Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Ice ice baby

A cold and frosty start this morning for the final patch walk of the year. Despite the absence of the Richards' Pipit since Christmas day good quality birds are still around with Dartford Warblers present on White Dyke and by Lookers', Jack Snipe on White Dyke, and SEO's putting on a late afternoon show at Lookers'. Other bits and bobs included 221 Lapwing on Horse-eye, 123 Wigeon at Mappins, 6 Snipe on Down, 10 Teal and a drake Shoveler near Chilley Farm, 16 Golden Plover south of the A27 roundabout, Sparrowhawk on Down Level, Marsh Harriers, Buzzards, and Kestrels all over the place, and my final bird of the year a Barn Owl hunting the fields on Down Level just outside Downash.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

P is for plastic

...or in this case White Ibis, in all probability (to avoid offending anyones sensitivities). As I was in the area I dropped in to the wildfowl refuge at Sevenoaks to take a look at this bird which has been around for about a month now. If nothing else it is very striking and provided a useful tactical solution to avoiding the shops!
Birding over the Christmas break has been excellent. On Christmas Eve I walked the Seven Sisters with the dog and managed to see the resident Peregrine, Fulmar, and a Greenshank once I got into the Cuckmere. A brief foray out on the levels on Christmas day produced good views of the Richards' at Lookers' and a ringtail Hen Harrier. On the 28th the Peregrine were both seen on Horse-eye along with a ringtail and the Lookers' Dartford Warbler before I headed off to Pett where the Lesser Yellowlegs was seen well (though more distantly than for some) along with 2 flyover Bewicks'.
Yesterday (29th) I had an afternoon out with Dad and had excellent views of the RLB once we moved round to the forest side to get better light, as well as promenading SEO's, male Marsh Harrier, ringtail Hen Harrier, and Kingfisher  back on the levels. Earlier in the day the Peregrine pair were on Down along with a ringtail and a Water Rail was squealing at Horse-eye Green. So finally to today when I took a quick spin over Down Level last thing (Lookers was crowded!) seeing Peregrine, Marsh Harrier (the one with the buff upperwing coverts), 3 Chiffchaff, and Kingfisher.
Other bits and bobs over the break have included a butterfly spp in Waitrose car park Hailsham on Christmas Eve (utv's!), Mink on the levels on 29th, and Red Fox on Down Level today.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

The winter solstice

Huzzah! From today the evenings start to stretch out again, so with the intention of spending a fair amount of time on the patch today I walked from White Dyke to Lookers and then back via Marshfoot lane. The weather was fairly inclement today with gusty wind and intermittent showers. White Dyke produced a new Dartford Warbler calling in the scrub near Mappins, initially I suspected this would be the Lookers bird relocating itself however when it appeared on top of a bush it was a more bulk typical drab 1st winter type than the adult bird seen recently. Other birds of note today were the Richards' Pipit (although only in flight) between Horse-eye farm and Lookers, 2 Hen Harrier, 6 Marsh Harrier including an adult male although not including an all dark individual seen on the 13th and 14th, the resident Peregrine (the female with a small prey item) and Buzzard, Cettis' near Horse-eye Green, and a single Water Pipit on Down Level.
Although none were seen today the SEO remain in the area and I am now confident there are at least 6 having seen 4 together in the paddocks just north of Lookers on Friday (19th) which didn't include either the very pale or very dark individuals that have been in the area. The Richards' Pipit has been more reliable over the past week showing well on occasion (including the 13th when I was on site) so most people who have visited have managed to get to grips with it and the all dark Marsh Harrier referred to above was seen briefly on the 13th and distantly on the 14th. Also on the 14th was the Robin pictured left predating what appears to be a Fen Raft Spider. Other residents on show over the past week have included Raven, Little Owl, Kingfisher and Water Rail. Thrush numbers seem to be falling as most of the bushes have been stripped although there are still numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare present.
On the mammal front the frosty 14th produced a Weasel watched hunting on the ice covered ditches near Lookers', frustratingly it kept weaving in and out of the reeds and avoided my attempts to capture an image unlike the Mink seen on the 13th and 14th which is pictured at the head of this post!
Finally further afield the Rough-leg was still present the last time I looked (13th) while the Rock Pipits at Birling were being showy in the car park the same morning.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Wols and Webs

