Visits to the woodlands around Battle and Hastings and Alexandra Park. Today I attempted to photograph insects that I thought could be identified to species from photos. At Old Roar Ghyll LNR in Alexandra Park. By waiting and being patient I noted an Oxycera Soldierfly, an insect I rarely see. It was too fast and brief for a photo but I managed to get two pictures of a wasp which I believe is a male of Gorytes laticinctus. This wasp hunts a number of Homopteran Bugs as prey for the young, including Aphrophora alni which is an Alder bug.
Recently I was very pleased to record the large Leafcutter bee Megachile lignesica from Broomgrove, Ore.
An afternoon walk on the 11th, from upper Combe Haven to Coghurst, Fore Wood and towards Battle. Strong sunshine tempered with light cloud.
A Reed warbler singing from the Willow at the Covehurst pond yesterday, perhaps the bird that I heard briefly from the thorn scrub there a while ago. Otherwise another migrant arrival. Today a Reed warbler was a delightful addition to the birds of Ore Valley. One singing frequently from a stand of Reeds and other plants in the Power site area. Has it come in just as the reeds have grown a bit taller and will it try to keep up a territory here?
Emperor Dragonfly was patrolling the water and there were good numbers of Azure, Blue-tailed and Large Red Damselflys.
Two Painted Lady butterflies appeared at North’s Seat yesterday and today one visited Ore Valley. There seems to have been an arrival of Marmalade flies and Silver-Y Moths.
Pollen levels have been very high. For me it is the steady NE wind and dry warm conditions after a wet spring which makes my hayfever severe in late May and early June and this late spring has been a classic. I noticed numbers of people suffering in the town today. The poor air quality from marine and road traffic must add to the burden for everyone.
Yesterday a Red kite circling over the street at midday – the bird’s arrival and slow passage marked by cries of incredulity and then fear and anger from the nesters on the rooftops.
A pair of Carrion crows have been searching chimneys for food and were seen off by a pair of Jackdaws that stooped repeatedly at them until they moved away.
Insect variety continues at Coghurst, St Helens Down and Alexandra Park during recent visits.
Ten Swifts and several Swallows passing north or east over the coast on a murky day on the 29th. On the 30th alarm calls from Herring Gulls at mid-afternoon alerted me to a Honey buzzard flying straight westwards quite low over the town, followed by one or two concerned gulls. The bird was quite light and buoyant and I believe it was a male.
Stonechats have fledged at least one young up at the glens where Whitethroats are collecting insects for brooding females or young.
The flora around the town end ponds at Alexandra Park is interesting now with the softer landscaping and management. There were a few insects about today despite a fresh overcast breeze.