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Tuesday 28 July 2009

Every walk's a winner with Honest John

John lead this lovely 10 miles walk for the Mid Sussex Ramblers starting from Selhurst Park near Goodwood.
The weather was perfect for walking and butterflies were abundant, especially large whites above. It was a great day for a flutter -- for insects and punters. And John lead us expertly to watch glorious Goodwood (see blog entry below).
Hover fly on a teasel.
Large white butterfly

Gatekeeper butterfly.
View to East Dean in West Sussex.
A male common blue butterfly.

This looks lie a pyramidal orchid.

Red admiral
Swathes of wild flowers including Great Mulleins.

Silver-washed fritillary above.
And a High brown fritillary.
There were also lots of painted lady butterflies.
Thanks John for a great walk.

Glorious Goodwood; Mid Sussex Ramblers go racing.

They are off!

They are off again!
And it looks like the leader is going the wrong way! Surely not!

Sunday 26 July 2009

7 miles ramble round the Loder valley nature reserve and beyond

This walk was from the Mid Sussex Ramblers' programme of walks. It went through many varied habitats. A highlight was a kingfisher viewed from the kingfisher hide. The meadows were full of butterflies and damselflies - a few of which are captured in pictures below.
Painted ladies were everywhere - the parents of these having travelled from North Africa.
This Brimstone was less common and more difficult to get a picture of.
This looks like a Gatekeeper, above.
This fritillary has taken a bashing. Open the picture to view its damaged wing edges.
These fritillaries were clearly having fun.
And finally this looks like a skipper.

Lunchtime with spiders & wasps

A happy band of 14 Mid Sussex ramblers enjoyed a lunch break in the Loder Valley Nature reserve. By popular request a leisurely 30 minutes was allocated, during which I spent some time in the flower rich meadow that you see above.
A fear of spiders is not uncommon, as is a dislike for wasps. For those who dislike spiders, you may now view wasps in a different light. Click on the pictures below to see a wasp making a meal of a spider before flying off with it. Mmmm yummy! I did taste a flying ant last week just for interest sake but for my taste it was a bit too acidic to enjoy a second one.

This wasp seemed to quickly decapitate the spider and make off with it. One can marvel at such violence on a Rambers' walk as this public execution.

Tuesday 14 July 2009

Moths on the South Downs; Bernard's 10 miles walk.

Thanks Bernard for leading this splendid 10 miles walk from Ditchling up to the Beacon and along the Downs towards Street and beyond. Details of walks are at Mid Sussex Ramblers.
Cinnabar moth caterpillars were feeding on ragwort. According to the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, the caterpillars feed on poisonous ragwort leaves, their body stores the alkaloid poison and passes this on through to chrysalis and finally to the moth. Predators such as birds that don’t heed their colourful warning soon learn how distasteful they are to eat!
The moths themselves tend to fly at night -- unlike the Burnet moth below, which flies during the day. Click on any picture to expand it.
I had no idea what the above butterfly was.
Thanks William for identifying it as a Small skipper.
Thanks again Bernard for another fine walk.

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