Shorties are still the bird of the moment and look like they will be with us for the winter. Three plus have been present all week and were still putting on a show this evening (12th) in what I would consider to be less than ideal conditions, windy and showers. On Down Level this afternoon 11 Shoveler, 8 Wigeon, and a single Teal, all on the scrape, a single cream cap, and a separate flock of 40+ Teal flying over. On Horse-eye in addition to the SEO's another 6+ Wigeon, ad fem Hen Harrier, Merlin, 2 Marsh Harrier, Cetti's, Goldcrest, Little Owl, and the extremely vinous Dartford Warbler was again in the hedgerow and brambles south of Lookers'.
Last Sundays WEBS count (in the rain) on Down Level produced 2 Shoveler and 26 Teal on the scrape. Raptors comprised the resident pair of Peregrine who were perched up on the foot-bridge mid-level before heading off hunting, 2 Buzzard, ringtail Hen Harrier, and Marsh Harrier, while other bits included Water Rail. The Richards' Pipit failed to put in an appearrance when I looked for it later in the day although the Harriers, SEO's, and a male Kingfisher provided ample compensation.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Its Dicks again

Monsieur Richard had failed to put in an appearance all week (including yesterday afternoon when I was in the field) but was back again in the roadside fields south of Lookers cottage when I arrived this afternoon (6th) at 12.45 although then disappeared again and was not seen after about 14.00. It has been a long time since I last saw a Richards' and the jizz which is described as upright would almost better be described as stretching up especially the way the head and bill look like they are straining to reach forward and up.  Also today 5+ SEO, 2 ringtail Hen Harrier, and 2 Merlin one of which was watched relentlessly pursuing a Mipit which eventually managed to evade capture. The Rough-leg was still present this morning at Jevington.
Yesterday afternoon (5th) the Dartford Warbler was still in the brambles south of Lookers' cottage, Ringtail Hen Harrier on Manxey Level, and Merlin and Marsh Harrier were on Down Level.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

The return of Monsieur Richard

Top day at the rugger on Saturday, minutes applause in memory of Phil Hughes, quality game, England win, nice. Meanwhile back at the patch... Geoff has re-found the Richards' Pipit he first found on the 6th in the same field, great find! Sunday morning therefore was an early start, dawn on Horse-eye with Matt Eade for company along with a couple of early morning Shorties which soon moved off and not a lot else until I wandered off to check some of the other fields, when a shout from Matt got me running back to find monsieur Richard walking through the grass at the back of the field. We watched the bird for a few minutes before it walked out of sight and then put the news out that the bird was still present. This resulted in a minor twitch as illustrated below.
I am almost ashamed to post the heavily cropped shot of the bird on the right however have done so purely on the basis that it does portray the size of the bill and the supercilium, and no it is not a Redwing! To be honest the bird was a complete b****r all day disappearring for quite long spells and only showing at distances down to about 100 yards, although well enough through a scope. I only heard it call on a couple of occassions and I was on site all day bar an hour or so though not always by the birds field. The day got even better when Gordon Beck rocked up and mentioned that he had just seen a Dartford Warbler back down the road in the brambles by Lookers' Cottage. A quick mosy down quickly produced the harsh "chzzzzh" of a Dartford followed by it perching up on the brambles, and it later posed for the below average picture above.
Other sightings for the day comprised 8 Golden Plover, 3+ Marsh Harrier, 3+ Buzzard, 5+ SEO which as usual provided a quality performance towards the end of the day, ringtail Hen Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Raven, Kingfisher, Cettis', Water Rail, and numerous Kestrel, Fieldfare, and Redwing.

Friday, 28 November 2014

Steady as she goes

Little to report over the past week or so. Mothing has dried up this month, as expected, with warm temperatures on the 19th failing to produce any at all. I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that until such time as I invest in a Robinson trap and an MV lamp winter mothing is not worth the electricity! On the bird front the Rough-leg remains at Jevington today (28th) and was hunting non-stop while I was present early afternoon. On Horse-eye and Down a flock of 70+ Wigeon on the 21st was hopefully a harbinger of a better winter for duck than last year, and 300+ Fieldfare were stripping the hawthorns on the same day. A Black Redstart was watched at Belle Tout on the 20th. 

