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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Butterflies in my garden in Cuckfield today

 A hot, sunny day brought out a fine display of butterflies, including Silver-washed Fritillary,


 and Meadow Brown.
A Red Admiral, Peacock and Large White were also on the wing.

Emperor dragonfly laying eggs in a garden pond, West Sussex, UK

 This Emperor dragonfly, Anax imperator was laying eggs in a garden pond,  in Cuckfield, West Sussex, UK this afternoon.
 Wishful thinking but if her larvae attacked baby newts, then maybe there might be some frogs next year.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Spectacular display of Fifteen Butterflies species, beautiful "Pride of Sussex" and other flowers, and other amazing insects on Wolstonbury Hill today

It was perfect weather for a gentle stroll across the whole area of Wolstonbury Hill, West Sussex today with François Piolino who had a day off from singing in his fourth year at Glyndebourne Opera House, this year in Ariadne auf Noxos.  François is a tenor who sings in opera houses throughout the world and who loves to return to Sussex.

As he says, "It is always a great pleasure to sing at Glydebourne -- and my joy is enhanced on days off by walking the Sussex Downs and photographing the many rare orchids, flowers and butterflies.
Today was very special with so many lovely things to see topped by "The Pride of Sussex" the county flower of Sussex.

Marbled White

Meadow Brown & Marbled White

François photographing "The Pride of Sussex"

Six-spot Burnet moth on "Pride of Sussex" flower.

The view to Chanctonbury Hill looking westwards.
Click to enlarge to see "Pride of Sussex" flowers

Chalkhill blue

Knapweed flower bud bursting open into an exotic flower loved by butterflies

Greater Knapweed

Pyramidal Orchid

Mating Six-spot Burnet moths on a chrysalis from which a third Burnet moth is emerging

Small Skipper


Clouded Yellow

Small Purple & Gold moth

female Common Blue?

male Common Blue

A large Skipper 

A Fritillary


Meadow Brown

Large skippers

Small copper

Red Admiral
By accident a photo' of a Small Heath was deleted.

Monday, 10 July 2017

A wolf loose in Marstakes Common, East Sussex this morning: well actually a Wolf spider, Pardosa sp.; Silver-washed Fritillaries; Gatekeeper & lots of Meadow Brown butterflies.

The Friends of Markstakes Common, South Chaily, East Sussex just off the A275, meet on most Monday mornings at 09.30 at the gate in the flint wall in the lane.
They are a small conservation group formed in 2009 and inspired by the Group Leader, Rupert Hall and the Rangers.  They set out to survey and to conserve some of this valuable and ancient site.
Details at New volunteers are most welcomed.

Beautiful glades have been created and bracken and brambles hand weeded, creating habitats for bell heather to thrive.  This morning, a glade was weeded and this blog entry shows just a few of the creatures observed.
Silver-washed Fritillaries were flying resting occasionally in the surrounding trees.
Meadow Browns were ubiquitous.
A Gatekeeper settled in the glade.
 A dragonfly flew around and obligingly settled: a Migrant Hawker, Aeshna mixta.
This is an early time of year to see this species.  See for more info'.  where it states the Flight Period: August to October (some individuals in July and November).
A Wolf was seen!
A Wolf spider, Pardosa sp. possibly.
 Here she is on my hand carrying her egg-sac.
 No web is spun to catch prey.  They run fast as we can testify and are difficult to photograph as a consequence.
These spiders have eight eyes in three rows with two rows of two large eyes.  These four large eyes can be seen if you click on the pictures to expand them.  This mother is carrying her egg-sac attached to her spinnerets.  The spiderlings emerge and are carried around on her back for a few days before they disperse.  What a dutiful mother.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Butterflies and moths on Wolstonbury Hill today

Forester Moth, Adscita statices
This Forester Moth, Adscita statices was on Ragwort that the Friends of Wolstonbury Hill were removing today to limit the spread of seeds to adjacent hay meadows.
There is so much Ragwort that many more volunteers would have been most welcomed.
If you are interested to get involved, please see and join us on our next work party.

Several Fritillary butterfly were flying swiftly across the grassland.  And just occasionally one would stop to refuel on a thistle.
This moth is yet to be identified.
Other species seen included Marbled Whites, copious Meadow Browns, Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Heath, Small Skipper and Silver-spotted Skipper.
Small Skipper?

Small Heath

Field Cuckoo Bee, Bombus campestris
Finnally a Cuckoo bumblebee -- Field Cuckoo Bee, Bombus campestris on Knapweed.

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