Butterflies in the garden

A fresh looking Painted Lady turned up in our front garden today [10/09/2017] which stayed for a few minutes sunbathing on the concrete drive. Also this  Comma emerged today that I reared from a caterpillar found on the weeping elm last month. 3 Red Admirals were also on the over-ripe bananas.

Also last month a couple of female Common Blues paid us a visit [13/08/2017] – you can just see the second one in the background which had more blue on it.  The underside view confirms this is not a Brown Argus as I initially thought, which lacks the black spot clearly seen on this individual towards the base of the fore-wing.








Saturday 8th July: After a long absence I went on an evening walk on the 1066 Path towards the A21. I had just climbed over the stile at Sprays Bridge when I heard the scratchy call of a Whitethroat. For the next half an hour I watched a pair of these birds catching insects & dropping down into the deep undergrowth where I assume they had a nest. The birds found insects within a few feet of the nest & they called constantly.

At the footbridge I watched Blackcap collecting insects & after a long search I saw the Chiffchaff that was calling from the big Oak Tree. There wa a Green Woodpecker in the Oak but I failed to see it. A Song Thrush was singing in the background.

On my return I again watched the Whitethroat & this time noticed Warblers deep in the Blackthorn. Whether they were Willow Warbler or Chiffchaff I could not tell.

I crossed the road & walked on the 1066 Path along Forge Stream. Gathering over the river by the logs were large numbers of Beautiful Demoiselles.

Sunday 9th July We were woken up at 5.30 am by two noisy, juvenile Green Woodpeckers. They were preening themselves in the Fir Tree outside our bedroom windows.

We have seen Warblers in the garden. Again I am not sure whether they are Chiffchaff or Willow Warbler. They are in an Olive tree & in the plants around the pond. We have noticed before that Warblers visit the garden in high summer. My husband has been trying to photograph the birds but without success.


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.


Grass snake photos

Further to my two previous postings here are two pictures of the two snakes. Sorry about only a part of the middle body of the second snake, but just not able to get a complete shot quickly enough.


snake length bestC_0025 Brok a

snake-dark 2nd Brok a

Grass snake attack – update

As of yesterday 26th May the snake was still in the pond. This week the temperature has been in the mid-twenties and we have noticed that sighting times have always started PM and yesterday lasted until about 1800 (3 hours) when the sun went off the pond. So clearly taking advantage of the best basking times.

Interestingly, also yesterday I saw a second snake much darker in colour and I suspect hiding under one of the slabs. Might it be a breeding pair? I have a picture that might interest you but only of the middle part of the body. I wasn’t quick enough with the camera.

The first snake is at least two feet long – a female?

We have a lot of cats around – not good!


Grass snake attack!

I have said before what a very big difference even a small water feature can make in our gardens. Our pond has a considerable variety of wildlife from the gold fish which breed copiously, to frogs, newts, and at this time of the year, tadpoles.  We’ve even had one young Kingfisher!

The photo was taken at 15.00 Wednesday 17th May.  The snake has the frog by the rear legs and took about 45 minutes to ingest completely.  The snake remained in the pond and was seen again the following morning.  It was indeed nature in the raw! Snakes have visited before, how often we don’t of course know. Some years ago we used to see hedgehogs – but not for a long time now.


Grass snake with frog Brok May2017

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?


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.
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.


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.


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


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!


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”


  • Home

    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

    To REPORT A SIGHTING, with or without photo, click on the tab 'Post your sighting' just below the Westfield Wildlife banner to see how.

    To COMMENT on an existing posting, or to read others' comments, just click on 'LEAVE A COMMENT' or 'COMMENT(S)' below that post. Clicking on a post title will also reveal the comments box below the text, as well as any existing comments.

    To return to the latest postings at any time, just click on the Westfield Wildlife banner at the top of the page. And remember - nearly all PHOTOS can be clicked on to enlarge.

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Tags