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WEEKLY SUMMARY


CLOSING DOWN NOTICE

This is the last Weekly Summary that I will produce

Later this week I will have my 82nd birthday and I have recently found that the work involved in producing a reasonably accurate and compehensive account of the wildlife observations that have come to my attention during the preceding week to meet a deadline of availability first thing each Monday morning is becoming a strain rather than a pleasure so I have decided to give it up.

I will continue my Diary entries and hope to include in them some of the things which I have learnt from other people's observations.


Wildlife diary and news for July 8 - 14 (Week 28 of 2013)

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BIRDS

(Skip to Insects)

Bittern: The first report of this species since May 17 comes from Radipole (Weymouth) on July 9 and presumably reflects the early return of a non- or failed breeding bird to their 'winter quarters.

Little Egret: The first sighting of a juvenile away from its nest site comes from Weston Shore on Southampton Water on July 7. This ties in with my own observation, when passing Langstone Pond on July 6 with the tide just beginning to flow from its low point, that there were noticeably fewer Egrets than usual which I take to mean that some of the young birds are now joining their parents on fishing trips - the tide was ideal for learning the art of fishing. Passing the pond again on July 11 with the tide fully up, so no fishing possible in the harbour, I counted a more or less full complement of 51 Egrets (adults + juveniles)

Glossy Ibis: On July 11 one flew south from the Arundel area towards Pagham Harbour

Mute Swan: On July 11 I found that the Swan pair at Budds Farm pools in Havant had four well grown cygnets where I had previously only seen three. I also had a dramatic demonstration of why Swans are flightless at this time of year - the female with the cygnets stood in shallow water and stretched out both wings showing that all here primaries and secondaries had all been discarded simultaneously.

Brent Goose: Three summering Dark Bellied birds were seen in Pagham Harbour on July 9 and another three, also Dark-bellied, were at Ferrybridge (Weymouth) on the same day.

Sparrowhawk: This year's young birds are now on the wing. A photo showing the brown plumage of a young male, taken on July 7, can be seen at http://www.kentos.org.uk/Reculver/images/sparr0713.jpg and on July 11 the Durlston Diary commented on the contrast between the fast direct flight of an adult and the more uncertain flight of a juvenile.

Kestrel: Juvenile Kestrels are now out and when I was at the Langstoone South Moors on July 11 one was calling continuously for about an hour as it clung to the power cable posts.

Dunlin: The first returning birds are now starting to appear in their summer plumage - on July 12 a group of three were seen at Farlington Marshes and next day a different group of three were at Cuckmere Haven near Beachy Head. Also on July 13 there were 19 at Rye Harbour.

Ruff: Two were on the Lymington shore on July 11 and on July 12 one was in Poole Harbour.

Whimbrel: These are now appearing all along the coast - on July 8 one was in Southampton Water, on July 9 2 were at Portland and 4 in Pagham Harbour, on July 10 Christchurch Harbour had a flock of 12, on July 11 one was at Portland and one on the Langstone Pond shore and on July 12 a total of 8 were spread across four Dorset sites.

Redshank: Rye Harbour had 43 on July 13

Greenshank: Farlington Marshes had the most with 11 on July 12

Med Gull: These are having their annual equivalent of Glastonbury Festival at a pig farm at Sopley (on the Hampshire side of the Avon south of Ringwood - up to 540 have been counted there between July 6 and 12. Back in 2009 they held their summer get together at Badminston Common near the mouth of Southampton Water with a peak of 124 birds. In 2011 they assembled at Christchurch Harbour (178 birds on July 26) and in 2012 a flooded Maize field at Sidlesham (Pagham) was the place to be with 482 counted on July 20 before they headed fro the Fishbourne Channel near Chichester (433 on Aug 14)

Black Tern: Last week I thought that a report of one in Germany on July 6 was a sign of return passage starting and this week one was seen at Abbotsbury in Dorset on July 11 with what may have been the same bird at Weymouth on July 12.

Black Guillemot: A single 'unseasonable' Tystie was seen off Portland on July 12

Cuckoo: Juveniles were being fed by Meadow Pipit foster parents at Farlington Marshes and in the New Forest on July 12 when there were still several adults at Rye Harbour (six adults were at Sandwich Bay on July 7).

Swift: Until this week I was convinced that none were nesting in Havant this year but on July 12 I twice watched a pair diving down into a group of houses (where they disappeared) which have in the past had Swifts breeding in artificial nests. Watching those houses in the early morning and evening I have seen two of more birds on both July 13 and 14 (this morning there were six birds involved). This must mean that they have chicks that now need to be fed and will hopefully fledge.

Kingfisher: Juveniles of the first brood, which are evicted by their parents as soon as they fledge, are now starting to arrive at coastal sites and a photo of a juvenile taken on the north Kent coast on July 7, can be seen at http://www.kentos.org.uk/Reculver/images/kingf0713_000.jpg. This shows the tiny white tip to the bill which is a juvenile feature but th ephoto hides the main distinction - the legs and feet of the young are greyish where those of an adult are orange. Although I do not have dates for any local sightings I was told on July 11 by the owner of a house at Langstone, through whose garden the Langbrook stream runs under a small arched bridge, that Kingfishers use it for fishing all round the year and I suspect this means that he has seen one fairly recently and that it would have been a juvenile. I have not heard of one being seen in the Langstone/Havant area since Feb 24 (on the Brockhampton stream passing Budds Farm) and the last I know of on the River Ems was seen on Apr 6 at Westbourne

Dunnock: These are still singing daily, along with Whitethroat, Chiff Chaff, Blackcap, Wood Pigeon and Collared Dove. Blackbird and Chaffinch were singing at the start of this week but have not been heard in the last few very hot days and it is over a week since I heard a Song Thrush while I have not heard a Robin since June 3. I mentioned Dunnock as it remains the most frequent singer but I see that last year I did not hear one after July 13.

Whinchat: The first autumn bird to reach the coast on its way south may have been Whinchat seen at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight on July 1

Crossbill: Eight reports of small groups on the move this week may be just post breeding dispersal in this country but a single report of a Two-barred Crossbill in County Durham on July 7 may mark the start of an irruption of Scandinavian birds into this country.

Vagrant: On July 5 an Ascension Frigatebird (only the second ever for the UK) was seen on the Scottish western isle of Islay

INSECTS

(Skip to Plants)

Dragonflies:

Black Darter: The only new species to be reported this week was Black Darter seen at Thursley in Surrey on July 8.

Gold Ringed Dragonfly: Not new but this account of a sighting may be of interest. It comes fromCaephilly in Wales on July 12 and says .. " A Gold Ringed dragonfly flew into the garden and I was distracted by its distinctive markings and its amazing ability to turn through 180 degrees instantaneously. It flew past the hole in the garden wall from which Wasps regularly come and go, then performed one of these instant turns and alighted on the washing line post. I moved in closer for a better look, expecting it to fly off. Instead, it remained on the line post and was struggling to restrain something with its two front legs. I moved closer still and saw that it was holding a wasp. The dragonfly turned the wasp so that they were "face-to-face". Without any further ado, the dragonfly started to eat the wasp head first! It carried on eating until there was only the tiniest bit of wasp abdomen left, the part containing the sting, and flew off dropping the last piece of unwanted wasp as he did so."

Butterflies:

New species reported this week:

Lulworth Skipper: First report from Durlston on July 13.

Silver Spotted Skipper: First seen at Broughton Down near Stockbridge on July 4 - no subsequent reports so far.

Purple Emperor: Five reports since July 10 when one was seen at Tugley Woods near Chiddingfold in Surrey where several were seen in the Botany Bay area on July 11. One lucky observer was working at home on July 12 when an Emperor landed on his open window (somewhere in Sussex) and allowed itself to be photographed. Also on July 12 one was seen locally in the Southleigh Woods at SU 743087 (300 metres due north of where Hollybank Lane meets the Emsworth Common Road). Nationally the first was seen in Buckinghamshire on July 1.

Silver Washed Fritillary: Nationally the first were seen in both Sussex and Wiltshire on June 2

White Admiral: Nationally the first were seen in Hampshire (Alice Holt Forest) on June 19

Gatekeeper: Nationally the first was seen in Derbyshire on June 26. In Hampshire the first was in a Locksheath garden near Fareham on July 6 and the fourth report came from Havant Thicket on July 13. In Sussex the first was seen near Eastbourne on July 9

Chalkhill Blue: Nationally the first was in Surrey on July 7. In Sussex they were out at Southwater Woods (Horsham) on July 12 and in Hampshire at Magdalen Hill Down (Winchester) on July 10.

(Skip to Other Insects)

Moths:

This section omitted:

Other Insects

Long-legged Fly (Poecilobothrus nobilitatus): See http://www.rxwildlife.info/sightings/2013/7/10/dance-of-the-flies.html

Horntail (Urocerus gigas): On July 9 Brian Fellows included in his Emsworth blog (http://www.emsworthwildlife.hampshire.org.uk/0-0-0-wildlife-diary.htm) a photo of one of these 'monster insects' that had been taken at Bentley Wood on the Hants/Wilts border near Stockbridge. The insect was found on a wooden bench seat and this reminds me that, as the larva of this huge Sawfly can spend up to 3 years in the pine tree in which the mother laid her egg before emerging as an adult, it is not unknown for adults to emerge from furniture after the tree in which they were developing has been cut down and sawn into sections which are then used to construct furniture without disrupting the life of the larva. Maybe this individual had just emerged from the wooden seat on which it was found

Tibellus oblongus spider: A distinctive and relatively common grassland species found at Farlington Marshes on July 10 - see http://solentreserves.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/tibellus-oblongus.jpg. This spider does not spin a web but lies stretched out along a blade of grass waiiting to ambush prey.

PLANTS

(Skip to Other Wildlife)

Rockrose: Starting to flower in Portsdown on July 9 after being found at Coulters Dean Bank near Buriton on July 6

Enchanter's Nightshade: General flowering started in Havant and Emsworth on July 11

Upright Hedge Parsley (Torilis japonica): First seen flowering on Portsdown on July 9

Wild Parsnip: Also first flowers on Portsdown on July 9

Knotgrass: General flowering started from July 9

Redshank: First flowers in Havant on July 11

Wild Privet: General flowering on Portsdown on July 9

Vervain: First flowers on Portsdown on July 9

Basil Thyme: This beauty was out on Portsdown on July 9 - see http://ralph-hollins.net/Diary.htm#0907

Hoary Plantain: Flowering on Portsdown on July 9

Field Scabious: Flowering on Portsdown on July 9

Marsh Ragwort: First seen at Langstone South Moors on July 11

Hoary Ragwort: A single early specimen starting to flower in Havant on July 11

Woolly Thistle: Flowering at Durlston on July 11

Dwarf Thistle: First flower on Portsdown on July 11

Musk Thistle: First flower on Portsdown on July 11

Greater Burdock: This is a plant which I have never seen but on July 10 Brian Fellows found several growing together in at Washington Road in Emsworth. See entries for July 14 and July 10 at http://www.emsworthwildlife.hampshire.org.uk/0-0-0-wildlife-diary.htm

Prickly Lettuce: First flowers in Havant on July 12

Spotted Hawkweed: Flowering on Portsdown on July 9

Late entries not sequenced

Musk Orchid: Flowering at Noar Hill near Selborne on July 13

Creeping Jenny: This has been flowering in my Havant garden this week and is presumably also flowering at the Warblington Farm SSSI

Tree of Heaven: This tree growing next to Glenhurst School in Beechworth Road here in Havant is in full flower on July 14

OTHER WILDLIFE

(Skip to Endweek)

Great Grey Slug (Limax maximus: I have plenty of the variously coloured Arion ater Garden Slugs on my lawn early each morning at this time of year but this morning (Jul 14) I found my first example of the streaked and spotted 'Leopard Slug' for this year sleeping peacefully (i.e. drowning) in a plastic tub filled with water for the birds. I took it out of the water to photograph it and was glad to see that it was not dead as it extended its tentacles and opened its Pneumostome (air intake) for some necessary deep breathing (if you are not familiar with slug anatomy see http://www.treesforlife.org.uk/images/slug_labelled.gif). I intend to publish some of my own photos in my next diary entry which show it was around 8cm long and has a very small 'keel' at the rear of its topside at the back end - this with the simple whitish 'foot' - show that it is a young Limax maximus.

Flounders: The water of the main lake at Farlington Marshes drains into Langstone Harbour via a large pipe which has a metal flap at its outer end to allow the pressure of water in the lake to push it open when the tide goes down and ceases to press the flap closed, stopping seawater from flooding into the lake. There is also a grille in the pipe to stop sea creatures from forcing their way into the lake against the flow of the outgoing water and this grille has recently had an unintended effect in killing a number of Flounders. See Bob Chapman's account of this at http://solentreserves.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/come-into-my-parlour/

ENDWEEK

(Back to Start of Week)


Wildlife diary and news for July 1 - 7 (Week 27 of 2013)

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BIRDS

(Skip to Insects)

Little Bittern: On July 5 the RBA News included a statement that a 'new male had been heard barking at the Ham Wall reserve in Somerset where a single pair of Little Bitterns is known to be breeding.'

Little Egret: When I passed Langstone Pond on July 5 the trees where crowded with Egrets and I guessed that more than 40 were present but when I was there again on July 6 just after the extremely low tide had started to flow (making very good fishing conditions for the Egrets) I found notably fewer birds at the pond so I guess that some of the juveniles have joined their parents out in the harbour and are learning out to catch their own food.

Spoonbill: The two which have been on the Lymington shore through May and June have not been reported since June 27 and one may have moved to Pagham Harbour where one was reported on July 1 and 3 but that too has now vanished.

Osprey: A wing tagged bird which appeared at Bembridge (IoW) RSPB reserve on July 6 may indicate the start of their return passage. The artificial nests on Thorney Island do not appear to have attracted breeding birds this year but more than one bird has visited them and may use them in future and we amy also have breeding birds in Hampshire as I see that planning permission has been granted for the building of a nest platform at Ibsley Water in the Blashford Lakes reserve.

Little Ringed Plover: On July 1 13 of these birds were reported at Pulborough Brooks and I assume this reflects the start of their southward passage though there may have been some 'unreported' breeding there.

