Black Kite

At 11 am this morning [29/05/2017] I saw a Black Kite over the village heading south fairly high up. This is a new addition for the parish list. Also there are a few Buzzards to be seen so it is worth keeping an eye on the sky. There have also been a few sightings of Red Kites in Sussex recently.

Dave

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Chocolate Vine

This is Akebia quinata, common name Chocolate Vine. It is a climber in our garden and has tiny scented flowers, but this is the first year it has had fruit. Apparently the middle bit is edible!!
Min Stratford
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Small Tortoiseshell butterflies

We have had an email from Butterfly.Conservation@cmp.dotmailer.co.uk asking for recent sightings of  Small Tortoiseshell butterflies.

“Concern is growing as sightings of this previously common butterfly are significantly down across the UK.

The Small Tortoiseshell is an easy species to identify. The butterfly’s uniquely patterned orange and black wings are framed with a border of small blue crescents.

Small Tortoiseshell populations plummeted by 73% since the 1970s, but its numbers have risen over the last few years and hopes were high that it was on the path to recovery.

But this summer’s poor showing could mean the species is set for yet more years of decline.

We’re not sure what is causing the long-term decline of this familiar and much-loved butterfly. Theories involve climate change, pollution and parasitic flies that kill the butterfly’s caterpillars, but we need more information”.

Please submit your Small Tortoiseshell sightings to Westfield Wildlife, sightings are also welcome from outside the Westfield parish boundary.

Thank you.

Dave &  Ralph

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Wheatear

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.

Tricia

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.

Early evening walk

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.
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 MartinsSwallows 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.
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Libby

Morning walk

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.
Libby20140719_173608

Poplar Hawkmoth

3/7/16  Have just found this Poplar Hawkmoth resting on a geranium.

Libby

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Critters in the garden

Having seen an insect flying around our property I quickly got the camera, and when I returned outside this was on the shed door. DSC_0545

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  DSC_0547DSC_0548

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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.

Observations of Palomena prasina eggs.

Dave

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

Hackberry Woolly Aphid

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.

IMG_20160605_104451Dan Stratford

For further reading please visit http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74111.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vapourer moth

13407714_10156971766915133_1497218681_nPhoto 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

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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.

    WESTFIELD PARISH lies just to the north of the coastal town of HASTINGS in E. Sussex (south east UK), and a MAP of the area covered by the Parish is here http://www.westfieldvillage.co.uk/maps

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