Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Random pix

The last moth trap had Elephant Hawkmoth, this Privet Hawkmoth and the smart micro Lozotaeniodes formosana.

Some local Essex Skippers

Eriothrix rufomaculata, Banded Demoiselle, Anasimyia lineata, mating Blue-tailed Damselflies, Drinker Moth caterpillar (as big as my little finger!!)

Golden-ringed Dragonfly in it's natural habitat, a kids play area!!

Little Flower Bees resting and burrowing.

Saturday, 25 June 2022

Not 30 but at least some wild days in June


The mornings moth trap was typically sparse with 30 individuals keeping the average for the previous five years in the mid twenties. But at least that featured three hawkmoths, Elephant, Small Elephant and Privet plus three new species for the garden.

Later the drive to Pulborough was hideous taking twice as long as normal due to more than usual road traffic due to no trains operating.

So, arriving mid -morning and a little frazzled, it was good to see one of the IOW eagles in the big tree at the bottom of Upperton's Field. It sat up for a while having arrived here just after dawn but eventually rose up, circled where it was harrassed by Kestrel, Avocet and Black-headed Gull and disappeared into the blue.

This photo courtesy  of @sussexwarblers and the flight map from them via @mostlyscarce.

It was a nice day for catching up with PW and chatting to visitors. The 'Wednesday Gang' pointed out Green Sandpiper  and Little Ringed Plover and just one Nightingale heard.

Lunch was spent in company of Richard, Michael, Ruth and other staff. The closed-for-refurb restaurant ensured no lunchtime non-birders.

Later a stroll to Black Wood produced a single White Admiral but little else.

(The three hawkmoths were released at dusk to keep them safe from the gangs of marauding sparrows).


Another moth trap was very thin but included the first Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing of the year plus Snout and an unexpected Bloxworth's Snout, the latter being only the second I've  ever seen. A non-birding outing ensued, Hilliers.


A visit to TH in hope of seeing the previous days Roseate Terns bore fruit with MF putting out a WhatsApp message that they were still present. Luckily, despite 'losing' my breakfast order the birds remained until after I'd finished it and were being watched by MF and others well offshore with a gull and tern feeding flock. They then started back in, flew directly towards us and were usefully calling, something I don't recall from previous Roseates. They couldn't settle on the reserve and headed back out but must have repeated this circuit as they called again and appeared low and directly overhead just prior to the west gate ten minutes later.
Photo courtesy MF.

The south scrape is now stuffed with fledged juvenile gulls so less stuff for the bigger gulls to wolf down!! A couple of colour ringed Common Terns were present with the closest being readable - just waiting for info via the BTO. The second bird was too distant but was yellow ringed on its left leg so presumably from the same source.

A Cuckoo did a close flypast and landed calling from a dense tree finishing off its 'cuckooing' with that strange coarse chuckle.

Invert-wise few hovers, Anasimyia lineata the best, and a couple of Painted Ladies.

Local walks during the week produced a few more  butterflies along the rough path between the field and road with Essex Skipper becoming more numerous, only one single Small Skipper, a few Meadow Browns plus single Marbled White and the first, pristine Ringlet. Hoverfly Xanthogramma pedisquum was the best-of-the-rest.

Today was a quick coffee at SC in windy and cloudy conditions with just Marbled White, Ringlet and Meadow Brown plus this tatty Emperor Dragonfly hunkered down and hoverfly Eristalis nemorum

Thursday, 16 June 2022

Titchfield Recent

Two Glossy Ibis, present for a few days, had taken up residence on the Bridge Street and Posbrook Floods. No sign on my arrival and I was returning back to the car 'empty handed' when a Buzzard appeared circling low over the flood flushing the ibises into view  before they landed on the far shore. A different bird was seen and photographed by MF a few days later further south on the river.

The first free flying juvenile Black-headed Gulls are now on the wing but smaller chicks are still being continuously  picked off by patrolling Lesser Black-backed Gulls; no Avocet chicks  have survived so far. A handful of Turnstone are still around the harbour and 100-150  Black'wits commute between Posbrook and the reserve - all of these waders having presumably decided to not head north for the summer.

Below male Platycheirus fulviventris; and paired Hairy Dragonflies holding on for all they're worth in windy conditions. Sadly, the single Downy Emerald on Darters Dip was, like the others this year (and most years), incapable of stopping for a photo. If only they would learn from Libellulas and Sympetrums!!

Wednesday, 15 June 2022


After a morning's outing for Mum's 91st a local walk in the midday heat was never going to produce much, and even the currently ubiquitous Swollen-thighed Beetles and Broad Centurions were doing their best to hide. The first three skippers here refused to stop for an ID despite following them backwards and forwards; three Holly Blues and a ragged Painted Lady chasing the only Meadow Brown was it for butterflies. The grass moth Chrysoteuchea culmella was 'kicked up'. Single Chiffchaff and Blackcap still singing but the two or three Med Gulls silently cruising over the well-mown refuge on previous days were absent. The nearest thing to a highlight was a male Greenfinch perched up in  neighbour's apple tree singing strongly  - the first other than flyovers in many years. And, after being mostly absent recently,  small groups of Goldfinches are returning to the gardens, with ten or more noisy individuals around the same apple tree, aerials and roof tops - families or failed breeders??

Two very clear nights of moth trapping, inspired by GWH/CS (and the first here for three and a half years !!) produced the expected small counts totalling 28/16 with the best being Scorched Carpet  and L-album Wainscot.

Saturday, 11 June 2022

GWH - Moths

 I love it when a plan comes together - even if it's  someone else's plan!!

So, Sunday saw an early morning jaunt up the A3 to Selborne for a check through the previous nights moth traps. The weather was excellent but surprisingly chilly at 7:00 am.

Greeted on arrival by CS/DB and a picnic table covered in moth pots which is always a good sign. A Red Kite was just overhead looking down at us, later the odd Swift or two rocketed over and a Roe Deer was feeding in the grass just 100 yards away for most of the session. Other birds were pretty thin on the ground and, apart from the bees from the hives on bramble flower, other insects were scarce.

But back to the moths. I didn't  keep a list but there were certainly upwards of 40 species the best being Clouded Buff and Beautiful Silver Y two species I'd  not seen before plus other nice moths :- Privet HM,  Pale Tussock,  Lobster, Scorched Wing, Brimstone, Scorched Carpet, Barred Yellow, Common Swift, Peach Blossom and so on.

Later looking for orchids failed to find any Greater Butterfly in the very long grass but there were several White Helleborine tucked away in the shade.

And finally a nice Sausage Sandwich and coffee to offset the early start.

Thursday, 2 June 2022

Mixed bag.....and Pulborough


Roesel's Bush Cricket, spider with prey, first Large Skipper of year, longhorn beetle Pacytodes cerambyciformis  on cistus, female Chrysotoxum cautum, Broad-bodied Chaser, Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet on Bird's-foot Trefoil.