Friday, 19 August 2016

Of local interest...

I've been to Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve a couple of times lately, armed just with my macro lens (oh, and the camera to stick it to). Seen nothing of any great note but here are some photos of various (mainly) insects for you.

As usual for the time of year, damsel numbers have thinned out a bit and I've not found a single Azure, but there are Common Blues aplenty. Also some Red-eyed, Blue-tailed and Banded Demoiselles but none of those have been in the mood for photos. Dragon-wise there are unphotographable Southern and Brown Hawkers.

Butterflies, too, have been the usual suspects. Here a Red Admiral, Green-veined White and Speckled Wood. There are still plenty of Gatekeepers around and a few Meadow Browns too.

The impressively huge Hornet Hoverfly, Volucella zonaria. I've also seen a couple of actual Hornets.

I noticed this mad little beast scampering along a weeping sedge stem in the wildlife garden. I thought it was an ant at first, then I thought it was a spider, and then I looked at it properly and realised it was neither. I have since found out it's the nymph of the Ant Damsel Bug, Himacerus mirmicoides, and it's a crazy-looking little critter indeed. The adult isn't at all ant-like - you can see pics of it at various ages here.

Bird-wise, I've not seen an awful lot on the reserve, no waders except Lapwings, no new wildfowl yet. Here are some of the resident Canada Geese against a fetchingly cloudy sky.

While checking out the big sheep field I did enjoy the sight of this ewe suckling her monster lamb.

A quick glance at Knole Park the other day produced a Small Copper butterfly which skipped off before I could photograph it. The deer are in mellow pre-rut mood, this white buck not even bothered by the local flies holding a meeting on his face.

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