Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Dropped Mum at sewing group and went on to Heath Pond. Not surprisingly the Garganey was (long) gone as had the swifts and one cygnet was missing; just ten or so House Martins and three singing Reed Warblers. A terrapin was sun bathing. Three each of Volucella bombylans and Merodon equestris, one each of Xanthogramma pedisequum and Platycheirus rosarum. Two Small Coppers were looking worn and four or five Common Spotted Orchids.

Later at QECP, a Leucozona laternaria, first for the year, and the day flying long-horned moth Nemophora degeerella. Several Ashy Mining Bees. Birdwise just one singing Firecrest, one Buzzard and, between the park and home turnoff, probably 100 Med Gulls.
Also 10-20 CSO spikes.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Lunch with family, then just brief snippet of Reed Warbler song and still a couple of LBBGs round pond and singing Blackcap but no obvious insects on a windy day, other than Holly Blue, Peacock, Speckled Wood. In the garden this Eumerus hover fly was the best, with E. luniger, S. pipiens and Sphaerophoria as 'backup'. One of a couple of Lasioglossum bees in the garden also.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

A different angle on things..

Unlike yesterday, early this morning was gloriously dry, still and sunny - a pleasure to be up despite the early hour - and no sound of traffic. Sadly not much bird song. Not sure whether the Med Gulls are taking a different route inland this year but they don't seem to be overflying the garden much and I've not heard GSW, Nuthatch nor Goldcrest which were prominent most mornings last year. (Later 5 Meds circled silently overhead whilst loading the car).

Still small numbers of moths but only one interloper today, a May Bug, and some nice looking moths with Buff Tip and Angle Shades new for the year and Great Prominent (NfG) plus  two Knot Grass and a different Peppered Moth to yesterday's individuals.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Wet wet wet

....Out where the sky's been cleared by a good hard rain....

Had hoped the forecasted rain was going to arrive a little later, so it was a frantic jump out of bed at 04:45  as the thunder and lightning rolled in. Within seconds the rain was pretty hard although thankfully not torrential. Removed a few spp from the fence panel and popped the trap inside. Multiple May Bugs and Ladybirds. All moths fridged and then back to bed. Four NfGs, two macros and two micros plus a couple of smart Knot Grass, Willow Beauty, Flame Shoulder etc. If only there was some more 'habitat' nearby!

Later at Heath Pond, there was a brief respite with warm sunshine and my first Painted Lady barrelling by and a territorial Small Copper and male Common Blue. No obvious hovers other than many Cheilosia spp below and a Eupeodes.   Numerous blue damsels, this one photographed being Common rather than Azure

As the weather clouded over the numbers of Swifts and hirundines increased to about 150 ish. Three Reed Warblers were still singing and one male Blackcap was throwing a hissy-fit whilst I photographed insects nearby. The swans still have their 7 cygnets and both pairs of Great-crested Grebes were floating around  - presumably nowhere there for nests. Best of all a drake Garganey flew out from waterside vegetation looking a little tatty moving into eclipse. Where has that dropped in from?

Killed some time over breakfast at Aylings before a very brief (10 minutes) at Iping - Yellowhammer heard, single Tree Pipit perched up in a conifer and a Buzzard over. A few Common Heaths being blown around in the by now cloudy, breezy conditions.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Not much in the trap but luckily only one May Bug; a Pale Tussock (NfG) on the fence panel and a couple of hours later another in the same place - don't know where it had been hiding! Just LBAMs, H&Ds, a Maidens Blush, Garden Carpet and a slightly worn Oligia spp. A pug got away.

In Chichester two singing Goldcrests, one in the front Yew trees and the other in the tea room garden. A small passerine, presumably a Starling brought in by the female Peregrine and earlier the male went off after an impossibly high Buzzard. Two whiter-than-white Med Gulls went west calling and the hot breezy conditions were ideal for the Swifts dashing around the spire.

Later at the park too hot for any birds and only one Firecrest singing. The lower sun-dappled path had several V. bombylans (first for year) and this Wasp Beetle (Clytus arietis - a wasp-mimicking longhorn beetle). On the top path a Dingy Skipper dining on dog poo!! Plenty of Brimstones. Two male BBCs were staking claims to the pond area and perching up between dogfights.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

All Peachy today

This Peach Blossom was the best in the trap along with Great Prominent, Poplar HM, Elephant HM, Silver-ground Carpet, White Ermines, Bufftip, Straw Dots etc etc - 25spp in total.

Lots of Common Terns on or around the rafts and a brief Kingfisher.

First Red-eyed Damselflies of the year were a mating pair outside Ivy South and a couple of impressive Hornets were in addition to two at Pulborough yesterday.

Earlier, on Acres Down three Gos and a bunch of Buzzards but no Honeys despite 18+ pairs of eyes!! Two flyby Hawfinches followed a little later by two Crossbills, a male and a female. Cuckoo was the best of the rest with an audible backdrop of Meadow Pipit, Tree Pipit, Wood Lark, Redstart and later Firecrest.

Down on the pond a male Emperor Dragonfly was my first of the summer.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

PB Heathland Walk

A late-ish start at PB with just a stroll down to Westmead. Distinct lack of insects. A Nightingale and a Lesser Whitethroat were both hidden and singing whilst a Cuckoo flew by calling and was heard again at the end of the day near Hollybush Hill. Just a couple of Buzzards, two Redshanks and two Red Kites (with a third over Egdean on the way home). Five Broad -bodied Chasers and a male Banded Demoiselle plus Chloromyia formosa. Over lunch a Sparrowhawk disturbed the feeders and slipped away over Upperton's Field.

