Willow Warbler and more

8/5/16  I went for an evening walk on the 1066 path – Sprays Bridge towards the A21. I decided to wait on the path just before the footbridge at the end of the diversion. I got an excellent view of a single male Linnet on top of a tree.

A few moments later a small,yellowy bird popped up out of the undergrowth. It was a Willow Warbler. I recognised the bird by its song. It was so close to me that I could see its pale legs. I also saw a Treecreeper on the large Oak tree. It spent some time preening. I did not see Whitethroat or Blackcap which I normally see on this part of my walk.

I then crossed the road to the 1066 path which goes towards Brede. In the flooded area to the left of the first field a House Martin was collecting mud. This was my first sighting of a House Martin this year. A male Reed Bunting was perched on the dead tree in the pond in the field with the footpath.

Suddenly Swallows were flying low over the field. Much to my surprise they landed in a tree by the stream & started to preen. There were 11 birds. I wondered if they were new arrivals.

At deep twilight I sat in the garden & watched what I believe was a Pipistrelle bat.


Hedgehogs in Westfield

Annie Nijhuis posted this on the Westfield facebook page recently, so we thought we’d share it here for those who ‘don’t do’ facebook!

“I have for the first time seen a hedgehog this year in my garden in Baldslow Down. It was a female and tried to raise babies under the decking right by my back door, unfortunately unsuccessfully, however (this one) was rescued and taken to Mallydams and is currently doing well.

Mother is still wondering round the garden. I think 2 of the babies died of dehydration and fly-strike, 3rd baby at Mallydams doing well. I have not actually seen mother but have heard shuffling in border at night”.


Garden neighbours are being urged to make a hedgehog hole in their fence to allow hedgehogs to pass freely from garden to garden, and to put their sightings and fence holes on the map! More information on the Big Hedgehog Map here.

Dave — Ralph

Badgers and Red-tailed Bumblebees

Had this report from a resident of Westfield, very upsetting.

So disheartened this morning. A badger has dug out our Red-tailed Bumblebee nest on the rockery. They are busy flying around with nowhere to go, many are dying off. It was well and truly destroyed. A few bees are huddled by a rock but most have dispersed and a lot have died. It was a successful nest until the badger got there.
This is the 3rd nest of bumblebees we have lost this year through badgers, no wonder numbers are dropping. Don’t know what to do about it. Badgers are very hard to stop.

Helping hedgehogs

Hedgehog week poster 3-9May2015    Hedghog advice cartoon

We thought these two posters would be of interest (click to enlarge), and there’s lots of interesting information on the British Hedgehog Preservation Society website and also here.

Please keep a lookout for Hedgehogs emerging from hibernation, and let us know if you see one! Using a torch at night in the garden can be the best way to see one amongst the undergrowth or even out in the open, or finding their ‘smeared’ droppings on the patio will tell you they are about!

Ralph — Dave

Hedgehogs and bonfires

No apology for posting this again and asking you to share it, so many bonfires planned for this weekend that need checking for hedgehogs :-(

No apology for posting this as so many bonfires planned for this weekend will need checking for Hedgehogs. 

Thank you

Westfield Wildlife

Birds, Slow-worm, and Hedgehog signs etc

Sarah has kindly posted some comments under the recent Grey Wagtail posting, but we thought her interesting comments merited a whole new posting here. Thank you Sarah!

Ralph — Dave

Hi – I saw a Grey wagtail at Bateman’s National Trust garden this September (2014), feeding by the mill stream in the large wildlife conservation area, near the old mill, and deeply fragrant weeping lime trees (their nectar loved by bees, but makes bees a bit too sleepy sometimes). Sitting very still on the grass bank, I watched the wagtail for about 7 to10 minutes, moving and working its way along the fairly fast-flowing bubbling stream. No camera with me unfortunately. Thought it might have been a continental Yellow Wagtail at one point, but think it was actually a Grey wagtail. I know its Burwarsh and not Westfield, but it was a joy to see.

