Willow hide and back was very nice, though didn't yield many photos. Blackcaps and a Willow Warbler were singing, and from Willow hide we watched as a pair of Egyptian Geese carefully shepherded 10 tiny goslings into the water at the far side (only to hastily shepherd them out again when a raucous gang of Canada Geese and Greylags crashed down in the centre of the lake).

There were a few butterflies on the wing. Here's an Orange-tip. I also found an Orange-tip egg on a Cuckoo-flower bud. And there were Speckled Woods out and about.

Back at the wildlife garden, I caught a Bee-fly in its hovering flight, about to stick its javelin schnozz into a Ground Ivy (?) flower.

A Peacock with slightly mangled hind wings but plenty of joie de vivre led me a merry dance before finally joining its shadow on the bench for a moment.

One of the ginger bees investigating holes in the minibeast hotel. I think this is Osmia rufa.

And this one... isn't, because I saw it alongside the one above and it was much smaller. I expect this is the least helpful angle for ID but does anyone have any ideas?

Heading home now, and I stopped to take a pic of these lovely crinkly opening leaves. Not even going to make a guess at the species.

And finally, one of my favourite flowers, Herb Robert, growing in a shady corner but spotlit in a stray sunbeam.


Greenie said...

Marianne ,
Firstly , your Bugle , Honesty and Ground Ivy are spot on .
I would say your Heather type is Cross-leaved Heath / Erica tetralix .
Re. Green Alkanet / Pentaglottis sempervirens , two other members of the Borage family , Alkanet / Anchusa offininalis ( also blue ) and Large Blue Alkanet / A. azura , probably meant 'Blue' was out of the question .
Your fresh green leaves look like Hazel to me .
I would say your head on Bee , is definitely a Bee !

Warren Baker said...

Hi Marrianne,
Greenie has just about covered your queries!

Nice springy post today :-)

Marianne said...

Thanks Greenie, nice to know I can ID a few flowers properly! And thanks Warren :)

Penny Taylor said...

I wandered through Bradbourne Lakes on Monday... Witnessed a rather brutal six on one duck gang rape! Xx

Phil said...

Funnily enough Marianne I was going to say exactly what Greenie said........about the Bee!
Nice post.

Graham Canny said...

Sounds like a great day out! Lovely photos and a botany lesson to boot!