Archive for August 8th, 2006

8th August 2006, Tuesday

Near Brede Waterworks

On the footpath, just to the north of Brede waterworks, I came across a rather large spider. It wass black and yellow colouring was striking. I believe it to be a female wasp spider Argiope bruennichi. This spider is on the Sussex rare species list. It makes a large orb web, usually about a foot up from the ground, with zigzagged lines running through it, that look a little like a zipper. The reason it makes its web so close to the ground, is that it seems to have a taste for grasshoppers and jumping insects. The reasons for the zigzag in its web remains unclear. The female is much larger than the male, which she often eats after mating. Her body length is some 14-17mm, while the male is only 4-6mm. I observed this spider catch a fly, wrap it with silk, move it, and return to the centre of the web, in about 3 seconds flat.
wasp spider
Dave Monk

8th August 2006, Tuesday

Upperwing Pattern

An attempt has been made during the summer to highlight some of the butterflies found on the Reserve on RX Wildlife, as we are frequently asked to identify butterflies for visitors. On previous posts, Gate Keeper 15th and 30th July and Meadow Brown 26th July, the underwing was shown. The upperwing pattern of the two species are shown below.

 rxgate keeper upperwing.jpg

Gatekeeper above and Meadow Brown below .

rxmeadow brown upperwing jpg.jpg

8th August 2006, Tuesday

Brede Lock

The main highlight from a trip round the Reserve came at the end, at Brede lock, with a splendid male Banded Demoiselle. The picture was taken through a telescope as it perched on a boats mooring rope. There have been two records previously both at Castle Water.

rxbanded demoiselle2.jpg

8th August 2006, Tuesday

Beach Reserve

A few birds about this morning despite the chilly wind, along the shore 3 Grey Plover, 26 Curlew, Sanderling, Dunlin and 200+ roosting Sandwich Terns. The Arctic Skua continues to hang around offshore, 20 Gannets were also fishing close inshore. At Ternery Pool 8 Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper and 10 Teal were the highlights. The Wader Pool attracted a few Dunlin, Curlew and a Little Ringed Plover. Roosting Golden Plover numbers are creeping up on Flat Beach 122 were present this morning.

rxcurlew waderpool.jpg