Archive | June 2016

Dead Dog Fly


Cynomya mortuorum Hastings. June 7th 2016

After a period of heavy rain this morning I dried out as a spell of hot sunshine made up for the non-appearance of the bus. Walking across to North’s Seat a freshly dead Magpie on the path was attracting a number of bluebottles and Sarcophagid flies. A single gunshot from across the field a while later made me wonder if the Magpie had been shot. On the path ahead a colourful fly was using an old Holm leaf and grass stems as a perch and I was delighted to be able to take a few quick snaps with my faltering and slightly damaged camera which I have enjoyed so much. It was the second time I have seen Cynomya here, a spectacular Calliphoridae which seems to be quite scarce in this part of the Weald.

A migrant Reed Warbler singing from a Blackthorn hedge near Fairlight Place. These birds continue to arrive well in to June and as so many ditches have very low Reed growth until quite late, it is not surprising that birds rest up in dry areas and perhaps attempt to attract mates before suitable breeding habitat becomes available.

Sunday and a train journey to Rye and a view of the summer plumaged American Golden Plover which had arrived there some while past. Quite distant, the bird had a very long wing and sometimes when feeding looked pratincole-like as it had quite a horizontal carriage. The upperparts were very dark and from above just the white on the head showed. The underparts were black except for the white on the side of the neck running onto the side of the breast.
Cuckoos were about in numbers and later in the day I noted Yellowhammer singing in two places near Rye, by the railway line.

The Diamond-backed Moth invasion was evident today with many of these tiny insects in the waysides. It is apparently a pest on Cabbage. Painted Lady butterflies have been apparent in recent days.

The wasp Nysson spinulosus was on the wing in Battle forest areas yesterday. Their host, the hunting wasp Argogorytes mystaceus, was also noted. The Cleg fly Haematopota pluvialis is appearing now quite widely.