Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Primroses and a Fundamental Bench Mark

Wood Violet, Viola riviniana and Primrose, Primula vulgaris
Yesterday I did a tour of Rewell Wood and saw many primroses, some wood violets plus gorse and blackthorn in flower. I also spotted a photographer taking shots of a stone mini monument which he explained was a Fundamental Bench Mark stone. Apparently these were put down in the 1930s by the Ordnance Survey and were a very accurate marking of the height above sea level. There were only 190 created across the country and many have been lost due to redevelopment, road widening and subsidence. This blog gives a good account of them: 

Afterwards I visited Arundel WWT and saw snipe by the Ramsar hide. I also sspotted a caterpillar on nettle by the Sand martin hide. I think it is a moth larva, but with so many instars for each species I haven't yet found a match in my texts or on-line. The nearest I can find is Xestia species. There were plenty of goldfinches at the woodland feeders plus 2 brown rats enjoying the fallen seeds.
Rewell Wood

Rewell Wood
Wood Violet
probably Plaited Door Snail, Cochlodina laminata
Blackthorn, Prunus spinosa

Gorse, Ulex europaeus


fundamental bench mark

fundamental bench mark - top
Arundel WWT:
unidentified moth larva on nettle

Goldfinch, Carduelis carduelis
Brown Rat, Rattus norvegicus

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Snipe, Brown Hairstreak eggs and Ladybirds

Common Snipe, Gallinago gallinago
At Kithurst meadow today I saw 2 Commas plus 2 male Brimstones in the lane. Then at Pulborough Brooks there were plenty of male Brimstones in flight. A sign saying "Brown Hairstreak eggs" attracted my attention near the visitor centre. 3 pieces of green wool indicated the twigs with eggs, with a magnifying glass supplied for easy viewing! In the cafe dozens of Harlequin Ladybirds had hatched and were crawling over the windows. Outside I found a 7-spot Ladybird. A flowering primrose was beside the path. The visit finished with a great view of a Snipe feeding in front of Nettleys hide. A huge number of Lapwings and gulls rose up and wheeled in the air, presumably put up by a raptor.
Brown Hairstreak egg, Thecla betulae

7-spot Ladybird, Propylea 7-punctata

Harlequin Ladybirds, Harmonia axyridis

Primrose, Primula vulgaris

Pulborough Brooks

Common Snipe, Gallinago gallinago

Common Snipe

Lapwings, Vanellus vanellus and gulls

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Grey Shoulder-knot Moth & waterfowl

Grey Shoulder-knot Moth, Lithophane ornitopus
Yesterday I went for a walk in Houghton Forest to look for moths on tree trunks. I found one, a Grey Shoulder-knot Moth (Lithophane ornitopus). I saw a single holly berry and many hazel catkins. In the afternoon I visited Arundel WWT where I saw a Kingfisher on the outside of the reed bed hide, a Little Egret plus many wildfowl at the Ramsar Hide. I met birders who told me they had seen a Crossbill and heard others. No such luck for me though.
  Today I returned to Houghton Forest, this time walking from the Whiteways car park. I found an Orange Ladybird.
Houghton Forest:
Candlesnuff Fungus, Xylaria hypoxylon

Hazel catkins, Corylus avellana

Holly, Ilex aquifolium

unidentified lichen

unidentified fungus(?)

the fungus above on a log
Arundel WWT:

Gadwall, Anas strepera

Canada Goose, Branta canadensis

Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis

Little Egret, Egretta garzetta

Little Egret

Shelduck, Tadorna tadorna

Shelduck and  Teal, Anas crecca

Tufted Duck, Aythya fuligula
Houghton Forest:
unidentified bracket fungi

Orange Ladybird, Halyzia sedecimguttata