Dotterel: One has been in the Scillies from June 27 to 29 at least - presumably moving south.

Golden Plover: A flock of 8 at Gatteville in Normandie are probaby also returnees from the north.

Curlew: A single bird which has appeared in Stoke Bay (south of the Hayling Oysterbeds) this week is thought to be an early returning breeder.

Green Sandpiper: A count of 6 at Sandwich Bay on July 5 was the highest count of five this week, second was a count of 3 at Farlington Marshes on July 2 when another was at the Sidlesham Ferry Pool (Pagham Harbour).

Black Headed Gull: Chris Cockburn reports a count of 1149 nests at the Hayling Oysterbeds where the first chicks to hatch have started to move away, freeing up nesting space for Common Terns. At the Blashford Lakes more than 285 juvs were seen on July 5.

Sandwich Tern: The breeding colony at Rye Harbour has failed to produce any young this year, partly through lack of food in the sea but mainly because the Med Gulls nesting there ate most of their eggs. By driving away the Terns the Med Gulls deprived themselves of Tern Eggs and as a result only one Med Gull chick has fledged this year.

Common Tern: The number of pairs breeding at the Hayling Oysterbeds has increased as the Black-headed Gull chicks fledge and the parents free up their nest spaces - Chris Cockburn reported more than 40 pairs present this week.

Little Tern: None have nested at the Hayling Oysterbeds this year but there may still be some out on the RSPB Island in Langstone Harbour. On June 28 there were still a few present in Pagham Harbour and some were said to be feeding young at Rye Harbour but on July 5 the news from Rye is that all breeding has failed due to predation by Foxes and Crows - see http://www.rxwildlife.info/sightings/2013/7/5/beach-reserve.html.

Black Tern: A report of one at a German site on July 6 is the first mention of the species on Trektellen since an outward bound bird was at Rye Harbour on June 8 and so may be the first returnng bird.

Cuckoo: Last week I reported that the 'Sussex' cuckoo, already in the Mediterranean area on its way south, had unexpectedly turned north. This week the BTO has said that this is not abnormal - the bird, needing to feed up before crossing to Africa and then the Sahara, must have realised that it had missed a good feeding area and had turned back to find it. Adults still in England this week have been reported in the New Forest, Poole Harbour, Pagham Harbour and as far north as County Durham.

Sand Martin: The first to be seen flying south from Portland was reported on June 29 but by July 6 both Portland and Bembridge (IoW) reported counts of 70 departing birds.

Common Redstart: On July 4 Dungeness reported one as its first autumn migrant with singles of Willow Warbler and Blackcap next day).

House Sparrow: At least half a dozen could be heard in gardens around my home on July 4 but by July 6 they had all left for the countryisde.

Vagrants: Two more interesting birds this week. On Jul 4 a Bridled Tern was on the Farne Islands off Northumbland and it was still around on Jul 5 - for info on the species see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridled_Tern - and an Ascension Frigate Bird (only the second to reach the UK) was on Islay on July 5 - see http://blog.islayinfo.com/article.php/ascension-frigatebird-on-islay. For more photos and an insight into the lifestyle of this 'vulture like' seabird see http://www.surfbirds.com/community-blogs/amigo/2011/04/27/ascension-frigatebird/.

INSECTS

(Skip to Plants)

Dragonflies:

Common Hawker (Aeshna junca): This year the first was seen on July 4 in Northumberland and is probably the last of the regular species to emerge.

Butterflies:

Species reported this week:

Small Skipper: First for the year seen in Hampshire on June 29.

Large Skipper

Dingy Skipper

Grizzld Skipper

Clouded Yellow

Brimstone

Larger White

Small White

Green-veined White

White Hairstreak: First and so far only report is of one in the Cosham (Portsmouth) area on June 29. The location was the ex-IBM North Harbour site.

Small Copper

Small Blue

Silver Studded Blue

Brown Argus

Common Blue

Adonis Blue

Holly Blue

White Admiral: Three reports this week (on June 28,29 and 30) mark the emergence of this species but a rogue sighting on June 19 was the First of Year

Red Admiral

Painted Lady

Small Tortoiseshell: Currently emerging in large numbers and one report mentions 'signs of courtship' which, if mating occurred, would contradict my belief that these species which emerge and almost immediately hibernate to be ready to breed next spring do not mate in the year of their emergence.

Large Tortoiseshell: On June 29 two (presumed migrants) were seen at Warnford in the Meon Valley.

Comma

Dark Green Fritillary

Speckled Wood

Marbled White: These first appeared on June 29 at two sites - Isle of Wight and Portchester near Fareham.

Meadow Brown

Small Heath

Ringlet

Monarch: One presumed trans-Atlantic migrant seen at Lee-on-the-Solent on June 2

(Skip to Other Insects)

Moths:

Selected sightings this week:

In addition to the fuller list of moth sightings given below here are what I think to be the more significant reports ('firsts' for the year, appearance of a new generation, migrant influxes, rarities etc)

4 (White-barred Gold), Micropterix aruncella out in Sussex on Jul 3

162 Goat Moth, Cossus cossus out in Dorset on Jun 30

173 Festoon, Apoda limacodes out in Dorset on Jun 30

516 Large Clover Case-bearer, Coleophora trifolii out in Dorset on Jul 1

642a Metalampra italica out in Kent on Jun 30

809 Hollyhock Seed Moth, Pexicopia malvella out in Kent on Jul 2

925 (Rough-winged Conch), Phtheochroa rugosana out in Kent on Jul 4

935 Cochylimorpha alternana out in Kent on Jun 30

936 (Straw Conch), Cochylimorpha straminea out in Sussex on Jul 1

965 (White-bodied Conch), Cochylis hybridella out in Dorset on Jun 29

971 (White-faced Twist), Pandemis cinnamomeana out in Dorset on Jul 4

993 Cyclamen Tortrix, Clepsis spectrana out in Hampshire on Jul 1

1002 (Large Ivy Twist), Lozotaenia forsterana out in Dorset on Jun 29

1010 Red-barred Tortrix, Ditula angustiorana out in Kent on Jul 4

1034 (Small Purple Button), Spatalistis bifasciana out in Dorset on Jun 29

1048 Garden Rose Tortrix, Acleris variegana out in Kent on Jul 2

1063 (Barred Marble), Celypha striana out in Dorset on Jun 30

1115 (Triangle-marked Roller), Ancylis achatana out in Dorset on Jun 30

1175 Bramble Shoot Moth, Epiblema uddmanniana out in Kent on Jul 2

1201 (Hoary Bell), Eucosma cana out in Dorset on Jun 29

1316 (Chequered Grass-veneer), Catoptria falsella out in Dorset on Jul 4

1374a (Thatch Pearl), Sclerocona acutellus out in Dorset on Jul 3

1375 European Corn Borer, Ostrinia nubilalis out in Dorset on Jul 3

1432 (Sandhill Knot-horn), Anerastia lotella out in Dorset on Jun 30

1454 (Dark Pine Knot-horn), Dioryctria abietella out in Kent on Jul 2

1462 (Powdered Knot-horn), Pempeliella dilutella out in Dorset on Jun 29

1481 (Twin-barred Knot-horn), Homoeosoma sinuella out in Kent on Jun 27

1483 (Ermine Knot-horn), Phycitodes binaevella out in Dorset on Jul 3

1488 (Saltmarsh Plume), Agdistis bennetii out in Kent on Jun 29

1653 Buff Arches, Habrosyne pyritoides out in Dorset on Jul 4

1681 Clay Triple-lines, Cyclophora linearia out in Sussex on Jun 28

1705 Dwarf Cream Wave, Idaea fuscovenosa out in Dorset on Jul 1

1715 Plain Wave, Idaea straminata out in Dorset on Jun 29

1803 Small Rivulet, Perizoma alchemillata out in Dorset on Jun 29

1808 Sandy Carpet, Perizoma flavofasciata out in Dorset on Jun 30

1823 Netted Pug, Eupithecia venosata out in Dorset on Jun 29

1860 Green Pug, Pasiphila rectangulata out in Dorset on Jun 29

1870 Chimney Sweeper, Odezia atrata out in Hampshire on Jun 30

1922 Swallow-tailed Moth, Ourapteryx sambucaria out in Dorset on Jul 3

1943 Great Oak Beauty, Hypomecis roboraria out in Dorset on Jl 1

1944 Pale Oak Beauty, Hypomecis punctinalis out in Kent on Jun 30

1954 Bordered White, Bupalus piniaria out in Kent on Jun 30

1962 Barred Red, Hylaea fasciaria out in Dorset on Jul 4

1970 Grass Wave, Perconia strigillaria out in Hampshire on Jun 29

2009 Maple Prominent, Ptilodon cucullina out in Kent on Jul 2

2039 Red-necked Footman, Atolmis rubricollis out in Dorset on Jun 29

2050 Common Footman, Eilema lurideola out in Kent on Jul 2

2077 Short-cloaked Moth, Nola cucullatella out in Dorset on Jul 4

2093 Sand Dart, Agrotis ripae out in Dorset on Jun 30

2136 Gothic, Naenia typica out in Dorset on Jul 4

2152 White Colon, Sideridis albicolon out in Kent on Jul 1

2163 Broom Moth, Melanchra pisi out in Kent on Jul 1

2191 Double Line, Mythimna turca out in Dorset on Jun 29

2201 Shore Wainscot, Mythimna litoralis out in Dorset on Jun 30

2203 White-speck, Mythimna unipuncta out in Dorset on Jul 2

2255 Feathered Ranunculus, Polymixis lichenea out in Dorset on Jul 6

2301 Bird's Wing, Dypterygia scabriuscula out in Kent on Jun 30

2322 Light Arches, Apamea lithoxylaea out in Dorset on Jul 4

2327 Clouded Brindle, Apamea epomidion out in Kent on Jun 29

2330 Dusky Brocade, Apamea remissa out in Dorset on Jun 29

2412 Silver Hook, Deltote uncula out in Hampshire on Jun 28

2422 Green Silver-lines, Pseudoips prasinana out in Dorset on Jun 29

2473 Beautiful Hook-tip, Laspeyria flexula out in Dorset on Jul 3

2476 Beautiful Snout, Hypena crassalis out in Dorset on Jun 29

Note - I assume that readers are as ignorant of moths as I am and so I attempt to provide background info about each species through links to sources of expert knowledge. For each species two links are given and a third source is available. The first is to the UKMoths entry for that species giving one or more photos (if more than one thumbnail is shown clicking it will cause it to replace the large image) plus background info at the national level. The second is to the HantsMoths entry giving similar information at the Hampshire county level - clicking the Phenology, etc boxes gives charts relating to records in the Hampshire database and the meaning of the colours in the Flightime Guide can be found at http://www.hantsmoths.org.uk/flying_tonight.php

Now that a Sussex Moths site is available you can also see the Sussex status of a species by doing the following

1. Open a new TAB alongside the one you are using

2. Copy the http://www.sussexmothgroup.org.uk/ URL into the new TAB address bar and press ENTER to open the Sussex Moth site

3. When you come to a species in my list below for which you want to check the Sussex status

4 Refer to the second line of my entry for the species (the link to the Hantsmoths site) and obtain the moth number (preceding the '.php') from it taking care to ignore any leading zeroes but to include any terminal letter suffiix (e.g. from .../0366a.php you get a moth number 366a )

5. Now switch to the Sussex Moths tab

6. Click on the box saying "Name or B&F?" under the Species Search heading on the left side of the page

7. Enter the Moth Number (properly known as the B&F or Bradley and Fletcher number) in this box, then press ENTER - this will bring up the data for the species in the right hand side of the page

Other Insects

Long-horned General (Stratiomys longicornis): A fly species imitating a bee - see http://solentreserves.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/statiomys-longicornis.jpg. If you are interested in the variety of insects that you may currently find among the flowers at places such as Farlington Marshes have a look at Bob Chapman's blog entry for June 30 at http://solentreserves.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/saturday-2-not-wasps-not-bees-but-lots-of-flies/ but do not be misled (as I was) into thinking that the two spiders which he photographed are both crab spiders. The first of the two (Misumena vatia) is a crab spider and the fact that it has not changed colour to match the flower under which it is 'hiding' is merely a matter of time (my Spider guru, Dick Jones of Portsmouth University) says the colour change takes several days which is no time to an insect that often goes for months without a meal. Its hunting technique is simple - it hides itself by adopting the colour of its surroundings and then waits motionless until a prey item walks into the exact spot where it can be grabbed simultaneously by the crab-like pincer legs and the chelicerae (the mouth parts which deliver an extremely potent poison) and once grabbed there is no escape for the prey (which may be larger than the spider, e.g. a Bumblebee which will fly off with the spider firmly attached but will crash back to the ground within seconds as the poison takes effect) The spider remains attached throughout and does not let go until it has drunk the last drop of its prey's body fluids. The colour mismatch shown in Bob's photo could have been the result of taking as prey a flying insect that was visiting a white flower, then being carried away by the dying insect, and now, after completing its meal settling down with a full stomach to re-adjust its colour as it slowly digests its meal. Bob's second spider comes from a different group which catches its prey in tangled three-dimensional webs having none of the symmetry of the orb-web weavers - part of its web can be seen in the photo but it also shows that the spider re-inforces the web's restraining power by squirting web-silk onto the prey to bind its wings and make escape impossible. One other aspect of this spider species is the attractive colour of its eggsacs - see http://www.pawsforwildlife.co.uk/candy_stripe.php which shows a bright blue eggsac. This spider does not carry the egg sac around attacted to its body but typically folds a broad grass stem and hides the egg inside the fold - presumably the colour acts as camouflage. Most female spiders attempt to protect their egg sac from predation but in most cases the mother will die long before her eggs hatch and the spiderlings emerge - this fact caused me mild amusement when I saw an internet plea for help from someone 'doing their bit for wildlife' by sheltering a female spider and her eggsac until the spider died and the 'do gooder' was confronted with the problem of bringing up all those tiny spiderling with no help from their real mother - I did not find any answer to her desperate pleas for advice on the way to rear spiderlings!.

