Thursday, 4 September 2014

Late August at Castle Hill LNR, Newhaven

Newhaven is blessed with open spaces. Looking west from Denton and Mount Pleasant one can see three chalk heathland 'peaks' running roughly north to south: to the north is Bollen's Bush, which includes the last remaining segment of ancient woodland in the town; to the south is Castle Hill Local Nature Reserve, a magnificent site for naturalists, geologists and active types; in between is Meeching Down SNCI - known as the Union field to old timers and the place where, many years ago, I learned to ride a bicycle. The latter, sadly, has been rather neglected over the years, but I'm hoping that will change sometime soon.

Back to the southern-most location: Castle Hill LNR. I share a weekly transect walk with my mate Dave at this beautiful maritime reserve. the purpose is to record butterflies and day-flying moths along with some of the other invertebrates. We sometimes have to share the space with adventure-seekers and beach-goers with BBQs, but it pleases me that so many are attracted to the clifftops. Check out the webcams at the National Coastguard Institution Lookout to see what's going on:

There is plenty of wildlife to see around the reserve. Here is a list of my sightings made on week 22 of this years transect walks. Some photographs are included below.

Butterflies (14) and moths (10 species)

Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus)  22

Large White (Pieris brassicae)  2

Green-veined White (Pieris napi)  2

Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)  3

Small White (Pieris rapae)  52

Brown Argus (Aricia agestis)  1

Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)  1

Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)  25

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)  24

Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae)  1

Comma (Polygonia c-album)  1

Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)  19

Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)  5

Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)  5

Bordered Carl (Emmetia marginea)  leaf-mines

Common Marble (Celypha lacunana)  6

Common Grass-veneer (Agriphila tristella)  7

Elbow-stripe Grass-veneer (Agriphila geniculea)  1

Small Purple & Gold (Pyrausta aurata)  1

Common Purple & Gold (Pyrausta despicata)  3

Fox Moth (Macrothylacia rubi)  1 larva

Yellow Belle (Semiaspilates ochrearia)  2

Humming-bird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum)  1

Silver Y (Autographa gamma)  1

Crickets and grasshoppers

Roesel's Bush Cricket (Metrioptera roeselii)  4

Long-winged Conehead (Conocephalus discolor)  50

Common Field Grasshopper (Chorthippus brunneus)  present in 000s

Meadow Grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus)  present in 000s

Other invertebrates

24-spot Ladybird (Subcoccinella vigintiquattuorpunctata)  1

Dock Bug (Coreus marginatus)  7

Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea)  4

Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator)  1

Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)  2

Eristalis tenax hoverfly  1

Volucella zonaria hoverfly  1

gall wasp: Rose bedeguar causer (Diplolepis rosae)  (causes Robin’s Pincusion gall) many seen

gall wasp: Cystiphora sonchi  35 galls

Argiope bruennichi wasp spider  1

Misumena vatia white flower spider  1

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