On the heathland more BBCs and quite a few Four-spots.

As part of the organised walk, with 15 or so volunteers, a few insect species were added including Blood Bees (Sphecodes), Two-banded Longhorn Beetle, Cream-spot Tiger, several Brown Silverlines, Rhinoceros Beetle (Sinodendron cylindricum) and Early Bees (Bombus  pratorum) on Green Alkanet (Pentaglottis sempervirens).

In the play area this Chrysotoxum cautum - same place as a fortnight ago.

Finally, on the way home the ubiquitous Rogate Kestrel popped up onto the telegraph wires.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017


First visit for a while; caught up with a few people including Jeff and Mike.
Birdwise pretty much nil with maybe  10 Buzzards and 6 Kites. Shelduck and Gadwall with nine ducklings each plus two noisy Oystercatchers and goslings and goose cr*p everywhere. The Melanogaster hoverfly (probably hirtella) was confusing but sorted out by Roger and the Cardinal Beetle the brightest thing on a very grey day.

Monday, 22 May 2017

First summer's day


Burnet Companion

Garden Chafer

Common Carpet

Duke of Burgundy

Moth trap unsurprisingly dismal with just one each of May Bug, White Ermine, H&D, S-sD, Orange Footman and a couple of tatty micros I didn't bother with.

Started at the park with breakfast, coffee and crosswords while it warmed up and the clouds dispersed. Took the path via the underpass and up to the eastern boundary fence of Oxenbourne down, walked northwards and looped back. Desperately short of wildlife with just singles of Buzzard and Sprawk, a couple of heard Willow Warblers and Whitethroats. Double figure counts of Small Heath and Common Blue(all males), Common Carpets, Speckled Yellows, single Grizzled Skipper and plenty of Narrow-bordered 5 Spots plus lots of Garden Chafers. On the way back just a single singing Mistle Thrush.

Back at QECP pretty much zero, no identifiable hovers and just three heard Firecrests and two Bullfinches. The pond still well stocked with tadpoles and Azure Damsels but sign of any dragons.

Up on Butser, laying on the grass with eyes shut felt a bit more like spring with singing Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Cuckoo (1 maybe 2), Yellowhammer and Skylarks. Just this one well-worn Duke of Burgundy and a few more Small Heath.

At the Butser Farm turnoff probably in excess of 25 Med Gulls hawking.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Precious liitle although first Parhelophilus spp, Syritta pipiens and Eristalis nemorum today, the former below. A small Tephritid fly and a Rhagio spp (Snipefly). Still a few Med Gulls, 35+ Swifts and  Sparrowhawk plus lots of new Starlings

Saturday, 20 May 2017

The day of the shiny shoofts ( although none too shiny these days)

Off to Chi to collect the new kit, where a couple of House Martins nearby and on the way back, by the cross, the male Peg 'kek-kek-kekking' and chasing off a high Buzzard, with the female joining in. Sensibly, the Buzzard slipped away to the east.
Around the cathedral just a few Goldfinches and two Goldcrests.

On the way back along the Funtington road three more single Buzzards.
Decided to try out the new bins at Petersfield, where four Reed Warblers, two still singing in bramble scrub - maybe there's just not enough reeds here - 125+ Swifts and a few hurundines plus another Buzzard.

The sheltered area to the east with lots of buttercup still had a fair few Cheilosias, several M. equestris etc plus male Common Blue and three feisty Small Coppers. Probably more hovers if I'd taken a camera.

Finally, at QECP pretty much nil after a heavy shower with just one Firecrest heard and of course no insects.

Friday, 19 May 2017

A short walk with little on offer. A few Butterflies, Holly Blue (3), Red Admiral(2), Small White (several) and Speckled Wood(several). A Fox was sunbathing but I obviously disturbed it and it bounded away. Lots of clusters of tiny spiderlings on the fencework and a few bees and hovers in the south facing hedge, including this Epistrophe nitidicollis.
Still Hairy-footed Flower Bee in the garden.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Tenthredo spp -temula?

Between leaving and arriving at Blashford the best of the weather was lost so it was pretty grey and breezy all day.

The smart summer plumage Turnstone(above) was still present and was a site first for me; three LRPs were buzzing around with this one(above) in close. Still a few Med Gulls, plenty of Swifts (75+) and a pair of mating Great -crested Grebes plus a distant Red Kite.

A few bits in the moth trap, Poplar Hawkmoth, Pale Prominent(above) being the best.

At Ivy South one or two vocal but invisible Kingfishers, 15 or so pairs of Common Tern on the rafts and another Red Kite. Insect wise a noticeable hatch of Alder (?) Fly and teneral damsels, presumably Common. A few Large Red and Blue-tailed along the path.

Back at the pond Rhingia campestris, Tropidia scita and Xylota segnis plus a few other common species.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

A pretty bland sort of day at TH with the feeling that spring has slipped by to be replaced by the long summer doldrum bird-wise. A Mute Swan family in the harbour, Canada Geese with goslings and a family of Coots. Curiously island A seemed to have lost all its gulls - is this water level related?

A few hovers, mostly unidentifiable Cheilosias but Baccha elongata and a NfY, Merodon equestris. Few butterflies  - usual suspects plus Holly Blue.

A couple of displaying Sparrowhawks distantly to the west looked to be the best of the day until rescued by another fine male Hen Harrier over the reserve and then away along the coast to the east. Can't believe it's not different to the previous one ten days ago.

Crashed the plastic big time on some optics; just awaiting delivery.