Dark Bush Cricket: As we reach July Bush Cricket species reach their adult form after multiple 'instars' (immature stages which end with shedding the exoskeleton or 'skin' which can no longer accommodate their growing bodies and the acquisition of a larger 'skin'). The first species to get reported in its adult form is the Dark Bush Cricket which was seen at Bembridge (IoW) on July 1 and at Brook Meadow in Emsworth on July 3 - hopefully I may find a Great Green Bush Cricket on my next visit to Portsdown.

PLANTS

(Skip to Other Wildlife)

Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris): Cultivated forms of Aquilegia which have established themselves in the wild are easy to find but the native woodland form is rare in south east Hampshire so I was interested to see that on July 6 a local group of Hampshire Wildlife Trust members visited Coulters Dean Bank, the only site for it which I was aware of, and I see that it is mentioned among a long list of their botanic finds which include the first Agrimony and Bush Vetch flowers for the year plus Greater Butterfly and Fragant orchids (and Broad Leaved Helleborines still in bud). Other 'first flowers' were Rockrose, Clustered Bellflower, Round-headed Rampion, Common Valerian and Greater Knapweed. To reach Coulters Dean Bank you can either park at the 'back entrance' to the Q E Park at SU 733198 and walk east for 2 km along an unmade track following the northern brow of the downs above Buriton, or you can park by Buriton Pond (SU 739199) and walk 1km south east up a steep dark track called the Milky Way (I understand that much of the milk being brought down to the village by farm cart was likely to be spilt by the bumpiness of the track). Having reached the Coulters Dean Farm area take a footpath starting a little east of the farm and running south along the woodland edge - this brings you almost immediately into the nature reserve area which is mainly in the grassland west of the wood but to find the Columbine you will probably have to search in the woods. While thinking about Columbine I checked what the Hants Flora has to say about it and found that there is another site for it on the west side of the Meon Valley in a wood called Bottom Copse at SU 584205 but I have no idea whereabouts to look and if there is public access other than the path around the southern fringe and the path north through the east end. However this wood did introduce me to a website which might well be of interest to walkers wishing the explore the local countryside and who are stiil fit enough to enjoy walks of ten miles of more. The authors of the website do not seem to have any interest in wildlife but do provide many detailed routes to take you around the countryside. Check it out and see if it would be of interest - go to http://www.thewalkzone.co.uk/ and click on 'South Coast' in the panel on the left of the screen, then click on the button beside one of the long list of walks that have been explored since 2001 - interestingly the very first walk is dated 21 Dec 2001 and starts its 12 mile route from Buriton Pond, goes south through the QE Park to Chalton Down then east past Idsworth Church and north to Ditcham School and on through Coulters Dean Bank before going down the Milky Way into Buriton

Least Yellow Sorrel (Oxalis exilis): The mass of plants beside the footpath from the Royal Oak at Langstone to central Havant, on the north side of Southbrook Road in the Langstone new housing area, was in full flower on July 5.

Dyer's Greenweed: This has been reported as in flower at Durlston since July 2 but I could see no sign of it in the field with the pond beside the Hayling Coastal Path north of the Pillbox where you can cut through to the West Lane bends. I have not checked the site at the east end of Thornham Lane on Thorney Island.

Spiny Restharrow: This was flowering on July 1 at the inside foot of the Thorney Island western seawall a short distance north of the Great Deeps.

Strawberry Clover: A mass of this was newly flowering beside the main path through North Common at Northney where it passes the old boating lake.

Broad-leaved Everlasting Pea: First flowers seen beside the Hayling Coastal path on July 6.

Tall Melilot/Golden Melilot: A mass of what I believe to be this was flowering at North Common on Hayling on July 6 (to see it turn left into the 'meadow area' immediately after coming through the entrance gate) and I spent some time checking that the 'keel' of the flowers was the same length as the 'wings' (in Ribbed Melilot the keel is shorter than the wings) It will be much easier to separate the species when there are mature seed pods which are black on Tall and brown on Ribbed). I mention this as Brian Fellows found Ribbed Melilot on Brook Meadow in Emsworth on July 7 and I cannot see the 'shorter keels' in his photo of the plants there

Lucerne: Brian Fellows found this newly flowering in the Eastney area of Portsmouth on July

Goat's Rue: This was flowering at the Hayling Oysterbeds carpark and at the North Common site on July 6.

Agrimony: This was newly in flower on July 6 both beside the Hyling Coastal Path and at Coulters Dean Bank above Buriton.

Meadowsweet: Starting to flower at Brook Meadow in Emsworth on July 5.

Rosebay Willowherb: First flowers seen at Brook Meadow on July 3.

Mock Orange (Philadelphus coronarius): Not a wild flower but a significant marker of the advancing season (as is Laburnum) - this was in flower on July 4 in Havant.

Wild Celery: First flowers seen in a roadside ditch on Thorney Island on July 6.

Lax Sea Lavender: Flowering on the harbour mud below the sea wall around Langstone Pond on July 5. The normal Sea Lavender growing nearby, which normally flowers first, seems to have died out at this site and I only saw mass flowering of the normal plant in the Northney Marina inlet nest day (July 6)

Moth Mullein: After the plant seen by Peter Pond in Emsworth on July 1 I found another single plant (well advanced in its flowering) on the Hayling Norht Common site on July 6.

Round-leaved Fluellen: Newly flowering at the junction of Emsworth Road and Meadowlands Road in east Havant on July 1.

Marjoram: Flowering by the Hayling Coastal Path on July 6.

Marsh Woundwort: Newly flowering at Emsworth on July 3.

Buddleia davidii: First flowers seen in Havant on July 4.

Harebell: Flowering at Eastney onJuly 4.

Clustered Bellflower: Flowering at Coulters Dean Bank on July 6.

Trailing Bellflower (Campanula poscharskyana): In addition to the Adria Bellflower which I first found flowering in Havant St faith's churchyard on June 16 the commoner garden escape is now starting to flower around Havant (first noticed on July 4).

Round-headed Rampion: Flowering at Countlers Dean Bank on July 6.

Common Valerian: Also first seen at Coulters Dean on July 6.

Common Fleabane: First seen in Emsworth on July 3.

Greater Knapweed: First flowers seen on July 6.

Perennial Sowthistle (Sonchus arvensis): First flowers in Emsworth on June 29.

New Zealand Cabbage Palm (Cordyline australis): Another significant garden planting the white frothy flowers have recently started to appear.

Lizard orchid: 35 flowering at Camber near Rye on July 1.

OTHER WILDLIFE

(Skip to Endweek)

Hedgehog: Three separate reports of Hedgehogs this week may well be the result of increased activity by females as they give birth and have to increase their time spent searching for food to feed up to five young without any assistance from the males. For more info about Hedgehogs see http://www.pznow.co.uk/wildlife/hedgehog.html

Toadlets: On June 30 Bob Chapman noticed many tiny Toadlets moving in the grass around the bomb crater ponds at Farlington Marshes from which they recently emerged.

Fish: I was surprised to read of a 6lb Salmon seen in Chichester Harbour on July 2 seemingly wanting to swim up the River Lavant into Chichester. It's presence there supports my opinion that not every Salmon is equipped with the unerring sense of direction plus sense of smell that is supposed to guide mature Salmon back to the stream in which they hatched but this report did spur me to check on the life cycle of these fish which leave their birth river when they are around one year old, spend a variable time (one to five years) in the open sea, then return to their birthplace to breed and die. One significant fact concerning their life style is their ability to adapt their metabolism from fresh to salt water and back again and to do this they have to spend some time in coastal waters which are a mixture of fresh and salt water.

ENDWEEK

(Back to Start of Week)


Wildlife diary and news for June 24 - 30 (Week 26 of 2013)

(Skip to previous week)

BIRDS

(Skip to Insects)

Storm Petrel: June 23 seems to have been the peak day for seeing these and several other seabird species around our south west shores. Although the highest individual count of the Petrels was only 18 at St Ives in Cornwall they were accompanied by many Manx Shearwaters (Portland had over 200 of these) plus small numbers of Balearic and even Sooty Shearwaters

Cattle Egret: June is normall a dead month for birding excitement so a group from Reculver in Kent decided to pop across the Channel on June 24 and this is what they recorded during this day trip. .. "With birding so quiet at Reculver over recent weeks we spent another day in France. We visited Marquenterre, Crecy Forest and Oye Plage and saw 102 species including 157 Spoonbills, 1 Cattle Egret, 24 White Storks, 7 Great White Egrets, 21 Black-winged Stilts and 3 Black-necked Grebes not to mention singing Marsh Warblers, Firecrests and Wood Warbler. All in all an excellent day out.

Little Egret: Passing Langstone Pond on June 29 I did not have the time to assess the number and and ages of the Egrets but, despite the seawall path being crowded with people, I guessed that there were at least 30 Egrets on view and saw that several had the greenish legs of well grown juveniles.

Scaup: Last week I mentioned that an adult female Scaup had been seen in the Langstone Channel on June 23 and that this was a surprise as it was the first mention of the species for a month. There was some confusion as to where the bird was as it was said to have been seen from Warblington (east of Langstone and in Chichester Harbour) but located in the Langstone Channel (which is in Langstone Harbour and refers to the main channel running south from the Oysterbeds). This ambiguity was elminated next day (June 24) when what must have been the same bird was found in Pagham Lagoon where it stayed to at least June 28 and was photograhped by Alon Kitson (see http://www.sos.org.uk/administrator/components/com_jobline4/logo/snv37775---copy.jpg.

Black-Winged Stilt: I have already mentioned that the Kent birders who made a day trip to France on June 24 found 21 Stilts there but I see that one of the Stilts flew over to Sheppey on June 26 - no further info.

Green Sandpiper: Early autumn passage birds continue to arrive with a party of 5 together at Sandwich Bay on June 26 plus smaller groups in Dorset and Cornwall this week. Wood and Common Sandpipers are also passing through.

Wilson's Phalarope: The bird which arrived at Yarmouth (IoW) on June 18 was last seen there on June 23.

Little Tern: On June 28 more than 10 of these were seen in Pagham Harbour and Rye Harbour reported that chicks were being fed there. In Langstone Harbour their absence was marked by a large plastic banner at the Oysterbeds telling us what a great job was being done by local government and the Veolia waste disposal company in saving the Little Tern from its suicidal tendencies.

Cuckoo: What I assume are adult birds are still being seen this week in Kent, Hampshire and Dorset but a check on the progress of the bird adopted by Sussex (see http://www.sos.org.uk/follow-sussex-on-his-journey.html) shows it had already reached the southern tip of Sadinia when it realised it was missing the action of the Tour de France and smartly turned back north to the northern tip of Corsica (not sure how you account for that in any scientific theory of bird navigation).

House Martin: Two snippets of discouraging news come from (a) myself - only managing to get the species on my yearlist this week when I saw four birds over the Budda Farm pools on June 29, and (b) Rebecca Rees who checked for nests in Hurstpierpoint near Brighton on June 27 and could only find one nest where there had been seven last year.

Meadow Pipit: To show that not all news is bad I I heard at least two singing Meadow Pipits at the Langstone South Moors where I have heard them this year on Apr 10, June 5 and now June 29. No doubt they are only singing because they have not managed to attract a female so far!

White Wagtail: Birders at Folkestone are claiming to have a pair nesting there for the first time time 1981 (but I am not sure if they have found the nest yet).

Mistle Thrush: A flock of around 12 birds seen on Graffham Down near Midhurst would seem to indicate that at least two pairs have bred successfully this year - maybe this species is drawing back from the brink of extinction.

Spotted Flycatcher: At least one pair has bred on the Stansted estate this summer and a pair have been seen at Alresford this week - another species not quite extinct as a breeding species in Hampshire and Sussex.

White-throated Needletail: This species, which holds the air speed record for level flight, got into the news this week by flying from the Himalays to the Scottish island of Harris where it promptly killed itself by flying into a privately owned wind turbine which the locals had been complaining about since it was put up. I'm surprised that the media have not made more of a meal out of a story with all this controversial points. If you want some more accurate info try Lee Evans account at http://uk400clubrarebirdalert.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/red-red-alert-needle-tailed-swift-on.html and a local birder's account at http://maciverblog.co.uk/2013/06/28/twitchers-shock-as-rare-bird-killed-by-drinishader-turbine/. Finally have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White-throated_Needletail which tells us that the dead body is to be sent to a museum. If you pursue this story to http://www.western-isles-wildlife.com/ you find further excitement through the other local hot topic in the western isles under the headline .. "New Zealand Flatworm wipes out earthworms in Carinish garden".

INSECTS

(Skip to Plants)

Dragonflies:

Brown Hawker (Aesha grandis): First for the year seen in Lancashire on June 25.

Ruddy Darter: First for year seen in Essex also on June 25.

Red-eyed Damsel: One of 28 species seen this week and included because, after seeing several photos in which there is no 'red eye' visible, Steve Copsey managed to get a shot which does show this - taken at Ham Wall in Somerset on June 14 - see http://www.surfbirds.com/community-blogs/amigo/files/2013/06/Red-eyed-Damselfly-1-Han-Wall-14-Jun-2013.jpg.

Butterflies:

Species reported this week:

Large Skipper:

Dingy Skipper:

Grizzled Skipper:

Swallowtail: On June 19 a migrant from the continent was seen in St Thomas Ave on Hayling Island

Clouded Yellow: At least nine were seen in Kent and Sussex this week

Pale Clouded Yellow: The only one reported so fr this year was at the Testwood Lakes near Southampton on June 27 where it was watched for at least ten minutes

Brimstone:

Large White:

Small White:

Green-veined White:

Green Hairstreak:

Small Copper:

Small Blue:

Silver Studded Blue:

Brown Argus:

Common Blue:

Adonis Blue:

Holly Blue:

Duke of Burgundy: Probably the last for the year.

Red Admiral:

Painted Lady: At least 8 seen this week.

Small Tortoiseshell:

Comma:

Glanville Fritillary:

Speckled Wood:

Wall Brown:

Meadow Brown:

Snall Heath:

Wall Brown:

Ringlet:

First for the year reported on June 27 at Froxfield near Petersfield.

