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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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?

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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.

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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

 

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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Grass Snake rescue

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.

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Ralph

 

Poplar Hawkmoth

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

Libby

20160703_112331 Libby

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

Common Soldier beetle

Saw this on the front of our bungalow trying to climb up the window.  Ralph told me it is a Common Soldier beetle Cantharis rustica, also known as a Bonking beetle!  I have never seen one before.

Dave

 

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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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