Oak Beauty moth

March 23rd – Have just found this moth on the floor in the house. Is it a Peppered Moth? Can you identify for me please?
Libby

20170323_093535-2

It’s a beauty! Actually an Oak Beauty, which is closely related to the similarly shaped Peppered Moth. You can see from the wiki photo below that Peppered lacks any brown coloration. It also emerges a few weeks later from May/June, whereas the Oak Beauty only flies from February to April.
Ralph
Peppered moth wiki

Bullfinches, and spring Chiffchaff

Saturday 11th March  I went for a walk on the 1066 Path in the late afternoon – Sprays Bridge towards the A21. I saw four Bullfinches feeding in a Silver Birch tree. There were two males & two females.

When I returned I decided to wait on the footbridge near the start of the walk. Almost immediately the Bullfinches reappeared in the undergrowth. I got the most superb view of of these handsome birds. I then realised that I could hear a Chiffchaff calling behind me. There in an oak tree I saw & heard my first Chiffchaff of 2017.

Sunday 12th March  My husband & I are having breakfast. A female Blackbird is making regular trips to the Honeysuckle with her bill full of leaves. Our first evidence of nest building this year.

Libby

Fieldfares, and Redwings

Saturday 4th March – My husband & I have just been putting up nest boxes in the garden when we noticed a large flock of birds land in nearby Oak trees. The birds were Fieldfares. There must have been at least 70 birds.

Libby

Apologies to Libby for not posting sooner as I missed the email whilst I was away. We would encourage all sightings to be sent to both Dave and myself in case one of us is away.

These winter thrushes start their return journeys north in March, as do Redwings which I heard moving north in good numbers over Westfield during the evening of 12th March. This turned out to be part of a much wider Redwing movement also heard in Southsea and Rye, that was detected across all of eastern England according to this BTO report ‘Redwings at night!http://btomigrationblog.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/redwings-at-night.html

Ralph

Great Crested Newt

1/2/2017 – Look what I found on my (muddy) back doorstep tonight! The colony, wherever they are located are still around.

Tricia

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2 Little Egrets

27/12/16  I disturbed a pair of small egrets fishing the stream that runs along the 1066 walk at the back of Newcut. They flew up into an oak tree, not at all bothered by my presence.

Chris

Thanks Chris, unlike some species it seems Little Egrets are still on the up in our area!

Ralph — Dave

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone, and a big thank you for all your contributors throughout the year!  We wish you a joyful and Waxwing filled New Year!

a-waxwing-grove-ferry-kent-30dec2008-steve-ashton

Photo courtesy of Steve Ashton, taken at Grove Ferry, Kent on 30th December 2008.

Ralph — Dave

PS It’s worth remembering when feeding the birds over the Christmas holidays – cooked turkey fat can be extremely dangerous to birds so should not be put outside. This is because it doesn’t set and can cling to birds’ feathers. Click here for more details – “Don’t kill birds with kindness”

 

Sparrowhawk

I saw this male Sparrowhawk on Thursday 20th Oct in New Cut. I was cutting a hedge and it perched upon a hedge next to me. It stayed put for about 10 minutes enough time for me to get lots of pictures. Unfortunately I only had my phone camera on me.


Richard summers
(Summers garden services)

I wonder if it could be the same bird that took a Goldfinch in our garden in Church Lane the other day?

dsc_0669

Sorry for poor quality photo taken through kitchen window.

Dave

Starling stuck!

A starling stuck head first in a fat ball feeder! I managed to get it out o/k and it flew off making a churring noise.

Ron in Greenacres

We’ve never seen that happen before, presumably because the lid’s missing /broken it managed to get in through the top. A warning to others maybe!  Happy ending is nice 🙂

Ralph — Dave

Which woodpecker?

A woodpecker visited our fatball station on Friday 7th 0ctober around 9.30 am. Not sure if greater, lesser or middle spotted although quite large around 7-8 inches in height. It flew off before we could take a photo, sorry.

Cheryl Wright

Thank you Cheryl. This would have been a Great Spotted Woodpecker which regularly visits garden feeders, particularly fatballs, peanuts, and sunflower hearts. Here’s one photographed by Brok Morgan in his Westfield garden back in June this year.

dsc_0004a-jmorgan

Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers are surprisingly small, as small as sparrows, and have become very scarce everywhere in the UK, and rarely visit gardens. Middle Spotted Woodpeckers are absent from the UK, but can be seen in France and most of Europe.

Ralph — Dave

Hummingbird Hawkmoth

On the 16th and 17th September I noticed a Hummingbird hawkmoth on the flowers on my patio. I last saw one on holiday in the Dordogne. Are they usual in these parts? I did take a short video using my iPad some distance away. It disappeared as soon as I tried to get close with a camera!  PS the moth was visiting Ceratostigma flowers.

Pat Hogg

Thanks Pat, these moths arrive here from across the English Channel in varying numbers each year and can turn up literally anywhere. They are regularly seen in gardens due to their liking for flowers such as Red Valerian, Buddleia, and Verbena bonariensis. They tend to move on after one or two days as they are great travellers. I haven’t see one this year myself yet, though most years I manage to see at least one hovering around the flowers in the garden.

The last one to be reported in Westfield was in September 2015 – see here

Ralph

 

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    WESTFIELD WILDLIFE has been created for Westfield residents and visitors to submit news and photos of any wildlife observed in the Parish. We also aim to post our own sightings and topical wildlife news as often as time allows.

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