Archive for the 'Brede High Woods' Category

22nd April 2012, Sunday

Brook Lamprey

During a walk led by Patrick Roper through Brede High Wood we spotted a Brook Lamprey. At first we had trouble determining if there was something there in the stream or if we were just looking at an oddly shaped leaf. For some time we stared over the side of the footbridge at it debating the possibility. In the end it was decided the only way to find out was to reach in and scoop it out. Without difficulty it was scooped out by hand and sure enough it was a Brook Lamprey. It seemed oblivious to being handled and removed from the water and just lay motionless. The whole group on the walk had a chance to see the Lamprey and take photographs. It was then returned to the water unharmed.

(There was an informative R4 programme about Lampreys this week. Cliff)

28th January 2012, Saturday

Brede High Woods Adder

Today a small group of Woodland Trust volunteers headed to Brede High Wood’s Holman Meadow. The task was to clear out the invading birch scrub. It was hard work but we all felt very rewarded when we took time to stand back and admire our efforts.
As we were heading back for some warm drinks, (provided by Mike) I spotted an adder on the side of the path. Yes that’s right an adder. Yes in January. I know. Amazing. I don’t believe we had disturbed it. It was away from where we had been working and it had already been around long enough to have fed. A bump can clearly be seen in the snake, perhaps the size on a small rodent.
If you look closely at the picture you may be able to see the snakes tongue tasting the air.
It is also in a position that it takes before it strikes. A good time to use the zoom on the camera I thought. I wonder if this may be the first record for an adder in the UK this year.
If you would like to get involved please contact Mike Jackson at Read the rest of this entry »

26th May 2011, Thursday

Brede High Woods

A couple of (long overdue) vists to these great woods this week provided some excellent hoverfly highlights. Yesterday a nice find was a male Brachypalpus laphriformis perched on a bramble leaf, the angle of the picture below is odd but it shows the swollen and arched hind femur rather well as the fly cleans itself. This species is scarce and regarded as a rarity and elusive, it’s range is mainly confined to well wooded areas of southern Britain the larvae are associated with rot holes in large broad-leaved trees . Additional highlights included Criorhina floccasa, C. berberina, Chalcosyrphus nemorum, Sericomiya silentis and the superb Brachypalpoides lentus. Also of interest Bombus hypnorum was present in good numbers.


Male Brachypalpus laphriformis, a hive bee mimic.

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17th May 2011, Tuesday

Checkered Beetle

Checkered Beetle
I found this 10mm. beetle while turning over pine logs. It is Checkered BeetleThanasimus formicarius. A few moments after finding it I found a second one about 20 feet away from the first. Penny Green from the Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre has let me see the previous records for this beetle. It turns out the last one recorded in Sussex was 13 years ago, and none of the previous finds are anywhere near Brede High Wood. So this makes for a good record for this lovely little beetle that resembles an ant (= formicarius).

12th May 2011, Thursday


Sorry about the poor quality of this photo. The subject never stopped moving and I was lucky to get a picture even as good as this. It is just about good enough to get an identification from, and Patrick Roper has confirmed this ID for me. This is the cranefly Ctenophora pectinicornis and it is a Nationally Scarce species. There are half dozen or so earlier records of this in Sussex, most of them before 1960. Associated with rot-holes in large broadleaved trees, especially beech; larvae often occur in the rotten shattered ends of trunks and have been found in rotten boughs which have freshly fallen from at least 10m up.

5th May 2011, Thursday

Brede High Wood moths

Bluebell Conch
On a recent walk to Brede High Wood I took a photo of a small moth. After researching it, I found that it is a Bluebell ConchHysterophora maculosana I have talked to Patrick Roper and Colin Pratt both Sussex experts, about this moth and they have confirmed the name for me. There are only 4 records for it during the 21st century in Sussex. This picture, as pointed out by Patrick could be special due to the fact that it seems to be the only picture about that has the moth on the food plant.
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26th March 2011, Saturday

Light Orange Underwing

I was out on my first walk of the year in Brede High Wood, when I spotted some small day flying Lepidoptera. Patrick Roper and Martyn Parslow had mentioned seeing some small leps flying about in 2010, but both had been unable to get close enough to one to make an identification. I had with me, my first ever butterfly net. It was the first time I had taken it on a walk with me. It is a folding pocket net. So I then spent the next 2 hours on the same path walking up and down trying to catch one of the moths, and solve the mystery. A number of dog walkers passed by avoiding me, and to them, perhaps my odd behaviour. After seeing four moths, I finally managed to catch the fifth one. I have learnt that it is Notable B, day-flying Light Orange Underwing moth (Archiearis notha) It seems that this is the first one to be recorded in Sussex for 26 years. A few people have requested to see the pictures and they may well one day turn up in a moth book.
Dave Monk by e-mail

19th August 2010, Thursday

Brede High Wood

Holmans Meadow is a favourite place of mine to mooch about looking for wildlife, yesterday a fine selection of insects were found many of which have already featured this season on this site. I found a couple of species of hoverfly that were new to me, the scarce Rhingia rostrsata and the partial migrant Scaeva selenitica. R. rostrata is very similiar to Rhingia campestris which was very common on the reserve in May. Several features need to be checked to seperate the two species, a thin black line on the side of the abdomen and along the lateral margins of the tergites are a couple of features that are shown well when comparing the two species in the pictures below.


Rhingia rostrata, lacking the thin black lines

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25th July 2010, Sunday

Chalkhill Blue !

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.
Chalkhill Blue
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14th June 2010, Monday

Black-clouded Longhorn Beetle

In June last year I found while walking in Brede High Wood a White-clouded Longhorn Beetle Mesosa nebulosa Red Data Book 3. I did a post on this site when I found it. Realising it was about the same time of year I decided to walk the same path again. This year I found a Black-clouded Longhorn Beetle Leiopus nebulosus. This beetle turns out to be common. The larva lives in dead wood and they both live in the tops of trees.