A report of wildlife sightings from the western edge of Maidstone, Kent. I note anything of interest in the vicinity of my home in Barming and from walks into work at the East Malling Research Station along the edge of Barming Woods and down to Ditton. Occasionally, when time allows, I get out to Ditton Quarry, a rich habitat hemmed in by residential and industrial developments on one side, but with open countryside on the other.
Saturday, 10 July 2010
Stupid hours at work precluded me from updating my blog for most of June. Just for the record a brief resume of what I managed to see but not report over the last month.
Sorting out strawberry plants in trays on 15th June, a couple of my casuals happened upon nests of both Robin and Blackbird. They sensibly left that job and the following week all the robins had fledged and all but one of the Blackbirds had left the nest.
One of the Harris Hawks was seen regularly in the Tonbridge Road/Glebe Lane area of Barming this month, often favouring telegraph posts and lampposts as a vantage point. Impressive in flight, swooping along Bull Orchard towards Matterdale Gardens and often mistaken for a Buzzard/Rough-legged Buzzard by passers-by.
Glow Worm light
The Nightjar in Barming Woods continued to churr throughout the month and good numbers of Glow Worms were seen on the freshly coppiced Sweet Chesnut stools.
Poppies covered the church field in Barming from mid-June onwards, making a spectacular sight to anyone passing on the A26.
A couple of hours out on 20th June were spent at Queendown Warren hoping for a few Adonis Blue. I managed a couple, but it was windy and there were few butterflies on the wing. Consolation came in the form of Bee, Fragrant and Pyramidal Orchids, Sanfoin, any number of Grasshoppers, a Mediterranean Gull 'yar-yarring' over and another nine on a nearby paddock at Beaux Aires Farm.
The Little Owl near Kiln Barn Farm had produced at least one offspring, this juvenile seen on 23rd June.
Sand Martins visited the Research Station site in East Malling, joining the nesting House Martins and often sitting out on the tarmac on the main bypass road.
Their numbers peaked at 50+ 0n 30th June when they could be found sitting out on the overhead wires.
Sand Martinsen masse
On the 26th June I went off patch again to East Blean Woods to see the Heath Fritillaries with Mike Easterbrook. 200+ were on the wing along with a single Ringlet!
Before we left I noticed this fungus? Like a yellow sponge - any ideas anyone? Fuligo septica, a slime mould- thanks Greenie
Also nearby we saw 3x Scarce Chasers and 2x Painted Ladies at Westbere Lake.
Back on patch I was glad to see my first White Admiral of the year in Barming Woods on 2nd July with a peak of nine on the 8th. Further in the woods a couple of Weasels were also seen, and CommonTwayblades discovered in the depths of the old quarry site.