Friday, 14 November 2014

Raptor and Owl fest

Taking advantage of the fine weather this afternoon I dropped in at Jevington where the Rough-leg put in an exemplary performance flying overhead and hunting over the game crop. Having watched the boy disappear into the copse at the back of the fields, presumably to rest up, I headed across to Horse-eye where I met up with Geoff Gowlett. No sooner had Geoff arrived than a couple of Common Buzzard drifted across, quickly followed by a couple of cream-cap Marsh Harrier and a ring-tail Hen Harrier. Three Short-eared Owl were watched quartering, occassionally flushing Snipe and dropping into the grass, and 5-6 Kestrel were scattered across the level. A smattering of Fieldfare, heard Redwing and Water Rail, rounded off a good afternoon in the field.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Rough-legged Buzzard tops off a what if's, buts, and maybe's week

Well that was the week that was... There are times in your life when no matter how much you may wish/ want/ need to get away from work you cannot, and the past month has seen more than its fair share of those days for me such as Tuesday when Andy Grace found a Red-flanked Bluetail in Hastings 3 miles from my office and even worse Thursday when Geoff Gowlett found a Dick's Pipit on Horse-eye. Regrettably neither hung around for anyone other than Andy and Geoff but I was still champing at the bit to get out and dig around for some late autumn goodies.
Since my last posting despite the frustrations listed above there have been a few positives on the birding front. Last Saturday (1/11) I finally caught up with a Yellow-browed while walking with Sharon that had been found by Bob Edgar in Horseshoe plantation (Thanks DC!!). This showed reasonably well (eventually) though was not very vocal. The same evening my first visit to check on roosting raptors on Horse-eye turned up a single Jack Snipe as well as a (just) sub-adult male Marsh Harrier.
So to today - WEBS count day - up bright and early to squelch through the mud and sheep detritus on Down Level. Nothing startling to report but a typical selection for the time of year with 2 Marsh Harrier, including the same sub-adult male mentioned above, Kingfisher, Water Rail, 4 Gadwall, 6 Little Egret, 2 Raven, 500+ Starling, and a smattering of Fieldfare. A wander around Norman's Bay/ Cooden Beach hunting for Black Reds, Desert Wheatear, or Little Auk was unproductive with the exception of a flock of 7 Common Scoter heading dungewards. So homeward bound to fulfil family obligations by way of running the lady wife and eldest daughter into Eastbourne for some shopping. However once home it seemed that it would be a shame to trudge around the monotony of the Arndale centre on such a nice day so I suggested I take the dog and walk into Eastbourne from Birling while they shopped, which would give me the option of checking Holywell for phyllosc's.
So it transpired that just after midday I was driving through Jevington heading towards East Dean when I noticed a large raptor hovering over the game-strips to the south of the village. I see lots of Buzzards on the levels. I have seen lots of Buzzards near Jevington. The jizz of this birds hovering was screaming Rough-leg and my hands were on the steering wheel...
Fortunately at the south end of the village there is a pull in so I stopped the car, grabbed my bins (no scope - #unprepared), and ran across the road to find the bird still hunting. Quick look through bins, white tail with broad black terminal band, looking good for a juv RLB (moult usually takes place in summer of second calendar year per BWP). Bird circles, prominent carpal patches and dark belly with rest of underwing very pale. Rack brains as I am not the worlds greatest birder but I can't see any reason why this isn't a Rough-leg, but cannot remember all the features so send a few texts as 90% certain (astonishing as reception between Beachy and Polegate is dreadful) and give Ian Whitcomb and Geoff Gowlett a ring. Ian mentions the bend at the carpal joint which I had completely forgotten but is clearly visible in some of the pictures and Geoff comes out to have a look (# cheers mate). Fortunately the bird is still hunting the game strips intermittently, I reckon it caught 3 voles while I was watching it. Geoff is on it at once, gets much better pics than me, and is happy enough. Descriptions are for committees and not blogs but one of the most striking things about this bird was its size compared to Common Buzzard when one of the resident pair came in and mobbed it (# get off my turf) - much bigger and much longer winged. All in all a perfect end to the week as RLB is a self-find tick of which I don't get many these days.The birding week rounded off with another late afternoon visit to Horse-eye where Geoff's 2 SEO of this morning were seen along with a single cream cap.
On the moth and socialising front it has also been a quality week. Although I have been unable to add to my macro year list the night of the 28th October produced two new micro's, the best of which was the immigrant Palpita vitrealis pictured below.
This Mediterranean moth possesses translucent wings which are almost irridescent and was a real late autumn bonus. While on the subject of bonuses it was great to have old friends Paul and Judith Chapman visit for dinner on the evening of the 8th, not least because Paul is an expert in micro id and was able to sift through some problematic images for me and provide some very useful advice resulting in 5 new ticks!

