Last week Janet Richardson sent us a couple of pictures taken at the viewpoint, I did not find them untill today. They were the first reported sightings of Marbled White present in the nearby grassland and the two fledged Marsh Harriers which were very close to the viewpoint at the time. Its great to see a picture of one youngster trying to find its balance while tackling a landing amongst the willows.
Archive for the 'Butterflies' Category
While out on the weekly butterfly/dragonfly transect this afternoon I came across several weird looking flies on a gate post. They are called Medetera diadema and belong to the dolichopodidae, also called ‘long-legged flies’ or more often ‘dolis’ by enthusiasts. They are generally small flies with a metallic green colouration and are predatory on other invertebrates (the larvae are either predators or scavengers in aquatic or terrestrial habitats). Truth be told they are a group that I know very little about, with this being one of only two species I can identify with any confidence. They are striking looking flies though, with this genus in particular looking very alien indeed.
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Around Rye and Playden today: Brimstone, Small White, Orange Tip, Holly Blue, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell and Speckled Wood.
2011 is the year of our Water Vole habitat management trial along one of the ditches just west of New Gate, Winchelsea. After completing vegetation management in February, creating a wiggly channel of open water with scalloped “bays”, the electric fence went live on 10th March. This will protect the bank from trampling and poaching by livestock and leave the voles a wider strip of grass to feed on. Their activity will be monitored from next month. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m into the last two weeks of the weekly butterfly/dragonfly counts now, and as might be expected there hasn’t really been much to count! Dragonflies consisted of a few tens of Common Damsefly, about the same of Migrant Hawker and a few Common Darter and Ruddy Darter, while butterflies consisted of the odd Small White, Small Heath, Meadow Brown and Small Copper. One interesting invertebrate I did find today was a larva of the Cherry Slug Sawfly (Caliroa cerasi). Sawflies are relatives of bees and wasps, and these bizarre larvae do look like tiny slugs. This one was also doing exactly what it says on the tin and feeding on the leaves of a potted Cherry tree at Lime Kiln, stripping off the top layers of the leaf (you can see the bare areas in the photo below).
Cherry Slug Sawfly larva at Lime Kiln Cottage this afternoon
There are still a few insects to be found during any warm sunny spells, today at Ternery pool Small Copper, Small Tortoiseshell and several Grey Bush Cricket were around Parkes Hide, and at Castle Water Hide Comma, Small Heath, Migrant Hawker and Common Darter.
Comma at Castle Water Hide
I had a good afternoon yesterday recording butterflies in Beckley Woods and to my surprise I found a group of blues amongst which were at least two Chalkhill Blues. Silvery underwing shows dark veins crossing the white fringe, the milky blue upperwing shows broad black margin.
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At some point over the coming week (24th July – 1st August) please consider taking part in our BIG BUTTERFLY COUNT, a nationwide survey aimed at helping us assess the health of our environment. It’s really simple and I’m certain you’ll find it enjoyable and rewarding. www.bigbutterflycount.org