Wednesday 19 September 2018

Small Coppers and metal detecting

Small Copper, Lycaena phlaeas ab. caeruleopunctata
I drove north last Thursday to attend a metal detecting dig north of Andover, nothing exciting was found by me. I then stayed at an Airbnb home at Highworth before heading north to the Detectival metal detecting rally near Burford, Oxon. 
  On the way I called at two nature reserves: Whelford Pools and Greystones Farm where I had lunch. A restoration field at Greystones Farm had many Small Coppers, all exclusively nectaring on dandelions in preference to other flowers. The Small coppers were all ab. caeruleopunctata, which have a row of blue spots preceding the copper marginal band (see ukbutterflies)
  While there I had a look round Bourton on the Water which had coachloads of tourists, I guess attracted by the river flowing through the town. I'd rather be in the countryside!
 The next two nights I spent in a cottage that Dmitry and Sue had rented near the Detectival site. Had a good time at the festival with Dmitry, again didn't find anything remotely interesting but did see a couple of lovely silver denarii and a barberous radiate. Plenty of good finds were reported, including gold and a hoard but most people we talked to had nothing much, which is normal for these rallies we find. The evenings were great, with Sue's lovely meals and plenty of red wine! Their dogs were very nice too, also foxhounds and llamas on site in a picturesque, huge and well maintained garden. Arrived home Sunday evening tired but satisfied.
Littlehampton dusk September 12

Littlehampton sunset September 12

Whelford Pools
Common Pond Skater, Gerris lacustris

Whirligig Beetle, Gyrinus substriatus

Dark Strawberry Tortrix, Celypha lacunana

Green Dock Beetle, Gastrophysa viridula

Green Dock Beetles
Small Copper, Lycaena phlaeas ab. caeruleopunctata

Small Copper (with ring flash)

Small Copper (with ambient light)
I played around with the image above in Photoshop, including the one at the top!

Small Copper

Small Copper

Small Copper

Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale

Silverweed, Potentilla anserina

Bourton on the Water

Bourton on the Water

Bourton on the Water

Oak Bush-cricket, Meconema thalassinum at Littlehampton
buttons from Detectival
Nuremberg jeton Lion of St. Mark type

Tudor buckle type IF6 and possible belt decoration

Arundel Kingfisher and Little Egret plus a seal matrix

Little Egret, Egretta garzetta
On September 5th I visited Arundel WWT again and took some more videos of the Kingfisher on the post in front of the Ramsar hide (which can be viewed on the link above). I returned the following day and watched the Little Egret fishing. A male Canada Goose had two females in his charge and made his feelings clear when another group landed nearby. His aggressive stance resulted in the other group flying off. I spotted a pair of Ruddy Darters mating. Some moths landed by our balcony light including a Small Dusty Wave and a Square-spot Rustic.
Canada Geese, Branta canadensis

Canada Geese

Jacob sheep

Little Egret, Egretta garzetta hunting

Little Egret - the lunge

Little Egret with fish
Reed Warbler, Acrocephalus scirpaceus

Ruddy Darter, Sympetrum sanguineum

Small Dusty Wave, Idaea seriata

Square-spot Rustic, Xestia xanthographa

On September 8th during a visit to Ditchling Common I saw Brittlegill fungi and an Ichneumon wasp (Dusona circumspectans).
brittlegill, pink Russula species
Ichneumon wasp, Dusona circumspectans
The following day I attended a metal detecting dig at Loxwood and found a seal matrix showing interlocking arms. The condition is poor so I cannot read the letters on the outside of the interlocking rectangles. The handle has broken off. I have self-recorded on the PAS database but as Sussex has no Finds Liaison Officer at present I don't know when a new FLO will give an official description. It looks like similar seals dating to the medieval period c.14th century and is made of copper alloy.
medieval seal matrix
left image of face is after cleaning, right image is before cleaning.
digging field at Ogbourne St George Sep 2.

Sunflowers at Loxwood

Wednesday 5 September 2018

Red Underwing and a Kingfisher

Red Underwing, Catocala nupta
Last night I was delighted to find another large and beautiful moth on our balcony, the Red Underwing (Catocala nupta). Other moths seen the past two days: Light Emerald, Small Dusty Wave, Bright-line Brown-eye, Brimstone Moth, Clothes Moth (Monopis species), Square-spot Rustic, Willow Beauty, Large Yellow Underwing.
During yesterday afternoon I sat in the Ramsar hide at Arundel WWT where the Kingfisher presented itself again.
Red Underwing, Catocala nupta

Bright-line Brown-eye, Lacanobia oleracea

Brimstone Moth, Opisthograptis luteolata

Clothes Moth, Monopis species 

Grey Heron, Ardea cinerea being chased by a gull 

Kingfisher, Alcedo atthis

drying off after an unsuccessful dive

Square-spot Rustic, Xestia xanthographa

Willow Beauty, Peribatodes rhomboidaria

Yellow Shell, Camptogramma bilineata

Large Yellow Underwing, Noctua pronuba

Light Emerald, Campaea margaritata

Small Dusty Wave, Idaea seriata