(Skip to Other Insects)

Moths:

Selected sightings for this week:

409b (Cypress-tip Moth), Argyresthia cupressella out in Dorset on June 23

720 (Bordered Ermel), Ethmia bipunctella out in Kent on June 25

819 (Winter Groundling), Scrobipalpa costella out in Kent on June 23

905 (Hawthorn Cosmet), Blastodacna hellerella out in Dorset on June 24

970 Barred Fruit-tree Tortrix, Pandemis cerasana out in Dorset on June 26

985 Carnation Tortrix, Cacoecimorpha pronubana out in Hampshire on June 22

1200 (Bright Bell), Eucosma hohenwartiana out in Dorset on June 26

1356a (Dark Bordered Pearl), Evergestis limbata out in Kent on June 27

1359 (Starry Pearl), Cynaeda dentalis out in Dorset on June 26

1372 Paracorsia repandalis rare migrant seen in Dorset on June 19

1640 Drinker, Euthrix potatoria out in Dorset on June 26

1657 Common Lutestring, Ochropacha duplaris out in Dorset on June 28

1765 Barred Yellow, Cidaria fulvata out in Dorset on June 25

1876 Small Yellow Wave, Hydrelia flammeolaria out in Dorset on June 26

1941 Mottled Beauty, Alcis repandata out in Dorset on June 26

2068 Scarlet Tiger, Callimorpha dominula out in Hampshire on June 25

2170 Varied Coronet, Hadena compta out in Dorset on June 22

2321 Dark Arches, Apamea monoglypha out in Dorset on June 25

2323 Reddish Light Arches, Apamea sublustris out in Kent on June 27

2418 Cream-bordered Green Pea, Earias clorana out in Dorset on June 28

2439 Gold Spot, Plusia festucae out in Dorset on June 25

Note - I assume that readers are as ignorant of moths as I am and so I attempt to provide background info about each species through links to sources of expert knowledge. For each species two links are given and a third source is available. The first is to the UKMoths entry for that species giving one or more photos (if more than one thumbnail is shown clicking it will cause it to replace the large image) plus background info at the national level. The second is to the HantsMoths entry giving similar information at the Hampshire county level - clicking the Phenology, etc boxes gives charts relating to records in the Hampshire database and the meaning of the colours in the Flightime Guide can be found at http://www.hantsmoths.org.uk/flying_tonight.php

Now that a Sussex Moths site is available you can also see the Sussex status of a species by doing the following

1. Open a new TAB alongside the one you are using

2. Copy the http://www.sussexmothgroup.org.uk/ URL into the new TAB address bar and press ENTER to open the Sussex Moth site

3. When you come to a species in my list below for which you want to check the Sussex status

4 Refer to the second line of my entry for the species (the link to the Hantsmoths site) and obtain the moth number (preceding the '.php') from it taking care to ignore any leading zeroes but to include any terminal letter suffiix (e.g. from .../0366a.php you get a moth number 366a )

5. Now switch to the Sussex Moths tab

6. Click on the box saying "Name or B&F?" under the Species Search heading on the left side of the page

7. Enter the Moth Number (properly known as the B&F or Bradley and Fletcher number) in this box, then press ENTER - this will bring up the data for the species in the right hand side of the page

Species recorded this week:

Other Insects

Yellow-ringed Comb-horn (Ctenophora flaveolata): See http://www.buglife.org.uk/conservation/adviceonmanagingbaphabitats/lowlandbeechandyewwoodland for this woodland insect which Graeme Lyons found out of context on Levin Down north of Chichester on June 22. For Graeme's account see http://analternativenaturalhistoryofsussex.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/the-daddy-of-all-wasp-mimics.html.

Long Hoverfly (Sphaerophoria scripta): Found and photographed b7 Brian Fellows in Emsworth on June 23 - see http://www.emsworthwildlife.hampshire.org.uk/0-0-0-x733-long-hoverfly-rail-ws-24.06.13.jpg

Hornet: Other than one at Folkestone on May 19 the only other I have heard of this year was seen in Botley Woods on June 25 (report from Three Amigos blog)

Glow-worm: The first glowing female reported this year was at Durlston on June 27.

Nursery Tent Spider (Pisaura mirablils): First tent-full of spiderlings seen in Brook Meadow at Emsworth on June 27.

Zebra spider (Salticus scenicus): Thia tiny jumping spider is not uncommon on warm surfaces such as house walls in the summer and is identified by its 'zebra striped' body and by the very large central pair of eyes which it needs to compute the precise jump onto its prey. All but nine species of spider found in Britain have eight eyes (the exceptions have only six) and the pattern in which they are arranged is a major id feature. See Peter Raby's excellent photo of this spider with its prey at http://www.emsworthwildlife.hampshire.org.uk/0-0-0-x730-wolf-spider-prey-PMR-27.06.13.jpg but remember that this creature is no more than 6mm long.

PLANTS

(Skip to Other Wildlife)

Long-headed Poppy: Flowering at Farlington Marshes on June 15

Opium Poppy: Flowering at Hayling Oysterbeds on June 25

Creeping Yellow Cress: Flowering at Havant Rail station on June 26 and more plentifully on the old playing fields at Broadmarsh on June 29.

Water cress: Flowering in Havant on June 24.

Narrow Leaved Pepperwort: Flowering at the A27 Langstone roundabout on June 29.

Tutsan: Flowering at Nore Barn Woods, Emsworth, on June 26.

Slend St Johns Wort: Flowering at Broadmarsh on June 29.

Rose Campion (lychnis coronaria): Flowering on Sinah Common. Hayling Island, on June 25.

Rest-harrow: Flowering on Hayling beachlands on June 25.

Smooth Tare: First of this 'blue flowered' species out on June 29.

Hairy Vetchling (Lathyrus hirsutus): First flowers seen at its only Hampshire site (the Broadmarsh mountain =old rubbish tip) on June 29.

Greater Birds Foot Trefoil: First flowers at Broadmarsh on June 29.

Bladder Senna: The small tree half way up the east side of The Kench on Hayling was covered in yellow flowers on June 25.

Great Willowherb: First flowers in Havant on June 28.

Hoary Willowherb: Flowering in Emsworth on June 23.

Enchanter's Nightshade: One plant flowering in my Havant garden on June 23.

Large flowered Evening Primrose: First flower seen in Havant on June 29.

Knotted Hedge Parsley: Flowering on June 29 at a regular site beside SouthMoor Lane in Havant.

Common Centaury: Flowering at Broadmarsh on June 2

Yellow-Wort: My first sight of this in flower at Broadmarsh on June 29.

Hedge Bindweed: First flowers in Emsworth on June 23.

Cock's Eggs (Salpichroa origanifolia): Starting to flower at it Hayling Island site on June 25.

Great Mullein: First flowers on Hayling on June 25. Late news is of what seems to be a Moth Mullein now flowering in Emsworth

Pale Toadflax: First flowers at its Hayling site on June 25.

Lesser Snapdragon or Weasels Snout (Misopates orontium): First flowers at Havant New Lane allotments on June 26.

Water Forget me not: Fresh flowers in Havant on June 29.

Sheep's Bit: First flowers at south Hayling on June 25.

Hedge Bedstraw: First flowers on June 25.

Small Scabious: First flowers at Farlington Marshes on June 25.

Shaggy Soldier: Flowering in Emsworth on June 27.

Spear Thistle: Flowering onJune 24.

Creeping Thistle: Flowering in Havant on June 25.

Welted Thistle: Flowering on Hayling on June 25.

Smooth Hawksbeard: Flowering in Havant on June 25.

Bristly Oxtongue: Flowering at Hayling Oysterbeds on June 25.

Perennial Sow-thistle (Sonchus arvensis): Flowering in Emsworth on June 29.

Stinking Iris: Many plants in flower on Hayling on June 25.

Broad-leaved Helleborine: Flowering at Hastings on June 25.

Greater Butterfly Orchid: Flowering in Hampshire on June 22.

Frog Orchid: Out on Beachy Head on June 25.

Southern Marsh Orchid: The official count of these at the Langstone South Moors on June 29 gave the surprisingly high count of 7420 spikes (in 2010 the count was 9234)

Divers

OTHER WILDLIFE

(Skip to Endweek)

Minke Whale: First report I have seen on one in British waters this year. For more info see http://www.wdcs.org/national_regions/scotland/shorewatch/minke_whale.php

Water Vole: Both adults and young seen at Brook Meadow in Emsworth on June 29. As these voles can have up to five 'litters' between March and October these are likely to be the second 'litter' of this year. For more info see http://www.durhamwt.co.uk/what-we-do/current-projects/water-vole/water-vole-ecology/

Bats: By chance I saw a Pipistrelle hunting over my garden on the evening of June 29 and I see that Durlston mentions Pipstrelle and Noctule on June 27 so I guess warm evenings at this time of year give the amatuer bat watcher a good chance of seeing more than one species.

Pond Life: On June 22 Steve Copsey took some photos of the pond life in his Portsmouth area garden and I was intrigued by the small Leeches which he found under Water Lily leaves. I have in the past been encouraged to walk into a New Forest pond wearing wellies and it only took a few minutes before the large Medicinal Leeches which get their supply of blood from New Forest ponies attached themselve to my boots and more recently I have been told that these large Leech Species occur in Cungre Pond (to be found in the centre of the Cams Hall Golf Course by Fareham Creek). For info on the smaller species that occur in most ponds see http://www.bugsandweeds.co.uk/leeches.html

Marine life: Brian Fellows has been told that shoals of Cuttlefish are now in the harbours to breed (see the section on mating in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuttlefish for the 'mind games'involved in the sex life of Cuttlefish) but I think they normally arrive earlier than this - see http://www.bsac.com/diverreports.asp?section=1248&itemid=2143 which gives Apr 1 as the date when human divers start to look for them off the Devon coast, and it must have been before the end of June (when the old BTO Common Bird Census period ended) that I can remember Foxes on Warblington Farm bringing recently dead and very smelly Cuttlefish back from the shore to use as 'air fresheners' for their earths though I have not noticed the cuttlefish 'bones' on the shore so far this year.

Cage Fungus (Clathrus ruber): Durlston reported the first find of this uncommon and very unusual fungus. For pictues and info see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clathrus_ruber.

ENDWEEK

(Back to Start of Week)


Wildlife diary and news for June 17 - 23 (Week 25 of 2013)

(Skip to previous week)

BIRDS

(Skip to Insects)

Divers: Just one report of Red-throated off Portland and one of Black-throated off Selsey this week but spiced up with a White-billed off Aberdeenshire on June 14.

Storm Petrels: Strong winds brought several of this up the Channel this week , though no more than two seen at Selsey on one day.

Mute Swan: To compete with the daily family entertainment at Emsworth where three families are competing for entertainment ratings (and one poor cygnet has either been subject to a lot of pecking or is loosing the down around it neck as a result of manutrition among the litter in its area of the Town Millpond) an inland bird decided to take to its bed on an area of Martin Down reserved for Stone Curlew posing a 'who gets the benefit of your contributions to the RSPB and DEFRA' problem for the conservation bodies

Scaup: A female was reported to be in the Langstone Channel of Langstone Harbour on the afternoon of June 23. This is the first report for Hampshire since a male and two females were in Southampton Water on May 23.

Shelduck: Young birds at Christchurch Harbour are said to be now 'full grown' suggesting that it will not be long before the majority of adults leave for their remote moulting beaches.

Black Kites: One has been seen more than once in Cambridgeshre this week but maybe it moved down to Bournemouth to make a brief appearance over Bournemouth on June 18 is not known.

Honey Buzzard: Sightings over Poole Harbour and the Pulborough area this week probably were of young non -breeding birds.

Quail: Late news of one in the Scillies on June 4 has been followed by a string of reports from Portland where at least two attempted to sneak in while Martin Cade was absent on June 18 and at least one was still there on June 22.

Avocet: The presence of 11 at Sidlesham Ferry (Pagham Harbour) on June 16, increasing to 23 there on June 21 is being taken as a sign that their autumn passage to the west country has already started as Green Sandpipers and other waders start to return but Avocets at Rye Harbour perhaps have a more urgent need to move on as their newly created wetlands dry out and leave the young birds without food (I don't know the facts about this and am merely picking up 'fag ends')

Ruff: Males in breeding plumage have already been seen at Exmouth and Poole Harbour (Swineham) and this week two more arrived at Sandwich Bay on June 21.

Black-tailed Godwit: On June 21 an entry in the SOS News by Chris Barfield said .. "A few early autumn migrants on the Sidlesham Ferry pool today - two Green Sandpipers and a juvenile Greenshank, also 25 Black-tailed Godwits and 23 Avocets".. and as I was surprised to hear of migrant Godwits already back with us (whereas I know that many young Godwits stay here through the summer) I thought I would check round for further evidence which led me to discover a website that I really should have been aware of years ago. The URL is http://www.uea.ac.uk/~b026515/icelandic.html which tells you all you need to know about Icelandic Godwits and has photos of two people which I went birding with in the 1980s. Reading from this bible I find that .. "From June onwards, unsuccessful breeders start to gather and flock, in preparation for migration. Some of these birds are reported already back on the wintering grounds in late June." So there is the proof I was looking for

Green Sandpiper: These are perhaps the most noticeable evidence of returning breeders this week with five seen together at the Lower Test nesr Southampton and ones and twos newly seen at four other sites in England (and a party of 20 at a Netherlands site.

Wilson's Phalarope: A female of this species, which regularly returns early from breeding (but does not often stop off in England) has been at Yarmouth (Isle of Wight) for at least five days this week (June 18 to 22) and you can see Derek Hale's photos of it in the gallery at the head of his web page - see http://iowbirds.awardspace.com/IOW.htm.

A female of the commoner Red-necked Phalarope has been at Slimbridge in Gloucestershire this week

Black Tern: Another early autumn passage birds was one of these flying west off Spalsh Point in Sussex on June 15.

Hoopoe: One was at Hampreston in Dorset (north of Bournemouth) on June 19.

Sand Martin: The juveniles in nests at Christchurch Harbour were said to be near fledging on June 19.

Red-Rumped Swallow: One was at Swalecliffe on the north Kent coast on June 19.

