For illustrated talks on natural history and history see

For illustrated talks on natural history and history click link for

Friday, 17 March 2017

Earl Grey moth, Xylocampa areola

 Last night an Earl Grey moth, Xylocampa areola was attracted to my kitchen window in Cuckfield, West Sussex, UK.  The centimetre measure is inside the double glazing above and the moth outside.
 Here are some pictures from outside.  It flies from February to May and feeds on honeysuckle.
This is the first time that I have observed this somewhat inconspicuous moth in my garden.
For more moth sightings in Sussex, see

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Native orchids of Sussex: an illustrated talk and walk on Newtimber Hill, Tuesday 20 June 2017

This summer there is a rare opportunity to enjoy an illustrated talk on twenty six of our native orchids of Sussex, Surrey and Kent in the National Trust education center at Saddlescombe Farm in the heart of the South Downs.  See details of the talk at , which will be followed by a walk on the Downs with National Trust ranger, Graham Wellfare, (above from June 2016).

On Newtimber Hill there will be an abundance of Fragrant orchids and other beautiful flowers.

Fragrant orchid
Booking is essential by telephone at 01273 857981  or email 
Full details are at  Places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Queen Bumblebees and butterflies yesterday in my Sussex garden

 It was a warm day yesterday: well above average for the time of year.
 Tree bumblebee queens, Bombus hypnorum (above) were flying and feasting on nectar from
Daphne bhuola.
 Two Red admiral butterflies were similarly filling their stomachs with nectar.
A Buff-tailed bumblebee, Bombus terrestris queen was active,
It was the fragrant flowers of Daphne bhuola that attracted these and other insects like hoverflies,below.
Speakers' secretaries may be interested in my talk on 
The extraordinary lives of wild bees and the important role of gardeners in their survival at

Blog Archive