Monday, 27 October 2014

RBF, Heralds a new benchmark

Hard graft all round is the motto of the month, unfortunately for me this has meant spending a lot of the past two weeks gainfully employed in a new computer system project at work with little time for birding or other natural history pursuits. Nonetheless I have managed a few hours in the field and indeed a whole day at Dungeness on the 10th just prior to the work storm.
Highlight of the period has to be the adult male Red-breasted Flycatcher at Beachy Head from the 22nd which is still present at the time of posting. Its certainly the first adult male I can remember in the county and necessitated a brief absence from the work project on the 22nd and another drop in pre-work when the clocks went back on Sunday the 26th.
Unfortunately visits to the levels have been few and far between since my sojourn for WEBS on the 12th. The afore-mentioned day at Dunge was relatively productive with the highlights comprising Cattle Egret, Glossy Ibis, and Great White Egret (although the latter is now resident here), and a supporting cast of Ring Ouzel, Ruff, Bearded Tit, and Kingfisher. Also of note at Dungeness was the Clouded Yellow pictured above. Butterflies still on the wing included Peacock and 2 Speckled Wood on my lunchtime walk in St Leonards today (27th).
On the moth front things have also reduced to a trickle, which is to be expected, however the late autumn makes up for what it lacks in quantity with the quality of the species which turn up which include some real stunners. One of my favorites is the Herald pictured left, which adorns the spine of Waring, so it was rather apt that this species should be the one which took my macro list for the garden to 187 for the year - a new PB - on the night of the 26th. Also trapped last night was Yellow-line Quaker, which stretched my PB even further. Realistically the dizzy heights of 190 are now in reach with a few species still possible and a promising forecast for tomorrow night! Other new macros for the year since last posting have been Chestnut on the night of the 22nd and Red-green Carpet on the night of the 19th. Micro's have been even fewer in number and apart from a few Light-brown Apple moths and the odd Common Plume have been limited to a Rusty Dot Pearl last night and an as yet unidentified tortrix. With the clocks going back this weekend I am anticipating finally identifying some of the by-trap that I have photographed through the summer along with some of the micro's that defeated me on first inspection. This should all help me on my pan listing quest for the garden of which more in due course... 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Prize of the day... the literal translation of Merveille du jour, one of which was hiding within the moth trap this morning (17th) and is, in my humble opinion, the most handsome moth on the UK list.
The past week has seen the best of the late emergers with Barred Sallow (7th), Red-line Quaker (7th and 15th), Black Rustic (13th), Large Wainscot (13th), Sallow (13th), Green-brindled Crescent (13th and 15th), and Feathered Ranunculus (13th) all putting in appearrances and brightening up a pretty indifferent week weatherwise.

Birding locally at this time of year rarely hits the high notes found in the far north, east, and west. Local highlight was without doubt the 1st year Tawny Pipit which was present at Newhaven Tidemills until the 11th when I finally got round to paying a visit.
Away from the levels a Firecrest at Birling on the evening of the 10th was the best I could drum up while the 12ths WEBS count on Down Level produced two Marsh Harrier, jill Merlin, Kingfisher, 25 Snipe, 7 Wigeon, & 4 Teal.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Four-spotted Footman... ...ahead of the apocalypse?

