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

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

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

The "Castle walk" Knepp Castle with Mid Sussex Ramblers, 2nd July 2019.

Twelve ramblers enjoyed this nature walk with the highlight to see Purple Emperor butterflies. https://butterfly-conservation.org/butterflies/purple-emperor
Some of the wildlife seen included;
Meadow Grasshopper, Chorthippus parallelus

Some Marbled White butterflies 


Exmoor ponies

Male Beautiful Demoiselle  by the Adur bridge
The pond at Castle Lane

silt removal

Fresh water mussels
 Evidently the pigs are eating the mussels.
Fallow deer



Longhorn cattle
Returning to the Southern block of Knepp castle insects seen included;
Small White butterfly

Red-tailed Bumblebee male


Small Skipper


Cinnabar moth caterpillars on Ragwort plant

Well done Moira for spotting this Cinnabar moth 

Purple Emperor butterflies

 After lunch we saw a small number of Purple Emperors high above the oak trees.
White Admiral butterfly
 And then some kind enthusiasts pointed out a White Admiral.
The group was lead back to the Walkers car park where none opted to join me on a walk extension to the Hammer pond.  Too bad: they missed meeting the aristocrats of Lepidopterology and some gorgeous insects.
Matthew Oates http://www.matthew-oates.co.uk/home/
and Neil Hulme BEM (co-author of The Butterflies of Sussex).

This stream near the camp site was rich with Damselflies, male and female Demoiselles,  a Large Red and Azure damselfly.
Male Large Red damselfly

Azure Damselfly male

Female (probably Beautiful) Demoiselle 
Then on to the Hammer pond.

The bank was teaming with Blue-tailed damselflies.
 Just look at the wonderfully differing colour forms of the females.  https://british-dragonflies.org.uk/species/blue-tailed-damselfly/






They are quite a spectacle!

Click on any picture to enlarge it.

And now for something different.
 Copulating Black-tailed Skimmers, Orthetrum cancellatum






Colletes sp female: a solitary bee
 And finally a couple of sun-bleached bees
White-tailed Bumblebee worker?
What a great place and a great day nature watching.  You can find more nature walks at http://www.midsussexramblers.co.uk/home   


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