Archive for August 27th, 2006

27th August 2006, Sunday

The sorrows of Sycamore

The sycamore leaf above is twice afflicted. The black, yellow-edged patches are caused by tarspot fungus, Rhytisma acerinum, while the red pustules are formed by a mite species variously named Eriophyes macrorhyncus, Aceria cephaloneus and more. They all be one species.

Tarspot is only abundant in areas free of atmospheric sulphur pollution.  These were photographed today in Sedlescombe.

27th August 2006, Sunday

Viewpoint at Dusk

At the viewpoint this evening 43 Little Egret were seen coming in to roost. Also here 150+ Yellow Wagtail roosting (though this time in the reedbeds), three Green Sandpiper, two Water Rail and a Barn Owl. In addition, a Wood Sandpiper was reported on Castle Water from the hide late afternoon.

27th August 2006, Sunday

Fairy Ring

The Fairy Ring below was near Camber Castle and was about 1.5 metres across. It is the common fungus Marasmius oreades (“Fairy Ring Champignon”) which can cause significant damage to grass turf. This fungus grows on the accumulated thatch of dead turf, and spreads progressively outwards as a ring.

Fairy Ring

27th August 2006, Sunday

News from RSPB Dungeness

Another osprey was seen briefly over the ARC pit, and hobby, merlin and marsh harrier were recorded too.

Wader-wise the only noteworthy sightings were black-tailed godwit and greenshank.

27th August 2006, Sunday

Hornets on Escallonia

Hornet on Escallonia bifida

One of the best flowers for butterflies and other insects at this time of year in my experience is Escallonia bifida, a South American shrub.

We have had a plant for many years growing against a South Wall and, while it has suffered a bit in hard winters, it flowers well every year.

At the moment it is being constantly patrolled by hornets who are interested in prey, not nectar or pollen. The picture shows one of them hanging by one of its hind legs as it devours a hoverfly (an Eristalis I think). This is a characteristic hornet feeding position.

27th August 2006, Sunday

Rye Harbour Moths

Migrants in the Lime Kiln trap this morning included 63 Rush Veneer, seven Rusty Dot Pearl, five White-point, five Dark Sword-grass (below), three Pearly Underwing, three Silver Y, two Evergestis extimalis and a single Small Mottled Willow. The highlight today however was a Rosy Wave (bottom), a species of wet habitats which is recorded less than annually in small numbers at Rye Harbour

Dark Sword-grass small.jpg

Dark Sword-grass

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