Bearded Tit: On June 13 Bob Chapman reportd that there were young in three nests at Farlington Marshes which would soon be fledging and on June 21 three juveniles were seen at Christchurch Harbour which had probably come from an undetected nest there. If you want to know what the young of this species look like before you go in search of them have a look at http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/38963968

INSECTS

(Skip to Plants)

Dragonflies:

28 species were on the wing this week, none of them being new for the year. If the weather warms up again we ought to start seeing Southern Hawkers and Common Darters which have already been seen in some places, and Ruddy Darter should not be far behind.

Butterflies:

Species of interest this week:

Large Skipper: The first report was from the Isle of Wight on June 6 with the next two in Sussex on June 14 and 16 but the main emergence was on June 19. Nationally the first was seen on June 2 in Derbyshire.

Swallowtail: What was presumably a continental migrant was seen at Durlston on June 2 but the first mention of our natives in Norfolk reached me indirectly on June 16 - on checking with the Norfolk Butterfly Conservation website I found a general statement saying .."The adults are on the wing from mid May to the end of June, and in a good year a second brood from the end of August to mid September. The optimum time, however, is the middle two weeks of June." The BC National site gives the first sighting for 2013 as May 19.

Clouded Yellow: Nationally the first sighting was on June 1 in Dorset but the current influx started on June 18 with reports from Sussex and Hampshire. By June 20 I had seen 11 reports, none of more than 2 butterflies so this is not a major invasion.

Brimstone: It would seem that this summer's brood also started to emerge around June 15 when there were reports of 20 and 25 seen together, with 8 seen in Havant Thicket on June 19. As the main purpose of these is to survive the winter and produce a new generation next year they will not stay around to enjoy flowers and sunshre this autumn but will soon find a hibernation site and settle down to sleep.

Silver Studded Blue: These started to emerge on June 19 in Sussex and June 20 in Hampshire though nationally the first was out on June 4 in Cornwall.

Large Blue: The first to emerge at the Collard Hill re-introduction site in Somerset was out on June 14.

White Admiral: This has not yet appeared on the national website but two were reported in the Straits Enclosure near Alton on June 19. No further confirmation..

Painted Lady: Five of these arrived at Portland on June 14 and they have not ceased to arrive in scattered small numbers since then. At least one got as far west as Cornwall on June 18 and on June 19 there was a local sighting in Havant Thicket

Small Tortoiseshell: On June 19 I had a brief sight of one which looked pristine and very active while I was at Warblington near Havant which made me wonder if the summer generation might have started to emerge. Looking at the rough records I keep I found a two week gap in reported sightings from June 5 to 18 when one was seen at Rye Harbour, while my sighting was followed by one of three together at Emsworth on June 21 providing some support for my suggestion.

Dark Green Fritillary: Naationally the first report came from Somerset on June 10 followed by one in Hampshire on June 14 and one in Sussex on June 18.

Wall Brown: Nationally the first to be seen was in Dorset on May 1 followed by one on the Isle of Wight on May 10, another in Kent on June 12 and one in Sussex on May 19 but Hampshire did not see its first until June 8 (in the Lymington area).

Meadow Brown: After an isolated sighting in Sussex on May 26 no more were reported until June 5 when just one was seen at Martin Down. Eventually a more normal scene was reported when there were sitghtins at five sites (including Brook Meadow at Emsworth) on June 19 though no others have been reported since. Nationally the first report was from Derbyshire on May 22 (a more normal date for general emergence).

Monarch: Last week we reported that one potential trans Atlantic migrant had reached the Gosport area on June 17 and this week there is a second report of one at Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight on June 19 with the comment .. "Monarch seen along the Yarmouth old railway line between the station and gate to Mill Copse at around 13.30. We saw it flying powerfully past us from northeast to southwest along the track as we stood next to the Station Pond. It cut through the hedge between the track and the estuary and disappeared off to the west. We were unable to relocate it"

(Skip to Other Insects)

Moths:

Selected sightings this week:

In addition to the fuller list of moth sightings given below here are what I think to be the more significant reports ('firsts' for the year, appearance of a new generation, migrant influxes, rarities etc)

14 Ghost Moth, Hepialus humuli out in Dorset on Mar 6

281 (Clouded Slender), Caloptilia populetorum out in Dorset on June 17

143 (Buff Long-horn), Nematopogon metaxella out in Dorset on June 16

151 (Small Barred Long-horn), Adela croesella out in Dorset on June 16

171 Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet, Zygaena lonicerae out in Hampshire (Browndown) on June 19

216 Cork Moth, Nemapogon cloacella out in Kent on June 21

229 (Yellow-backed Clothes), Monopis obviella out in Kent on June 19

313 (Brown Oak Slender), Acrocercops brongniardella out in Kent on June 20

385 (Common Nettle-tap), Anthophila fabriciana out in Kent on June 18

465 (Grey-streaked Smudge), Plutella porrectella out in Dorset on June 16

808 (Mallow Groundling), Platyedra subcinerea out in Kent on June 15

989 Timothy Tortrix, Aphelia paleana out in Dorset on June 16

1033 (Green Oak Tortrix), Tortrix viridana out in Kent on June 19

1076 (Common Marble), Celypha lacunana out in Kent on June 14

1082 Plum Tortrix, Hedya pruniana out in Kent on June 14

1241 (Triple-stripe Piercer), Grapholita compositella out in Sussex on June 18

1276 (Silver-lined Drill), Dichrorampha plumbagana out in Sussex on June 18

1293 Garden Grass-veneer, Chrysoteuchia culmella out in Dorset on June 19

1333 (Meadow Grey), Scoparia pyralella out in Kent on June 21

1336 (Marsh Grey), Eudonia pallida out in Kent on June 20

1354 Small China-mark, Cataclysta lemnata out in Sussex on June 20

1392 (Olive Pearl), Udea olivalis out in Kent on June 21

1458 Thistle Ermine, Myelois circumvoluta out in Dorset on June 16

1474 (False Cacao Moth), Ephestia parasitella out in Kent on June 20

1510 (Thyme Plume), Merrifieldia leucodactyla out in Sussex on June 20

1645 Scalloped Hook-tip, Falcaria lacertinaria out in Dorset on June 21

1654 Figure of Eighty, Tethea ocularis out in Dorset on June 17

1682 Blood-vein, Timandra comae out in Dorset on June 17

1689 Mullein Wave, Scopula marginepunctata out in Sussex on June 20

1693 Cream Wave, Scopula floslactata out in Dorset on June 15

1707 Small Dusty Wave, Idaea seriata out in Kent on June 19

1711 Treble Brown Spot, Idaea trigeminata out in Kent on June 19

1713 Riband Wave, Idaea aversata out in Dorset on June 19

1719 Oblique Carpet, Orthonama vittata out in Dorset on June 16

1781 Small Waved Umber, Horisme vitalbata out in Kent on June 20

1784 Pretty Chalk Carpet, Melanthia procellata out in Dorset on June 19

1827 Freyer's Pug, Eupithecia intricata out in Dorset on June 19

1830 Wormwood Pug, Eupithecia absinthiata out in Dorset on June 17

1874 Dingy Shell, Euchoeca nebulata out in Dorset on June 20

1918 Lunar Thorn, Selenia lunularia out in Dorset on June 18

1937 Willow Beauty, Peribatodes rhomboidaria out in Kent on June 21

1945 Brussels Lace, Cleorodes lichenaria out in Dorset on June 19

1996 Alder Kitten, Furcula bicuspis out in Dorset on June 13

2036 Dew Moth Setina irrorella out in Kent on June 18

2058 Cream-spot Tiger, Arctia villica out in Hampshire on June 15

2059 Clouded Buff, Diacrisia sannio out in Sussex on June 18

2107 Large Yellow Underwing, Noctua pronuba out in Kent on June 20

2118 True Lover's Knot, Lycophotia porphyrea out in Dorset on June 17

2198 Smoky Wainscot, Mythimna impura out in Dorset on June 16

2199 Common Wainscot, Mythimna pallens out in Dorset on June 15

2205 Shoulder-striped Wainscot, Mythimna comma out in Kent on June 14

2216 Shark, Cucullia umbratica out in Dorset on June 14

2278 Poplar Grey, Acronicta megacephala out in Dorset on June 20

2279 Sycamore, Acronicta aceris out in Dorset on June 15

2340 Middle-barred Minor, Oligia fasciuncula out in Dorset on June 15

2387 Mottled Rustic, Caradrina morpheus out in Dorset on June 16

2396 Rosy Marbled, Elaphria venustula out in Dorset on June 19

2434 Burnished Brass, Diachrysia chrysitis out in Dorset on June 18

2465 The Four-spotted Tyta luctuosa out in Kent on June 20

2474 Straw Dot, Rivula sericealis out in Kent on June 19

2477 Snout, Hypena proboscidalis out in Kent on June 21

2489 Fan-foot, Zanclognatha tarsipennalis out in Dorset on June 18

2492 Small Fan-foot, Herminia grisealis out in Dorset on June 21

Note - I assume that readers are as ignorant of moths as I am and so I attempt to provide background info about each species through links to sources of expert knowledge. For each species two links are given and a third source is available. The first is to the UKMoths entry for that species giving one or more photos (if more than one thumbnail is shown clicking it will cause it to replace the large image) plus background info at the national level. The second is to the HantsMoths entry giving similar information at the Hampshire county level - clicking the Phenology, etc boxes gives charts relating to records in the Hampshire database and the meaning of the colours in the Flightime Guide can be found at http://www.hantsmoths.org.uk/flying_tonight.php

Now that a Sussex Moths site is available you can also see the Sussex status of a species by doing the following

1. Open a new TAB alongside the one you are using

2. Copy the http://www.sussexmothgroup.org.uk/ URL into the new TAB address bar and press ENTER to open the Sussex Moth site

3. When you come to a species in my list below for which you want to check the Sussex status

4 Refer to the second line of my entry for the species (the link to the Hantsmoths site) and obtain the moth number (preceding the '.php') from it taking care to ignore any leading zeroes but to include any terminal letter suffiix (e.g. from .../0366a.php you get a moth number 366a )

5. Now switch to the Sussex Moths tab

6. Click on the box saying "Name or B&F?" under the Species Search heading on the left side of the page

7. Enter the Moth Number (properly known as the B&F or Bradley and Fletcher number) in this box, then press ENTER - this will bring up the data for the species in the right hand side of the page

Species recorded this week:

Other Insects

Giant Lacewing (Osmylus fulvicephalus): One seen at Folkestone on June 15. For a photo and brief details go to http://www.naturespot.org.uk/species/giant-lacewing

Longhorn Beetle (Agapanthia villosoviridescens): Seen by Bob Chapman at the Swanwick (Fareham area) nature reserve on June 22. For Bob's photo see http://solentreserves.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/agapanthia-villosoviridescens.jpg?w=500&h=374.

Longhorn Beetle (Rhagium mordax): Not the first time we have come across this recently but Bob's photo from June 22 is worth a look - see http://solentreserves.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/rhagium-mordax.jpg?w=500&h=375.

Fleabane Tortoise Beetle larva : For the adult beetle (which looks very like a Ladybird) see http://www.flickr.com/photos/peter_orchard/5853819478/ but for Bob Chapman's photo of the extraordinary looking larva, which continues to carry all its discarded 'baby clothes' around on its back as camouflage, see http://solentreserves.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/fleabane-tortoise-beetle-larva.jpg?w=500&h=374.

Graeme Lyons latest insect finds: As time is running out for me to complete this week's summary I will leave you to make your own investigations in Graeme's latest finds by visiting his blog at http://analternativenaturalhistoryofsussex.blogspot.co.uk/. He has some interesting and colourful beetles and spiders in his entries called 'Land of the Giants' on June 20 and 'Tales of the Inexpectus' when he was at Rye Harbour with the British Arachnological Society on June 16.

PLANTS

(Skip to Other Wildlife)

Adders Tonque: Earlier this year Bob Chapman found a new site for this north of the A27 at Farlington Marshes and this week he has found yet another site near the ponds in 'The Bushes'.

Annual Wall Rocket: I noticed the first flowers for the year in Havant on June 17 but I do not expect to see the Perennial Wall Rocket which flowered profusely on railway land near the now disused Signal Box where the land has recently been 'cleaned up'.

Common Scurvygrass (Cochlearia officinalis): I was not aware that this species could be found locally but Brian Fellows says .. "On June 15 while walking round Bosham Harbour I found some white-flowered plants which I thought at first were English Scurvygrass on the roadside embankment on eastern side of the harbour opposite the town. I brought a sample home and on closer inspection they appeared to fit the description of Common Scurvygrass (Cochlearia officinalis agg) in my guides. In particular, the upper leaves were clasping the stem and the pods were rounded." See photo at http://www.emsworthwildlife.hampshire.org.uk/0-0-0-x741-scurvygrass-bosham-15.06.13.jpg. Subsequently Brian has had confirmation from Martin Rand (Hants BSBI recorder) that this is Common Scurvygrass.

Fat Hen: I first noticed this for the year when at Warblington Farm on June 19.

Bastard Toadflax: John Goodspeed found this speciality had started to flower on Portsdown on June 19.

Small Flowered Cranesbill: I first found this flowering in Havant on June 21 after discarding several other candidates which did not have the 'close shaven' flower stems.

Sea Clover: Bob Chapman came on the first of this for the year on June 15 in a new site - the ex-IBM Playing Fields at the sea end of Southmoor Lane in Havant.

Meadow Vetchling: I came across this in flower for the first time in the Havant Cemetery on June 17

Cockspur Thorn tree: These ornamental trees were newly flowering at both Havant and Warblington cemeteries this week.

Great Burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis): This relative of the common Salad Burnet of our downland is very much less common than it so Brian Fellows was very surprised recently to find he had half a dozen plants of it flowering at Brook Meadow in Emsworth where it was previously quite unknown. Maybe they came from windborne seed (unlikely to have brought several plants to the same spot, maybe they came with soil attached to trees planted here or with introduced orchids, or maybe we have a mysterious human at work (like the rumoured 'Portchester Postman' who is said to have introduced the colony of Field Cow-Wheat that grows on Portsdown Hill when it is only officially found on the Isle of Wight).