The prolonged blocking weather pattern continues to produce temperatures into the low twenties and the glorious sunshine that was with us throughout September but all that is set to come to an end, Huzzah! Some proper autumn weather (and hopefully birds) is on the way this week with rain and low pressure forecast from the west. I guess that means the shorts will have to be put into cold storage for the winter and last nights catch of just 3 macro's suggest the moth trap will not have too much work to do either. Still there have been a few notable catches since my last posting including new for the year Spruce Carpet on the night of the 29th September, Cypress Carpet on 1st October, and Black Rustic on 4th October. These were all bested though by my first Four-spotted Footman for the garden on the night of the 2nd. The lack of spots on this individual identified it as a male and it was a pleasant surprise given that I broke with my usual rule of not running on consecutive nights due to the inclement forecasts that are imminent.
Dragons remain limited to double figures of Migrant Hawkers and Common Darter around White Dyke and the ditches on Down and Horse-eye on the very warm afternoon of the 3rd when the male Migrant Hawker pictured right was photographed. Similarly while still visible in numbers, butterfly species were restricted to Peacock, Red Admiral, and Small White on the same afternoon while further afield a couple of Clouded Yellow were seen at Birling Gap on the morning of the 5th.
The highlight of the week on the mammal front was a Grey Seal off Birling Gap on the morning of the 5th.
Birding has been quiet too, since we are not blessed to be in the northern isles and Sussex seems to miss out on the autumn treats generally having to wait until October for a few Yellow-broweds or Pallas's. However the levels remain one of the strongholds in Sussex for Tree Sparrows and there have been a few around White Dyke this week which has been a bonus as I was unable to find any evidence of breeding on the patch this year (hopefully these birds have successfully bred elsewhere). The 27th of September was the busiest day of the period with 100+ Reed Bunting, 50+ Chaffinch, 11 Snipe, 5 Stonechat, 2 Kingfisher, Whinchat, & Wheatear. The 3rd October produced  Whinchat, 4 Wheatear, Marsh Harrier, 2 Buzzard, & 20 Swallows. Elsewhere my first SEO of the autumn was at Birling on the morning of the 5th.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Indian summer rolls on

...and on with glorious sunshine and high pressure and the occassional unseasonal moth in the garden moth trap. Birding has been restricted to the levels over the period since my last posting apart from a couple of brief evening forays to Beachy. The best bird day recently was the 14th which produced my first jill Merlin of the autumn on Down Level with the same or another on Horse-eye on the 20th. The 14th was also notable for smaller passage birds with Spotted Flycatchers by Horse-eye farm and near Downash, and Garden Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroats, Whitethroats, and Chiffchaffs along Downash road. The 2 Marsh Harrier were ever present along with Raven, Snipe, and Little Egret, and Reed and Sedge Warblers continue to pass through/ remain present in small numbers. Meadow Pipits are on the increase with several flocks of double figures scattered across the levels on the 20th and 21st and regular individuals flying over the garden and a Kingfisher was watched fishing along White Dyke on the 20th.
Mothing at this time of year drops off in number terms but also has some bonuses in the form of some quite striking species which are late emergers. One of the best of these has to be the Pink-barred Sallow and one of these graced my trap on the night of the 23rd along with a new species for the garden in the form of Lesser Treble-bar which is pictured below. The Frosted Orange is another late emerger and the individual pictured left was trapped on the night of the 19th. Other noteworthies for the garden included Lime-speck Pug on the 12th, Small Blood-vein and Old Lady on the 14th, Ruby Tiger 17th, Spectacle 17th & 19th, Oak Hook Tip 17th & 19th, L-album Wainscots 21st (2) & 23rd (2), and Rosy Rustic on the 23rd.

Along with the moths, insects in general are becoming fewer in number with dragons reduced to Migrant Hawkers (20+), Common Darter (10+), Brown Hawker (1), and Azure damselfly (3), on the 21st. On the same day butterflies comprised Speckled Wood (4), Small Heath (1), Small Tortoiseshell (1), and Small Copper (2) all along White Dyke. All this in spite of the warm sunny conditions which have prevailed for the last few weeks. The only other butterfly species noted were Red Admiral on the 14th (pictured top), Small White, and Large White.
Hares continue to be seen on a regular basis including one which lolloped along White Dyke to within a few feet of me on the morning of the 20th. I need to put in more effort to getting a decent photo as I am never ready for them when the opportunity arises and by the time I am they are invariably a field away and travelling!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

The day Wiggo came to town and the perils of open-toed sandals for the amateur naturalist

The most exciting thing that has happened this week was today's Tour of Britain stage passing the end of the road as pictured above.
The second most exciting thing that happened this week was learning that open-toed sandals and looking in long grass don't mix when I was stung by a Buff-tailed Bumblebee spp on the big toe at Horseshoe plantation.
High pressure, cracking weather, and full moons in autumn do not tend to equate to excitement although they make for a very pleasant break from the tediousness of work. The best of a quiet week on the levels were 5 Hobby on the 11th and 2 Marsh Harrier on the 12th. Migrant Hawkers still very much in evidence although the garden moth trap has been dross. Highlight of the week was an overnighter at Stoneyford and subsequent mooch around Topsham which produced a couple of Curlew Sands, Little Stint, 2 Ruff, Knot, and an Osprey on the 8th.
Come on Wiggo!

