Spotted a Wheatear on the fence along our drive this morning near Cottage Lane . Haven’t seen one for ages here. Female I think as brownish plumage but distinctive white rump. Driving so didn’t get it on my phone camera.
Westfield Wildlife does not receive many records of Wheatears in the parish, so this is a notable sighting. Juveniles are also brown like the adult female, including juvenile males.
Posted by walmere on August 28, 2016
I have been going for an early evening walk on the 1066 path from Sprays Bridge towards the A21 in the past week – 15/8 to 18/8. I have noticed how many more birds are in evidence. Some of the highlights have been seeing Blackcaps feeding on Elderberries, Blackbirds feeding on Blackberries, Whitethroat feeding amongst the briars & counting 17 Long-tailed tits fly into a Hawthorn bush.
A juvenile Bullfinch landed very close to where I was standing. It was joined by two other others. All three remained in a line just looking around. They flew off together. I saw the Bullfinches together on three separate occasions.
A Kestrel flew overhead followed by about a dozen Goldfinches The Goldfinches seemed to be harassing the Kestrel.
I have had the occasional glimpse of Chiffchaff / Willow Warbler & saw a Blue Tit chasing one of these birds round & round a dead branch.
There are House Martins & Swallows around Sprays Bridge. It is such a pleasure to hear their twittering overhead & to see them swooping over the lake.
Finally I had a close encounter with a Fox. It appeared from the undergrowth right in front of me. It made a low growl at me & then made a hissing noise before disappearing.
The photos show a Comma butterfly Silver-Y moth, a Dark Bush-cricket found on our kitchen floor and a caterpillar of a Cinnabar moth on Ragwort.
Posted by walmere on August 22, 2016
On Monday evening a neighbour here in Greenacres brought me a Grass Snake in a bucket, saying it had got stuck in the netting covering her pond. She had cut out a section of the netting in order to put the snake in the bucket and covered it with a towel, but it was still firmly enmeshed in the cut out piece of net, and was also quite lively!
After seeking further advice I kept it in the bucket overnight so it would cool down, in the hope it would be less lively in the morning and easier to handle. This worked to a certain extent, but it still writhed strongly so I had to hold it firmly with both hands, while Anne managed to cut it free using scissors. Wearing disposable gloves did little stop me being smeared in the smelly stuff they exude to avoid being eaten! You can see how much of this white substance it produced in the bottom of the bucket.
The photos show the Grass Snake after the netting had been cut away, and the piece of net that was removed. Finally I took it to a safer place with lots of suitable habitat and released it by the Royal Military Canal at Winchelsea where it slithered off into the long grass as if nothing had happened.
Posted by westfieldwildlife on July 29, 2016
23/7/16 As I walked down Wheel Lane towards Sprays Bridge a Grass Snake slithered across the road & disappeared into the leaf litter at my feet. I got a clear view of its yellow neck collar.
The photo shows a Broad-leaved Helleborine in flower in the woodland beyond the pond on the 1066 Path towards Brede.
Posted by walmere on July 24, 2016
4/7/2016 One of 7 different Glow-worms found late last night in Whiteland Wood. They were all in short vegetation alongside the path through the area cleared of conifers.
Only the males glow which is their means of attracting a flying female out of the air to mate with.
I prefer the photo without flash, but it’s not easy holding the camera dead still for a whole second!
Was also hoping for Nightjar, but no luck. Maybe next year a pair will find this new habitat to their liking?
Posted by westfieldwildlife on July 4, 2016
3/7/16 Have just found this Poplar Hawkmoth resting on a geranium.
Posted by walmere on July 3, 2016
Having seen an insect flying around our property I quickly got the camera, and when I returned outside this was on the shed door.
This is a species of sawfly known as a Wood Wasp. More about these insects can be seen here http://insects.about.com/od/antsbeeswasps/tp/Sawflies-Horntails-And-Wood-Wasps.htm Neither myself or Ralph have ever seen one of these in Westfield.
The next photos are of a Green Shieldbug
This was seen on our kitchen window. More about Shieldbugs can be seen here http://www.letsgowild.co.uk/wildlife-fact/green-shield-bug. Also this might be of interest from Tone Killick.
Hope this is of interest to you all. If you see any strange insects or anything unusual please try and take photos and send to Westfield Wildlife for sharing. Thank you.
Dave — Ralph
Posted by walmere on June 24, 2016
Having no idea what I was looking at, I discovered this beautiful and unusual mobile fluff was in fact an insect called an Asian Hackberry Woolly Aphid Shivaphis celti. It seemed unpicky on its choice of lunch and wafted from plant to plant. It even let me hold it and take photos. Never have I seen anything like it before.
For further reading please visit http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74111.html
Posted by walmere on June 15, 2016
Photo of a Vapourer moth caterpillar received from Dan Stratford recently.
This Vapour is seen on a Lupin leaf but they will also feed on the foliage of many other plants.
For more information please visit – http://butterfly-conservation.org/51-1793/vapourer.html
Posted by walmere on June 15, 2016
Friday June 10th
The Common Spotted Orchids shown in the photos are to the right of the 1066 Path just beyond the first footbridge towards the A21.
There are a number of Broad-leaved Helleborines in the wood beyond the pond on the 1066 Path to Brede. It was while looking at these plants that a brilliant metallic blue Beautiful Demoiselle landed nearby.
When I arrived home a pair of Painted Lady butterflies were on a Valerian plant.
Saturday June 11th
I wanted to look at the orchids again. Just as I left the footbridge a family of Bullfinches flew low in front of me. There were at least three youngsters.
I noticed two small birds rising into the air apparently having a spat. It was a female Linnet and a Willow Warbler (I think). The Linnet returned to an Alder tree. Through the binoculars I watched the warbler approach the Linnet & then make a lunge at it. They then flew upwards having a tussle. I watched these antics for at least 20 minutes.
A male Reed Bunting was singing sweetly on top of a Hawthorn bush all the time I was watching the Linnet & warbler.
Just as I reached the stile at Sprays Bridge I heard what sounded like the clink of pebbles. I knew this was the alarm call of Blackap. Sure enough there was a male Blackcap in a bush. I waited around & then spotted the female in an Oak tree.
Posted by walmere on June 12, 2016