Square-stalked Willowherb: I found this flowering on June 19.

Corky-fruited Water Dropwort: Brian Fellows found the first of this in flower on Thorney Island on June 16.

Wild Carrot: Brian was also the first to come across this in flower on June 19.

Common Sea Lavender: And Brian also was the first to see this on June 19.

Blue Water-Speedwell: And this at Brook Meadow on June 21.

Black Horehound: First flowers seen at Warblington Farm on June 19.

Self Heal: Flowering from June 12.

Hound's Tongue: Reported flowering at Durlston on June 18.

Carrot Broomrape: Also flowering at Durlston on June 18.

Adria Bellflower (Campanula portenshlagiana): This had arrived in the Havant St Faith's churchyard as a new casual when I was there on June 17 (look by the steps down into the Homewell Street).

Wall Lettuce: A lot of this grows on the wall of Homewell House close by the steps just mentioned but this year I noticed the first plant in full flower down a back alley of North Street in Havant on June 17.

Pyramidal Orchid: First flowers reported at Durlston on June 20.

OTHER WILDLIFE

(Skip to Endweek)

Basking Shark: First report I have seen was from Cornwall on June 15

ENDWEEK

(Back to Start of Week)


Wildlife diary and news for June 10 - 16 (Week 24 of 2013)

(Skip to previous week)

BIRDS

(Skip to Insects)

Storm Petrel: On June 12 at least 40 were off Newlyn in Cornwall and next day one had been blown east to be seen off Selsey Bill where there were two separate sightings on June 13.

Squacco Heron: On June 8 the first to appear in Britain this year was seen in the Bembridge Marshes on the Isle of Wight and it remained there until at least June 14.

Black Stork: One flew over Pulborough Brooks on June 7 to be the fifth sighting in the south of England this year.

Spoonbill: There have been up to three on the Lymington shore this week and on June 14 what was probably one of them was at Titchfield Haven.

Mute Swan:Emsworth has been holding a festival of cygnets this week with a total of 12 cygnets on show - pride of place was taken by the Peter Pond pair with 8 cygnets (hatched on June 12 and still intact on June 15), next came the pair which also hatched 8 cygnets on June 1 in the Marina but which now only have three left, and finally there is the one cygnet that remains from the five eggs laid in the Millpond 'litter nest'

Brent Goose: The few birds that remain here through the summer normally settle down in parts of the Solent harbours where they can escape detection until they have completed their moult and sense that the migrants will soon be back. This year the cut-off date after which any birds seen will be summering here seems to have been May 24 when a party of 710 were seen in the Netherlands. Since then a summering party of four have been reported in the Fishbourne Channel of Chichester Harbour on May 31 and single birds have been seen in Portsmouth Harbour (near Pewit Island) and in Poole Harbour (Brand's Bay) with at least one remaining in Southampton Water (Weston Shore) on May 31. The Poole Harbour bird may have moved to Christchurch Harbour, where one was seen on June 12, in a search for company and another possibly lonely bird was seen flying east past Dungeness on June 11.

Osprey: The bird seen on the artificial nest at the Thorney Island Great Deeps from June 7 to 10 has not been reported since then but the bird(s) at Arlington Reservoir have been seen from June 8 to 13.

Red-Footed Falcon: A 'possible' sighting of one over East Wittering on June 13 has not been confirmed.

Peregrine: Young have fledged from nests in Bournemouth (2 or 3 juvs on June 8) and the Winchester Police HQ (2 juvs on June 14)

Quail: Two heard calling at Martin Down on June 9 were the first I know of in the UK this year and were also the last of the summer migrant species to arrive.

American Golden Plover: One has been in the Cuckmere Haven area near Beachy Head from June 11 to June 14 at least. For a series of photos go to http://seafordbirding.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/cuckmere-havenvalley-14613.html (the photos do not show the underwing)

Ruff: A male in breeding plumage was at Swineham (between Wareham and Poole Harbour) on June 11 and a photo of it can be seen at http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-jYGWLS7OzNs/UbeRJlPUtpI/AAAAAAAAAbA/3esVTCO7XIs/s400/Swineham-Ruff-2.jpg.

Long-tailed Skua: What seems to be only the third to attempt the English Channel route this summer was a first summer bird seen from Berry Head near Brixham in Devon on June 10.

Little Gull: Singles were seen this week at the Chichester Gravel Pits (June 10), in Portsmouth Harbour (June 11) and in Poole Harbour (June 14).

Herring Gull: We hear a lot about gulls deserting the coast in favour of our cities with their many safe breeding sites and plentiful fast food but I was a little surprised to read of some 1000 Herring Gulls and a few Lesser Black-backs feeding on Dartmoor this week where they presented a minor hazard for motorists.

Caspian Tern: This giant of the Tern world was seen at the Testwood Lakes near Southampton on June 9 and briefly at Radipole near Weymouth on June 11 before moving to West Bexington (north of Weymouth) that day and staying there over June 12. For Bob Chapman's photo of the Testwood bird see http://solentreserves.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/caspian-tern-2.jpg?w=500&h=375

Sandwich Tern: An indication that some of our summer visitors are 'voting with their wings' against the intolerable weather conditions in Britain this summer came on June 13 when some 400 Sandwich Terns plus 25 Common and 20 Little Terns flew west past Christchurch Harbour. On that same day I hear that the Common Tern colony at Lodmoor near Weymouth (proudly advertised by the RSPB as the largest such colony in south west England) had been deserted during the previous night.

Swift: On June 10 my first (and perhaps only) Swift sighting for the year came when two birds showed for less the ten seconds over trees at the bottom of my garden. Maybe the lack of insect food and the high winds which are preventing the majority of Swifts, Swallow and House Martins from Nesting this summer is having a global effect - at any rate a single Pacific Swift flew down the east coast on June 12, being seen at Spurn Head and in Lincolnshire before making a short stay at Trimley Marshes near Felixstowe in Suffolk where Matt Eade photographed it - see http://seafordbirding.blogspot.co.uk/.

Red-Rumped Swallow: One was over the Bembridge area of rhe Isle of Wight on June 9.

Meadow Pipit: Of local interest at least one and maybe two birds were making song flights over the Langstone South Moors on June 5.

Grey-headed Wagtail (M.f. thunbergi): One reported at Cuckmere Haven near Beachy Head on June 13 - for photos seen http://seafordbirding.blogspot.co.uk/ (Scroll down past the photos of Pacific Swift and American Golden Plover).

Marsh Warbler: Following the recent discussion of a bird claimed as a Marsh Warbler at Gosport I was interested to see that on June 10 RBA was reporting a total of 6 of these birds in the UK.

Dartford Warbler: I have not seen any reports of these on Hayling Island this year and to make up for the lack of visual sightings I enjoyed a photo of one in Dorset this week - see http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-B12eN4GhMmc/UbeQzr3hegI/AAAAAAAAAa4/2jHOWDNGcFY/s400/1238dartford.jpg.

Bearded Tit: On June 13 Bob Chapman saw males carrying food to three different nests in the reeds at Falington Marshes and hopes we will soon be seeing many newly fledged birds

Jay: The mystery of the wandering Jays continues with unexpected sightings of one at Portland on June 10 and 2 at Dungesness on June 11.

Jackdaw: With vivid memories (from Springwatch on TV) of the perils faced by juvenile Jackdaws before they fledge I was interested to note the fledging process of local breeders in the tower of St Faith's Church here in Havant. On June 10 and 11 several adult Jackdaws were seen harrying Crows in the air above my garden (some 300 metres from the church) and on June 12 I saw one newly fledged Jackdaw looking lost on the ground in the church yard where the grass had been recently mown. Nearby among the mown grass was a pile of black feathers - I doubt the bird from which they came had been mown to death but the presence of the feathers did not bode well for the live youngster on the ground.

Black-headed Bunting: On June 8 one was seen and heard singing near the Compton Bay carpark near Freshwater on the Isle of Wight. The bird was still in the same area on June 11.

INSECTS

(Skip to Plants)

Dragonflies:

26 species have been reported on the British Dragonfly Society's Latest Sightings page since I scanned it for last week's summary.

Azure Damsel

Azure Hawker (Aeshna caerulea): First seen on June 7 in Scotland.

Broad-bodied Chaser, Beautiful Demoiselle, Brilliant Emerald, Banded Demoiselle, Blue Tailed Damsel, Black Tailed Skimmer, Common Blue Damsel, Common Darter, Downy Emerald, Emperor, Four Spotted Chaser, Gold Ringed Dragonfly, Hairy Dragonfly, Keeled Skimmer, Large Red Damsel.

Northern Damsel (Coenagrion hastulatum): First seen on June 8 in North Yorkshire.

Northern Emerald (Somatochlora arctica): First seen on June 12 in Scotland.

Norfolk Hawker (Aeshna isoceles): First seen on June 6 in Norfolk.

Red Eyed Damsel, Scarce Blue Tailed Damsel, Scarce Chaser.

Southern Damselfly (Coenagrion mercuriale): First seen on June 7 in Wales.

White-faced Darter, White Legged Damsel

Butterflies:

Species reported this week:

Large Skipper: First reported last week on June 6 but no sightings since then.

Dingy Skipper, Grizzled Skipper, Brimstone, Large White, Small White, Green Veined White, Orange Tip, Green Hairstreak, Small Copper, Small Blue, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Adonis Blue, Holly Blue, Duke of Burgundy, Red Admiral.

Painted Lady: A small arrival of migrants between June 8 and 14 in Sussex and Hampshire.

Peacock, Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary

Dark Green Fritillary: First of year on June 14 in the New Forest.

Marsh Fritillary: First of year on June 2 at Martin Down in Hampshire. See http://solentreserves.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/marsh-fritillary.jpg?w=500&h=373.

Glanville Fritillary, Speckled Wood, Wall Brown.

Meadow Brown: Still no further reports one sighting in Sussex on May 26 and one in Hampshire on June 5.

Small Heath.

(Skip to Other Insects)

Moths:

Selected sightings this week:

Here are what I think to be the more significant reports ('firsts' for the year, appearance of a new generation, migrant influxes, rarities etc)

5 (Plain Gold), Micropterix calthella out in Dorset on June 10

153 (Little Long-horn), Adela fibulella out in Dorset on June 10

246 (Fulvous Clothes), Tinea semifulvella out in Kent on June 12 (Larvae feed on dead Fox hair)

267 (Saltern Bent-wing), Bucculatrix maritima out in Dorset on June 10

409a (Triple-barred Argent), Argyresthia trifasciata out in Kent on June 12

610 (Swan-feather Dwarf), Elachista argentella out in Dorset on June 10

779 (Dark Groundling), Bryotropha affinis out in Kent on June 10

968 (Birch Conch), Cochylis nana out in Kent on June 12

986 (Dark-barred Twist), Syndemis musculana out in Dorset on June 11

1015 (Brassy Twist), Eulia ministrana out in Dorset on June 10

1129 (Hook-tipped Roller), Ancylis apicella out in Dorset on June 9

1301 (Hook-streak Grass-veneer), Crambus lathoniellus out in Dorset on June 14

1334 (Common Grey), Scoparia ambigualis out in Kent on June 12

1421 Large Tabby, Aglossa pinguinalis out in Hampshire on June 7

1646 Oak Hook-tip, Watsonalla binaria out in Kent on June 12

1652 Peach Blossom, Thyatira batis out in Dorset on June 12

1722 Flame Carpet, Xanthorhoe designata out in Hampshire on June 7

1737 Small Argent & Sable, Epirrhoe tristata out in Dorset on June 13

1773 Broken-barred Carpet, Electrophaes corylata out in Dorset on June 9

1802 Rivulet, Perizoma affinitata out in Dorset on June 7

1817 Foxglove Pug, Eupithecia pulchellata out in Dorset on June 7

1887 Clouded Border, Lomaspilis marginata out in Kent on June 10

1901 Little Thorn, Cepphis advenaria out in Dorset on June 10

1903 Barred Umber, Plagodis pulveraria out in Dorset on June 7

1978 Pine Hawk-moth, Hyloicus pinastri out in Hampshire on June 7

1992 Small Elephant Hawk-moth, Deilephila porcellus out in Hampshire on June 7

2056 Wood Tiger, Parasemia plantaginis out in Hampshire on June 8

2142 Beautiful Yellow Underwing, Anarta myrtilli out in Hampshire on June 14(for photo see http://www.hantsiow-butterflies.org.uk/php/upload/7096-image-1.jpg.

2194 White-point, Mythimna albipuncta out in Dorset on June 10

2223 Toadflax Brocade, Calophasia lunula out in Kent on June 12

2281 Alder Moth, Acronicta alni out in Hampshire on June 7

2302 Brown Rustic, Rusina ferruginea out in Dorset on June 10

2305 Small Angle Shades, Euplexia lucipara out in Dorset on June 8

2442 Beautiful Golden Y, Autographa pulchrina out in Dorset on June 8

2449 Dark Spectacle, Abrostola triplasia out in Dorset on June 13

Note - I assume that readers are as ignorant of moths as I am and so I attempt to provide background info about each species through links to sources of expert knowledge. For each species two links are given and a third source is available. The first is to the UKMoths entry for that species giving one or more photos (if more than one thumbnail is shown clicking it will cause it to replace the large image) plus background info at the national level. The second is to the HantsMoths entry giving similar information at the Hampshire county level - clicking the Phenology, etc boxes gives charts relating to records in the Hampshire database and the meaning of the colours in the Flightime Guide can be found at http://www.hantsmoths.org.uk/flying_tonight.php

Now that a Sussex Moths site is available you can also see the Sussex status of a species by doing the following

1. Open a new TAB alongside the one you are using

2. Copy the http://www.sussexmothgroup.org.uk/ URL into the new TAB address bar and press ENTER to open the Sussex Moth site

3. When you come to a species in my list below for which you want to check the Sussex status

4 Refer to the second line of my entry for the species (the link to the Hantsmoths site) and obtain the moth number (preceding the '.php') from it taking care to ignore any leading zeroes but to include any terminal letter suffiix (e.g. from .../0366a.php you get a moth number 366a )

5. Now switch to the Sussex Moths tab

6. Click on the box saying "Name or B&F?" under the Species Search heading on the left side of the page

7. Enter the Moth Number (properly known as the B&F or Bradley and Fletcher number) in this box, then press ENTER - this will bring up the data for the species in the right hand side of the page

Other Insects

Microdon analis Hoverfly: Seen by Graeme Lyons at Graffham near Midhurst on June 8. See http://www.hoverfly.org.uk/album_page.php?pic_id=57.