On the beech at Pett Level, (3rd week in Sept ’14), between 6 – 7pm, many Swallows flew over my head (I would say 100 swallows at least probably), feeding on the wing. It was an amazing sight and wildlife encounter. Pett Level wading birds: In early October (2014), I also saw about 7 curlews and about 8 white egrets there, and many oyster catchers, as the tide went out.

Have a Green woodpecker in my Westfield garden (fairly regular bird visitor), pair of Mistle thrushes, Wren, Robin, Greenfinch and other small birds. I found a 3 inch long thick furry moth caterpillar in my compost heap, and a Slow worm, and a young Toad.

I have also found signs of a Hedgehog; ~ very occasionally now and then some Hedgehog droppings, and what looks like a regular small Hedgehog pathway made in the grass, and going under the wire netting fence into my neighbour’s garden (July/August 2014).


Bonfires, and wildlife photos

The following paragraphs are due to appear in the next Westfield Community Association newsletter, which will be circulated after bonfire night, so we thought a reminder now about Hedgehogs using wood piles meant for burning would be useful!
As many ‘Westfield Wildlife’ followers will know, Hedgehogs have become a rare sighting these days. We are therefore asking all residents in the parish if they are having a bonfire at this time of year to check before lighting them to ensure no Hedgehogs have decided to hibernate underneath. Also if you see a Hedgehog, dead or alive, please inform ‘Westfield Wildlife’ by visiting the website.  
Also, we have noticed amongst all the lovely photos submitted to ‘Westfield Wildlife’, very few are of wildflowers and we wonder if there is a reason for this. Perhaps it is because people tend to think of wildlife mainly as mammals, birds and insects etc, whereas anything and everything growing or living wild actually counts as wildlife, including many trees and even the weeds in your garden!  
Field Bindweed - beautiful, but not so welcome in the garden! RH, 24 Aug 2014

Field Bindweed – beautiful, but not so welcome in the garden! RH 24Aug2014

If you have taken any photos of wildflowers you are proud of, or fungi now that autumn is here, then ‘Westfield Wildlife’ would be a good place to share them with others!  Wildflowers can be a lot easier to photograph than animals because they don’t run off or fly away! So even if you don’t know the name of the plant or toadstool why not give it a go? We can always try and help with identification.

Dave — Ralph

Long-eared Bat

This obviously ‘long-eared’ bat was taken into care by Min Stratford after a cat caught it, but unfortunately despite all efforts by Min it died a few hours later. The photos below were all taken by Dave after it died.

There are two species of Long-eared Bat in Britain – Grey Long-eared and Brown Long-eared.  The Grey occurs only along the south coast area of England from west of the Cuckmere all the way to Devon and is rare, whilst the Brown is common everywhere except the very north of Scotland.

This is therefore most likely to be a Brown Long-eared Bat Plecotus auritus. The two species are hard to tell apart with Grey having a darker face amongst other things, all of which are subtle and hard to distinguish unless examined very closely. Even the sounds they make are very similar when heard through a bat detector!

Here is a useful link = http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/life/Brown_long-eared_bat.

Click on photos twice to fully enlarge.

DSC_0052                                                                                      DSC_0051


DSC_0053                                                      DSC_0055

Wildlife in Westfield

Went to watch our grandson play cricket at Westfield today and was treated to birdsong all afternoon. First was a Chiffchaff who sang the whole time, then Long-tailed Tits followed by a Blackcap. Later we had a Black-backed gull over the ground. On the way to the match I had a Hummingbird Hawkmoth just up past the surgery. On the way home we saw a fox in Fishponds Lane then there were two juvenile Green Woodpeckers on the grass playground at the front of New Moorsite. Oh and grandson’s team won the cricket, a great afternoon.

Terry Howard

Presume that was a Lesser Black-backed Gull Terry as the Greater is not often seen inland at this time of year.


Pipistrelle Bat

This is interesting from Min Stratford – could it be a Pipistrelle Bat ?

Look what we found in our kitchen this morning!!  Yes a Pipistrelle Bat bought in by the cat, unfortunately it died soon after.

Photo: Look what we found in our kitchen this morning!!

Here is a useful link–   http://www.bats.org.uk.


Dave — 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.

    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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