For illustrated talks on natural history and history see www.peterlovetttalks.co.uk

For illustrated talks on natural history and history click link for www.peterlovetttalks.co.uk

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

A very fine Sussex walk: part two: Butterflies and bonking beetles in Friston forest,Sussex, UK

From Friston pond cross the road and take the path down the hill, past Friston Place to Friston Hill.
Red Admiral
Here is a paradise for insects. [My trousers were sprayed with DEET against ticks, which I had already picked up in Ireland and Italy in the past.]
Small Heath
Meadow Brown



Small copper

Small copper

Chalkhill blue

Meadow brown

Six spot Burnet Moth

Large skipper

Essex skipper

Chalkhill blue

Chalkhill blue

Formica fusca, large black ants characteristic of a forest edge.

The Common Red Soldier Beetle, Rhagonycha fulva, otherwise known as the Hogweed bonking beetle doing what they do best.

The Common Red Soldier Beetle, Rhagonycha fulva

Flesh fly; the female lays young larvae instead of eggs into carrion
Six-spot Burnet moths were all over the Downs.  More of our lovely Bellflowers there in part three to follow.

A very fine Sussex walk: part one Damselflies & Dragonflies at Friston pond & Friston forest

From the National Trust car park at Crowlink the walk past Friston pond, through Friston Forest and back along the Downs and some of the Seven SIsters is one of the finest walks in Sussex.
The man-made pond dates to before 1066 and three species caught my attention yesterday.
A Small Red-eyed Damselfly, Erythromma viridulum rested on a lily pad.  This species was first discovered in England in July 1999 -- a new arrival from the continent.

Friston pond -- panoramic view.

 A female Common Darter above and a male below.

 Blue-tailed Damselfly mature male, Ischnura elegans


In several glades in the forest dozens of dragonflies were flying around.
Very difficult to photograph, coud the above be an Emperor dragonfly, whereas below is a Hawker of some sort


 Common Hawker male ?
Common Darter female, Click on any picture to expand them.
More from this walk to follow on bonking beetles, orchids and bellflowers.
Meanwhile natural history societies may enjoy http://www.peterlovetttalks.co.uk/product02.html

A very fine Sussex walk: part one Damselflies & Dragonflies at Friston pond & Friston forest

From the National Trust car park at Crowlink the walk past Friston pond, through Friston Forest and back along the Downs and some of the Seven SIsters is one of the finest walks in Sussex.
The man-made pond dates to before 1066 and three species caught my attention yesterday.
A Small Red-eyed Damselfly, Erythromma viridulum rested on a lily pad.  This species was first discovered in England in July 1999 -- a new arrival from the continent.

Friston pond -- panoramic view.

 A female Common Darter above and a male below.

 Blue-tailed Damselfly mature male, Ischnura elegans


In several glades in the forest dozens of dragonflies were flying around.
Very difficult to photograph, coud the above be an Emperor dragonfly, whereas below is a Hawker of some sort


 Common Hawker male ?
Common Hawker female, Click on any picture to expand them.
More from this walk to follow on bonking beetles, orchids and bellflowers.
Meanwhile natural history societies may enjoy http://www.peterlovetttalks.co.uk/product02.html

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Brockham Quarry nature reserve: Guelder rose

Brockham Quarry is a very special place: see http://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/reserves/brockham-lime-works for more information.  This entry is for all "Dutchies" who may be interested to note that the common name 'guelder rose' relates to the Dutch province of Gelderland, where a popular cultivar, the snowball tree, supposedly originated.
Viburnum opulis, the Guelder rose

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

A Common Wasp chewing wood to make a "paper" nest in a domestic garden.


To protect the air quality for my neighbours' lungs in an urban area, I never have bonfires: prunings and branches are piled up to rot naturally.  Common wasps, Vespula vulgaris, are making a nest in there somewhere and one was chewing a dead clipping -- presumably to make new cells from the "paper chewing".  They are fascinating insects.

Wasps may be a pain at a BBQ yet they do great work in the ecosystem in controlling caterpillars.
They are not usually aggressive and I was working today up a ladder a meter from this nest site pruning large tree branches.  I was no threat to them and they didn't sting me.  I was ready to run at any time though! 

 Click on any picture to expand them.











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