Sunday, 28 July 2013

South Downs and Sissinghurst

Last weekend we headed to Lullington Heath and Birling Gap, just really to enjoy the good weather and see  some different scenery. Birds were in short supply but butterflies and moths were everywhere! On the moth front it was only one type of moth SIX SPOT BURNET, there were loads at one point in an area no more than 30cm square there were 27 individuals, the story was the same at both locations, this is maybe something that happens each year here but I've never witnessed it before. A similar thing was evident with MARBLED WHITE butterflies and DARK GREEN FRITILLARIES, there were large numbers again at both sites, the frustrating thing was trying to capture any on the camera, it was almost impossible they were constantly on the move and settling for the briefest of moments. In all I recorded 16 species of butterfly during the 5 hours we strolled around the area. Species included WHITE ADMIRAL, CHALKHILL BLUE, SMALL HEATH and loads of GATEKEEPERS and MEADOW BROWNS. There were no Peacocks and just 1 RED ADMIRAL.
Back at the castle this week there has been a bit of autumnal flavour, after the 2 GREEN SANDPIPERS last week, there were 3 on Saturday 20th! Now a record count :-) There were also 20+ SWALLOWS and 15 HOUSE MARTINS.
During this week several family parties of LONG TAILED TITS and CHIFFCHAFFS have been around the hedgerows. A family of LESSER WHITETHROAT was a nice find yesterday, it was made more interesting when the first returning SEDGE WARBLER (93) appeared with them followed closely by a REED WARBLER! Other than that things are as normal plenty of YELLOWHAMMERS and SKYLARKS making themselves known, as well as the odd SPOTTED FLYCATCHER.
Spotted Flycatcher
Sedge Warbler

Lesser Whitethroat

Moth numbers continue to be good, with Steve reporting that one morning this week produced 106 species, I popped in on Thursday morning where we had a GREEN ARCHES (very late), SMALL DOTTED BUFF plus too many to mention as you can imagine. More photos to follow when i can get back on the computer!


Warren Baker said...

Things are on the move then Alan, I await sedge Warbler for the year list :-)

Chris Rohrer said...

That's impressive! 106 species is not a bad haul. It looks like it's all beginning.

Greenie said...

Alan ,
I think it's been the best year for ages for 6 Spot Burnets and Marbled Whites , they are everywhere .
A 50% increase in species numbers must be regarded as great !
Love the Sp.Fly shot .

Tammy said...

Hi Alan, that is a lovely capture of the flycatcher! 106 is quite an impressive number of species!

Helma said...

Especially your first photo.
What a beautiful plate has become.
my compliments