13/8 - baby Common Lizard and several Dock Squash Bugs, Grasmere allotment site, Barnehurst
14/8 - after a 'subconcious glimpse' the other day, I confirmed that there was at least one, possibly two Caper Spurge (Euphorbia lathyris) trackside at the east end of Eltham's 'up' platform
Also this Treacle Mustard (my first identification / record of it) was near the junction of Ufford St and Boundary Row in Southwark (picture above)
The number of moths at the window of my home has been poor this year, but there was a Brimstone Moth tonight
15/8 - there was a 2" body length Common Toad on my compost heap at Grasmere allotments, and two Common Blue butterflies resting head downward in the grass stems by the pond there
16/8 - I was pleased to see that Catmint (Nepeta cataria) has hung on in an unpromising spot by the petrol station in Long Lane, Bexleyheath, with a strongly-flowering specimen (below) in evidence. I have raised a few plants from seed I collected here last year, but Thrip grazing has rather spoilt the appearance of the surface of the leaves of this and various other Labiates I'm growing.
An unusual denizen of a crack in the pavement was this Corn (Maize) plant (below) found outside a house in Chapel Road, Bexleyheath.
There was a Goats-beard in the grounds of St. Martin's church on Erith Rd, which looks like it will flower late after presumably having been mown down earlier in the season.
There was a Common Darter and a Speckled Wood along the south margin of Bursted Wood.
18/8 - several Common Frogs active in the back garden in this cooler weather. There was a Field Mouse in one of the compost bins.
20/8 - a party of Long-tailed Tits in the back garden Juniper.
I have checked some flowerheads of Prickly Lettuce - which is frequent in some places locally - for larvae of the Small Ranunculus Moth without success. Today I weeded a specimen out of a pot of Skullcap (it had grown up out of sight behind some horticultural fleece), and it was only after I'd pulled it up that I noticed a few small caterpillars around the buds, which appear to be of this species .....
The Butterfly Conservation website says this:
'Formerly a relatively common species in the south-east, it had become extinct by the early part of the 20th century. In the last few years, however, it has become re-established in a small area of Kent and Essex, around the Thames, where it is now frequently recorded, especially around allotments.The larvae feed on the flowers and seeds of various wild and cultivated lettuce (Lactuca spp.).'
In the evening I was doing some long-overdue work on my rather small and overgrown pond. 3 Robins got very friendly, two rather blotchy ones especially so, coming within a foot of my face as I leant down at one point. The third, with a proper red breast, was less bold. The blotchy birds I'd seen several times before, though I thought there was only one. In any case they seem far too trusing given the local feline presence, and one is already carrying an injury to its head.