Moss Carder Bee (Bombus muscorum): First report for the year from Brook Meadow in Emsworth on June 14.

Speckled Longhorn Beetle (Pachytodes cerambyciformis): Found at Graffham by Graeme Lyons on June 8. See http://www.flickr.com/photos/od0man/5789721944/.

Phyllobius weevil species: See http://www.rxwildlife.info/sightings/2013/6/13/torquoise-weevil.html.

Oak Longhorn Beetle (Pyrrhidium sanguineum): Another Longhorn beetle species found by Graeme Lyons on June 11 at the Knepp Castle estate. See http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_q1gk42pzUhc/S60ZVV3othI/AAAAAAAAJ64/muPn3g78xiM/s400/oak_longicorn2.jpg.

'Thigh Beetle'(Oedemera nobilis): First sighting of the year at Brook Meadow in Emsworth on June 14. This was a female which does not have the distinctive enlarged 'thighs' of the male. See http://www.emsworthwildlife.hampshire.org.uk/0-0-0-x741-thigh-beetle-fem-bm-14.06.13.jpg.

Six spotted Longhorn Beetle (Anoplodera sexguttata): Seen in the Roydon Woods near Lymington on June 9 - see http://www.treknature.com/gallery/photo226511.htm.

PLANTS

(Skip to Other Wildlife)

Yellow Horned Poppy:This had started flowering at Rye Harbour on June 7 but I did not see it locally near the Hayling Oysterbeds until June 14 when I also found the leaves of one Milk Thistle there to show that the species has not disappeared there.

Dames Violet: These had started to flower (both white and violet forms) at the Hayling Oysterbeds on June 14.

Weld: The first flowers of this were also seen at the Oysterbeds on June 14.

Corn Cockle: These were in full flower at the Lymbourne Spring conseration area here in Havant on June 13.

Lesser Stitchwort: I found a few plants of this in flower back on May 22 but have seen no more since then so a find by Brian Fellows on Thorney Island on June 14 may mark the real start of general flowering.

Common Mallow: This started to flower here in Havant on June 10.

Hop Trefoil: First flowers seen on June 14 both at Langstone and on Thorney Island.

Tufted Vetch: Newly flowering by the Hayling Coastal Path on June 14.

Grass Vetchling: Although this had been found in flower elsewhere on June 3 I did not find it locally on the top of the Broadmarsh 'mountain' until June 7.

Yellow Vetchling (Lathyrus aphaca): Found by John Goodspeed flowering in the Paulsgrove Chalkpit on June 14.

Horseshoe Vetch: Although first reported in Sussex (Heyshott Down) on May 17 the first report of it on Portsdown was not until June 14.

Kidney Vetch: This had been reported flowering at Durlston on May 16 but was not seen on Portsdown until June 13.

Sainfoin: This too was flowering at Durlston on June 1 and the huge swathe flowering on Portsdown by June 13 suggested it must have started there about the same date.

Rock or Entire Leaved Cotoneaster (C. integrifolius): This was in full flower on Portsdown on June 13 and my photos of it can be seen at http://ralph-hollins.net/Diary.htm#1306.

Sweetbriar Rose:First flower open on June 12 at the Billy Trail carpark below the Havant Art Centre - photo at http://ralph-hollins.net/ROSB136.jpg.

Japanese Rose (Rosa rugosa): This has been widely planted around the Havant area and on June 5 I was impressed by the growth of what was a single small bush on the Langtone South Moors into the massive bush that I found found this year - see http://ralph-hollins.net/Diary.htm#0506.

Sulphur Cinguefoil: Briian Fellows found this flowering on June 11 in the Bridge Road carpark at Emsworth.

Dogwood: General flowering started on June 12.

Hemlock: General flowering started on June 7.

Corky Fruited Water Dropwort: Flowering in the Hastings area from June 10.

Field Bindweed: First flowers on Thorney Island on June 14.

Small Yelow or Straw Foxglove: Just two plants with their flowers not yet open on Portsdown at the Nelson Lane/Skew Road site on June 13. The bnk on which these grow has been so overgrown with scrub that I fear these plants will soon cease to grow there.

Common Toadflax: First plant seen in flower at Langstone on June 14.

Purple Toadflax: Starting to flower in Havant from June 12.

Heath Speedwell: Several clumps flowering at Broadmarsh in Havant on June 7 with more seen on Portsdown on June 13.

Field Cow Wheat: Only around half a dozen plants in flower at the Skew Road site above Portchester on June 13 where there has been a large carpet of the flowers in the past.

Wild Thyme: Newly flowering on Portsdown on June 13.

Hedge Woundwort: General flowering started on June 14.

Self Heal: Flowering in Havant from June 12.

Tufted Forget-me-not: First flowers on the Langstone South Moors on June 5.

Vipers Bugloss: First flowers seen in June 7 in Havant.

Common Broomrape: Reported flowering at Durlston on June 12.

Sea Plantain: Flowering on the Langstone shore on June 14.

Guelder Rose: Flowering in Havant from Jun 7.

Honeysuckle: First flowers seen on June 14.

Common Ragwort: First flowers seen in Emsworth on June 13.

Pineappleweed: First flowers seen on June 10.

Melancholy Thistle: A couple of flowering plants in the Lymbourne Spring conservation area puzzled me but they turned out o be Melancholy Thistles which I understand only grow naturally in England north of Durhan.

Black Knapweed: First flower seen on Portsdown on June 13.

Rosy Garlic: Several clumps flowering on Portsdown around the Collyers Pit area on June 13 but I fear the plants in the small west carpark at Broadmarsh may have been destroyed however Brian Fellows has found a new site at Bosham.

Twayblade Orchid: Flowering at Durlston on June 13.

Bee Orchid: One was in flower at Broadmarsh on June 7.

OTHER WILDLIFE

(Skip to Endweek)

Angular Crab (Goneplax rhomboides): See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goneplax_rhomboides. This gets into the news on account of a sighting of an injured specimen (unable to demonstrate its ability to make a fast getaway) on the shore of Rye Bay on June 8.

Fish: On June 12 Graeme Lyons joined the staff of Chichester Harbour Conservancy monitoring marine life in the harbour. Species mentioned by Graeme were Reticulated Dragonet,Great Pipefish,Long-legged Spider Crab,Sand Smelt,Black Goby,Pollack,Herring,Common Goby, Shanny, Sea Bass, Long-spined Sea Scorpion,Mackerel,Chameleon Prawn. For Graeme's full account with some photos see http://analternativenaturalhistoryofsussex.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/youre-gonna-need-bigger-boat.html.

Undulate Ray (Raja undulata): On June 11 these Rays, together with Smooth Hounds and Spurdog (two species of Shark), had come inshore in the Swanage area to feed on crabs which were temporarily without their normal protection as they moulted. Crab species reported on the Durlston Country Park webstie were Edible, Hermit, Spider and Velvet Swimming Crab

Sea Gooseberry (Pleurobrachia pileus): On June 8 several of these had become stranded on the shore of Rye Bay. For photos and facts see http://www.arkive.org/sea-gooseberry/pleurobrachia-pileus/.

Fungi: Not many around at the moment but on June 7 I came on a good example of a Dryad's Saddle bracket on a tree stump in Havant. See http://ralph-hollins.net/Diary.htm#0706.

ENDWEEK

(Back to Start of Week)


Wildlife diary and news for June 3 - 9 (Week 23 of 2013)

(Skip to previous week)

BIRDS

(Skip to Insects)

Sooty Shearwater: Although not seen in southern England but at Flamborough Head in Yorkshire a sighting of 2 birds on June 6 was the first news of the species since February 14 when one was off Portland. Last year they began to be seen off Devon and Cornwall on June 7 and were seen off Portland from June 22.

Wilson's Storm Petrel: A sighting of one in the Scillies area on May 31 was the earliest recorded return to British waters (though only by one day!). The so-called European Storm Petrels continue to be seen in the English Channel with six seen as far east as the water off Durlston on June 5.

Little Bittern: A pair has been breeding at Ham Wall in Somerset for the last three years and news has just been released that they are there again this year

Purple Heron: One or more have been seen in Cornwall from May 19 to June 3 at least and another flew in over Folkestone on May 31.

White Stork: On June 2 one flew north over Southampton and another flew south over the Oare Marshes in Kent.

Spoonbill: Three were on the Lymington shore on June 1 and 2 with 2 seen there on June 6 and 7.

Mute Swan: Three pairs at Emsworth have been in the news this week. One pair which managed to evade publicity until June 1, when one adult was seen near the Marina leading 8 cygnets, is thought to have nested in the Marina. Sadly but not unexpectedly this brood seems to have been reduced to just three cygnets by June 4. The nest attracting most interest from the general public was built from litter and sited at the north end of the Town Millpond where people passing on the pavement of the main road could look straight down into the nest and as this week's expected hatching date approached a small crowd gathered there and witnessed the death of one of the two cygnets which hatched from the five eggs. The unfortunate cygnet was exploring the outer edges of the nest when it became caught in the sticks forming the nest and 'fried' to death in the hot sunshine that we have been enjoying. The mother swan seems to have made no attempt to save the cygnet but since the event has been seen leading her one surviving cygnet around the Millpond as if nothing had happened. The third Emsworth nest, on the bank of Peter Pond to the north of the main road, was still sitting on 8 eggs when last heard of.

Black Swan: Last year these attractive birds made just three 'breaks for freedom' from captivity. At Ryde on the Isle of Wight one was seen on the Esplanaded Canoe Lake on Feb 2 and Aug 15 with the third sighting at Rye Harbour on Nov 7. This year the first escapee to get reported was on the Cuckmere River near Beachy Head on June 7. Mention of this species reminds that in May 2012 Tony Tindale (one of the Three Amigos whose blog, thanks to the generosity of Her Majesty's Navy, offers an excellent education in worldwided birding) visited a brother living in Perth, Australia, and brought back a photo of a lakeful of Black Swans and a close up showing a glimpse of the surprisingly large pure white wing panel which these birds reveal when the take flight ... See http://www.surfbirds.com/community-blogs/amigo/2012/05/05/perth-western-australia-black-swan-back-on-tony-ts-life-list/

Mandarin Duck: A couple of week's ago when the BBC did a radio piece on the spread of Mandarin Duck in the UK, I mentioned this in my Week 20 Summary (http://ralph-hollins.net/Summary.htm#Week 20) but this week I learn that we can find the species breeding here in Havant. On June 6 Mike Collins found a female with four baby ducklings on the Leigh Park Gardens Lake (aka Staunton Country Park lake).

Gadwall: Another possible new breeder in Langstone village area is Gadwall. These duck have probably bred at the Budds Farm pools in Havant since at least 2007 (when males and females, though no young, were seen there in April and May) and definitely bred in 2009 (three pairs seen with juvs on June 22). This year Peter Raby has reported two sightings suggesting breeding in the Langstone area - on May 4 he saw a pair flying south over Warblington Farm on a line which suggested that they had come from the watercress bed pool situated east of Warblington Castle, and on June 1 he saw a pair on Langstone Mill Pond which he thought might be nesting on the small ornamental lake (Chinese Water Gardens) in the adjacent grounds of Wade Court.

Red-breasted Merganser: One or two of these usually stay in the Solent Harbours through the summer - this year the only reports I have seen so far are of a female seen in the Warsash area of the Solent on May 21 and June 5.

Honey Buzzard: Of the seven reports of migrants this week three were on June 2 coming in over Christchurch Harbour, Folkestone and Peachaven in the Brighton area.

Ossprey: These have been arriving at a steady rate since mid-March and the first to be seen at Thorney Island was at Pilsey on Apr 30 but it was not until June 5 that one was seen in the Thornham Marshes area where two artificial nests have been created on poles which originally supported raised landing lights to guide planes landing at the long disused Thorney Island airfield. This was probably the same bird which flew up the nearby Bosham Chanel on June 4 and which was still there on June 7 and 8 using one of the artificial nest platforms as a dining table. Hopefully it will stay around and just maybe it will be joined by a female which, with a lot more luck, will not be en route to an established nest and mate elsewhere and will with some more luck find one of the artifical nests and the resident male to her taste. Looking at a series of photos taken by Richard Fairbank on June 8 ( see http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/thorney-pagham-08-june-2013.html) I get the impression that the Osprey would easily be chased off by the Crow shown dominating it in one photo and Richard suggests that the discolouration of feathers around the base of its right leg may be caused by bleeding from a wound so all in all this bird does not seem to be favourite to take over this site.

Hobby: A couple of these found their luck had run out before they got round to nesting. A photo of the emaciated corpse of one found dead at the north Kent Oare Marshes on June 5 can be seen at http://www.kentos.org.uk/Oare/images/Hobbydead0506132b_000_000.JPG and on May 26 the Dungeness Bird Observatory reported an emaciated bird found dead there.

Avocet: On June 2 we were told that 27 pairs are breeding at Rye Harbour this year.

Lapwing: On June 3 I visited the Havant Thicket area where it was a great surprise to me to see and hear a single Lapwing apparently trying protect an unseen chick against the horde of corvids (mainly Rooks from the rookery near Rowlands Castle rail station) which feed on the large area of grass fields south of Havant Thicket. I had seen Lapwing breeding here each year from 2005 to 2011 but could not find them in 2012, their departure apparently co-onciding with the removal of the horses which had grazed here (and provided a supply of insects from their dung as well as keeping down the height of the grass). This year the Lapwing I found was in a different part of the grassland (where sheep had been grazed recently) and the good news that the Lapwing were breeding here again was enhanced later in the week by an entry on the Three Amigo's blog in which Mark Cutts described a visit here with his Bird Ringing trainer for the purpose of ringing the Lapwing chicks. You can read about this at http://www.surfbirds.com/community-blogs/amigo/2013/06/06/4512/. Although only two chicks were found and ringed on that visit there were thought to be four pairs present (similar to the number I have found in previous years) and I eagerly await further news (to keep in touch with this blog the basic URL is http://www.surfbirds.com/community-blogs/amigo/. One other item of Lapwing news is the first report of post breeding flock (probably better described as a failed breeding flock) of more than 30 Lapwing (and 21 Curlew) at Rye Harbour on June 8: watch out for their return to our shores.