Sunday, 7 September 2014

The shape of things to come

The absolute indicator that Autumn is here is the appearance of Lunar Underwing in the garden moth trap as occurred for the first time this year on the night of the 3rd with the individual pictured on the left. Whilst many more can be expected this autumn, since they are usually one of the moths I record in 3 figures annually, they appear in such a variety from dark through to ginger or very pale that they are always pleasant to see as well as obvious - a bit like Robins. The only other newbie for the year came in the shape of 2 White-points on the night of the 1st. Numbers for the past week have been good with, as predicted in my last post, Large Yellow Underwing usurping Dark Arches as the commonest moth trapped in my garden this year with a total of 209 for the 4 nights trapped (30/8, 1/9, 3/9, 5/9) taking it to a total (so far) of 449 against Dark Arches 421. The only other moth of any note was a Hummingbird Hawkmoth at Beachy Head on the 6th. Totals for the year as follow 2483 macro's of 168 species and 922 micro's of 72 species.
The main focus at this time of year though has to be birds and things have picked up a bit over the last week. Waders have included Ruff on Down Level on the 5th and 6th, Green Sandpiper on Down Level from the 1st, and a Snipe count of 12 on Down Level on the 3rd. Other bird higlights included 2 Whinchat and 2 Wheatear on the 31/8, 30 Teal on 3/9, and the first Wigeon of the autumn on 4/9. Over 200 House Martin and Swallow were at Rickney on the 5/9 and Raven, Buzzard, Little Egret, Cetti's, and Hobby also put in regular appearrances. Elsewhere a major influx of Wryneck has occurred nationally and included 3 at Beachy Head. I saw one of these enigmatic birds late on the afternoon of the 6th at Chat Vale though, when alerting other birders present, the "frontiers of fieldcraft" demonstrated were beyond belief...
On the mammalian front the highlights of the week were 2 fold with a Weasel watched hunting on a roadside verge on New Bridge Road on the evening of 4th and 2 Brown Hares walked up on Down Level on the 7th while looking for Snipe during my WEBS count. The last named never fail to fascinate me and both burst from the cover of their forms when I was virtually on top of them. The form pictured on the left was taken from the point at which the Hare left it and has not been zoomed in on, just as well I was looking for Snipe and expecting things to burst out of cover at close hand or it could have got messy!

Saturday, 30 August 2014

First whiff of Autumn

The other morning as I was clearing the moth trap that unmistakeable cool odour was in the air that accompanies autumn mornings. So we are heading into the closing period for our summer visitors, and the past week or so seems to confirm this with the regulars on the move, although at least one pair of Swallow are still feeding nearly fledged young at Rickney. Two hundred or so Sand Martin were on Down Level on the 22nd, and a smattering were tied up with the several hundred Swallow and single House Martin on Horse-eye today (30th). Also today were two Marsh Harrier, the regular adult female and a striking juvenile, over Horse-eye, Down, and Manxey Levels, and a flock of 5 Redshank over Down Level. On the 23rd 5 Wheatear were on Down with another couple near Chilley farm. The general summation though is that when it comes to birding on the levels late summer and early autumn are hard work with not a lot of return, generally speaking, for the effort put in!

The effort put in trawling for birds contrasts nicely with the garden moth trap which requires just a flick of the switch before turning in, and a quick sift through the Large Yellow Underwings in the morning. I will not be taking any bets on Large Yellow taking the crown for commonest macro in the garden by the end of the autumn, although it still has a couple of hundred or so to go to catch Dark Arches on 421. Late August, while still providing quantity, tends not to produce much new for the year with second generation emergences of residents tending to produce the variation from the regulars. Accordingly the only newbies for the year to report are Old Lady, Maidens Blush, Small Square-spot, and Scorched Carpet on the night of the 26th.
Other bits and pieces of note include Grass Snake - Hankham (23rd), Red Fox - White Dyke (30th), Harlequin Ladybirds - Hankham (23rd), and Anomoia purmunda or Hawthorn Fruit fly - Hailsham (29th). The last two named I report for differing reasons, Harlequin Ladybirds are very common locally but I was unaware that they laid eggs on aquatic vegetation as was evidenced by a number of larvae on Hankham Level which were on reeds in water, and the Hawthorn Fruit Fly is just a very striking (though tiny) insect!