Turtle Dove: Birders who can remember 'the good old days' will be pleased to see that there were six birds at Martin Down on Jun 3. I was also reminded of them breeding on the Warblington Farm fields in the 1980s by a photo taken that day showing a pair perched on power lines at Reculver in north Kent - see http://www.kentos.org.uk/Reculver/images/turdo0613.jpg. On June 4 one even landed at Sandy Point on Hayling Island.

Nightjar: The annual visit to Havant Thicket by Hampshire Wildlife Trust members on June 5 heard at least two churring and watched a least two roding Woodcock. On the evening of June 7 John Goodridge found two males and a female at another local site (West Walk woods at Wickham in the Meon Valley. Elswehere they have been reported this week at several sites in the New Forest and at Ampfield Woods near Romsey.

Wryneck: These seem to be in very short supply this year.After a 'probable' in Devon on Apr 2 they started to arrive in northern Europe from Apr 22 when one turned up in the Scillies and others in Belgium and Germany. First for mainland Britain was in Norfolk on May 2 followed by three more in France and the Netherlands before May 15 when RBA reported a total of three in northern Britain but even they had no more news until June 2 when they posted a report of one in Hampshire but that never got into the HOS news.

Wheatear: Another reminder of the 'good old days' when I can remember breeding Wheatear bobbing around on the old Stoney Cross aerodrome in the New Forest is news from Rye Harbour of a pair with young there on June 2 (I think the species may still breed in Hampshire)

Marsh Warbler: I think a few enthusiasts are still operating under a 'No Surrender' flag but I think the majority of Hampshire birders are now convinced that the Brockhurst bird at Gosport is an abnormal Reed Warbler and not a Marsh Warbler.

Eastern Sub-Alpine Warbler: One was at Portland on June 2 and to learn how to separate the western and eastern races go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subalpine_Warbler

Greenish Warbler: The first to reach Britain this year ( and the second ever to be seen on the Scillies) was reported on June 3. It was singing to aid its identification.

Jay: These continue their recently acquired nomadic lifestyle with a report of a travelling party of 13 seen at The Hague in the Netherlands on June 7 and a couple flying east at Folkestone on June 2.

Divers

Magpie: For a story of how one man has been deprived of his prvacy and sleep by a Magpie see http://www.rxwildlife.info/sightings/2013/6/7/magpie.html.

Chffinch: What would a flock of 452 Chaffinches be doing on June 7? Another puzzle resulting from this year's strange weather brought this flock together at a Netherlands site.

Common Rosefinch: One was present and singing at Portland on June 2.

INSECTS

(Skip to Plants)

Dragonflies:

Emperor: General emergence seems to have started on June 1.

Norfolk Hawker: First seen on June 6 in Norfolk.

Gold Ringed Dragonfly: First report come from Dorset (Ramsdean Forest near Ringwood)on June 4)2.

Brilliant Emerald: First for year seen in Surrey on June 1. This nationally rare species can only be found in Surrey or the Highlands of Scotland.

Black Tailed Skimmer: First sighting in Norfolk on May 31.

Scarce Chaser: First seen in Sussex on May 25 there was a further report from Beeding Brooks by the R. Adur on June 2.

Red-Veined Darter: One seen in Victoria Park, London, on June 1 may have been a migrant though this species is now resident at some British sites.

Common Darter: Also seen in Victoria Park, London, next day (June 2).

Banded Demoiselle: The first report was from Bushy Park in London on May 16 but the first locally was at Brook Meadow in Emsworth on June 6.

Red Eyed Damselfly: First report was from Suffolk on May 12 but we now have a photo taken at Reculver in north Kent on June 2 showing that the 'red eyes'are not prominent and that this species could easily be confused with the common Blue-Tailed Damsel

Small Red Damsel: First for the year seen at Cadnam in the New Forest on June 5.

Butterflies:

Species reported this week:

Large Skipper: First for the year on the Isle of Wight on June 6.

Dingy Skipper:

Grzzled Skipper:

Swallowtail: First of the year seen at Durlston on June 2. This will have been a cross Channel migrant

Wood White:

Brimstone:

Large White:

Small White:

Green Veined White:

Black Veined White: A migrant flew in at Portland Bill on June 8 and continued north. The species became extinct in Britain in 1925 but is very common just across the Channel. For many photos (click to enlarge) see http://www.ukbutterflies.co.uk/species.php?species=crataegi.

Orange Tip:

Green Hairstreak:

Small Copper:

Small Blue:

Brown Argus:

Common Blue:

Adonis Blue:

Holly Blue:

Duke of Burgundy:

Red Admiral:

Painted Lady: Two more sightings this week - one at Gosport (Gilkicker) on June 1 and one at Castle Hill near Brighton on June 5.

Small Tortoiseshell: A few of last summer's brood still surviving.

Peacock:

Comma:

Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary: First of year at Bentley Wood on the Hants/Wilts border on June 7 but none yet seen in Sussex.

Pearl Bordered Fritillary:

Glanville Fritillary:

Speckled Wood:

Wall Brown:

Meadow Brown: Still only two reports - one in Sussex on May 26 and one at Martin Down in Hampshire on June 5.

Small Heath: Unusually numerous.

Monarch: One migrant seen at Lee on the Solent near Gosport on June 4

(Skip to Other Insects)

Moths:

Selected sightings this week:

In addition to the fuller list of moth sightings given below here are what I think to be the more significant reports ('firsts' for the year, appearance of a new generation, migrant influxes, rarities etc)

163 (The Forester), Adscita statices out in Hampshire on June 7

247 (Bird's Nest Moth), Tinea trinotella out in Kent on June 1

286 (Yellow-triangle Slender), Caloptilia alchimiella out in Hampshire on June 7

303 (Hawthorn Slender), Parornix anglicella out in Kent on June 1

438 (Little Ermel), Swammerdamia pyrella out in Dorset on June 1

652 (Common Tubic), Alabonia geoffrella out in Hampshire on June 1

874 (London Dowd), Blastobasis lacticolella out in Kent on June 2

904 (Yellow-headed Cosmet), Spuleria flavicaput out in Dorset on June 1

937 (Common Yellow Conch), Agapeta hamana out in Sussex on June 7

1058 (Marsh Button), Acleris lorquiniana out in Dorset on June 4

1174 (Yellow-faced Bell), Epiblema cynosbatella out in Dorset on June 5

1261 (Codling Moth), Cydia pomonella out in Dorset on June 6

1279 (Sharp-winged Drill), Dichrorampha acuminatana out in Kent on June 1

1675 (Dingy Mocha), Cyclophora pendularia out in Dorset on June 4

1676 (Mocha), Cyclophora annularia out in Dorset on June 1

1742 (Yellow Shell), Camptogramma bilineata out in Hampshire on June 7

1807 (Grass Rivulet), Perizoma albulata out in Sussex on June 2

1825 (Lime-speck Pug), Eupithecia centaureata out in Dorset on June 4

1837 (Grey Pug), Eupithecia subfuscata out in Kent on June 1

1857 (Dwarf Pug), Eupithecia tantillaria out in Kent on June 1

1890 (Sharp-angled Peacock), Macaria alternata out in Dorset on June 4

1904 (Scorched Wing), Plagodis dolabraria out in Dorset on June 4

1939 (Ringed Carpet), Cleora cinctaria out in Dorset on June 4

1956 (Common Wave), Cabera exanthemata out in Dorset on June 1

1958 (Clouded Silver), Lomographa temerata out in Dorset on June 5

1961 (Light Emerald), Campaea margaritata out in Kent on June 3

1976 (Privet Hawk-moth), Sphinx ligustri out in Dorset on June 1

1979 (Lime Hawk-moth), Mimas tiliae out in Sussex on June 2

1991 (Elephant Hawk-moth), Deilephila elpenor out in Dorset on June 5

2028 (Pale Tussock), Calliteara pudibunda out in Dorset on June 1

2120 (Ingrailed Clay), Diarsia mendica out in Dorset on June 5

2123 (Small Square-spot), Diarsia rubi out in Dorset on June 4

2147 (The Shears), Hada plebeja out in Kent on June 4

2157 (Light Brocade), Lacanobia w-latinum out in Dorset on June 5

2280 (The Miller), Acronicta leporina out in Kent on June 6

2284 (Grey Dagger), Acronicta psi out in Dorset on June 4

2337 (Marbled Minor), Oligia strigilis out in Kent on June 1

2399 (Bordered Sallow), Pyrrhia umbra out in Dorset on June 4

2478 (Bloxworth Snout), Hypena obsitalis out in Dorset on June 6

Note - I assume that readers are as ignorant of moths as I am and so I attempt to provide background info about each species through links to sources of expert knowledge. For each species two links are given and a third source is available. The first is to the UKMoths entry for that species giving one or more photos (if more than one thumbnail is shown clicking it will cause it to replace the large image) plus background info at the national level. The second is to the HantsMoths entry giving similar information at the Hampshire county level - clicking the Phenology, etc boxes gives charts relating to records in the Hampshire database and the meaning of the colours in the Flightime Guide can be found at http://www.hantsmoths.org.uk/flying_tonight.php

Now that a Sussex Moths site is available you can also see the Sussex status of a species by doing the following

1. Open a new TAB alongside the one you are using

2. Copy the http://www.sussexmothgroup.org.uk/ URL into the new TAB address bar and press ENTER to open the Sussex Moth site

3. When you come to a species in my list below for which you want to check the Sussex status

4 Refer to the second line of my entry for the species (the link to the Hantsmoths site) and obtain the moth number (preceding the '.php') from it taking care to ignore any leading zeroes but to include any terminal letter suffiix (e.g. from .../0366a.php you get a moth number 366a )

5. Now switch to the Sussex Moths tab

6. Click on the box saying "Name or B&F?" under the Species Search heading on the left side of the page

7. Enter the Moth Number (properly known as the B&F or Bradley and Fletcher number) in this box, then press ENTER - this will bring up the data for the species in the right hand side of the page

Other Insects

Large Crane Fly (Tipula maxima): First reported on June 3 at Fairlight nr Hastings

Ornate Brigadier: This large Soldier Fly was seen at Rye Harbour on June 7. For pictures see http://www.flickr.com/photos/63075200@N07/sets/72157632909198652/.

Short-haired Bumblebee (Bombus subterraneus): For details of the release of these bees, imported from Sweden, at Dungeness see http://bumblebeeconservation.org/about-us/case-study/short-haired-bumblebee-reintroduction/ and http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jun/03/short-haired-bumblebee-queens-boost

Rhinocerus Beetle (Sinodendron cylindricum): This third member of the Stag Beetle group was seen near Brighton on June 7. See http://www.buglife.org.uk/discoverbugs/bugofthemonth/Rhinoceros+beetle.

Rose Chafer (Cetonia aurata): First found in Sussex on June 1.

Red-headed Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa serraticornis): First of year at Emsworth on June 1.

Ladybirds: These are late in appearing this year but the first 2-Spot and the first Harlequin were both seen at Emsworth Brook Meadow on June 1.

Longhorn Beetle: A specimen of Rhagium mordax was seen at Fairlight nr Hastings on June 7. For photos see http://www.eakringbirds.com/eakringbirds4/insectinfocusrhagiummordax.htm.

PLANTS

(Skip to Other Wildlife)

Buttercups: Both Celery Leaved and Hairy were found at Emsworth on May 30.

Lesser Spearwort: Flowering in Havant Thicket on June 3.

Yellow Horned Poppy: First flowers at Rye Harbour on June 7.

Procumbent Pearlwort: First flowers in Havant on June 3.

Grass Vetchling: First flowers at Swanwick nature reserve by the River Hamble on June 3.

Sea Pea: This rarity was flowering at Rye Harbour on June 2.

Sainfoin: First flowers seen at Durlston on June 1.

Creeping Cinquefoil: Started to flower in the Havant area on June 3.

Broad-leaved Willowherb: Started flowering in Havant on June 3.

Rhododendron ponticum: Flowering in Havant Thicket on June 3.

Foxglove: Flowering started in Havant on June 3.

Monkey Flower (Mimulus guttatus): An oddity found in Havant on June 3. A full sized flower growing directly from a crack in stone paving outside a house with no water in sight - see http://ralph-hollins.net/Diary.htm#0306.

Feverfew: Self sown plants starting to flower in Havant on June 3.

Marsh Thistle: First flower in Havant Thicket on June 3.

Mouse-ear Hawkweed: First flowers in Havant on June 3.

Sword-leaved Helleborine: Plants already in full flower at Chappetts Copse nr West Meon on June 1.

Man Orchid: Flowering near Folkestone on June 1.

Common Spotted Orchids: General flowering seems to have started on June 3.

Bee Orchid: Just one flower open on June 7. See http://ralph-hollins.net/Diary.htm#0706 for photo and for other newly flowering plants (Viper's Bugloss, Heath Speedwell, Hemlock, Yarrow)

OTHER WILDLIFE

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Marsh Frog: For a photo of one taken at the Oare Marshes in north Kent see http://www.kentos.org.uk/Oare/images/MarshFrog030613MR1a_000.JPG

Wall Lizard: One got a mention in the Folkestone news this week - if anyone wants to know more about these colourful creatures which are now widespread in Southern England they should check out the comprehensive website created by the Surrey Amphibian and Reptile Group at http://www.surrey-arg.org.uk/SARG/02000-Activities/SurveyAndMonitoring/WallLizard/PMSitePicker.asp. Scrolling down beyond the overview map of all sites you can discover the known detail for each site (including the colony of one lizard seen in the Farlington area (somewhere in SU 6805) in 2007 and hopefully awaiting rediscovery)

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