JUNE 16 - 2017
I went over to
the meadow this morning mainly to replace the
pictorial maps in the three signcases which had faded
in the sun.
While I was there I had another look for the Meadow
Barley grass which I found in the centre meadow
last year, but it was like looking for a needle in a
haystack! Pam Phillips was passing at the time and
came over to have a look, but soon gave up. I always
have a problem finding this attractive grass on Brook
Meadow and in some years completely fail to find any.
I shall continue to search! The only reiliable area I
find it locally is in the north west corner of
Emsworth Recreation Ground - shown in the following
While looking for the
Meadow Barley I was stopped in my tracks by this
simply gorgeous Small Tortoiseshell butterfly
resting low in the grasses. This will be one of the
first of the summer brood. The over wintering
generation will have gone by now
Meanwhile, over on the
Lumley area, the Creeping Thistle flowers continue to
attract a myriad of insects, including this white
Crab Spider, probably a female Misumena
Down in the south
meadow I came across a female Demoiselle. This is
probably a female Beautiful Demoiselle which we
have seen a lot of on the meadow this summer, though
one can never be too sure as the insect is very
similar to the female Banded Demoiselle.
A Song Thrush was
singing strongly in the south meadow, the first I
have heard for a while. Maybe, nesting is finished?
the south gate signcase this morning, I met Tony
Browne (of the Brook Meadow conservation volunteers)
who told me about some red insects that he had seen
hatching from their cocoons along the path to
Gooseberry Cottage. We both went to have a look and,
after counting the red spots on their wings, concluded
they were 6-spot Burnet Moths. I do recall seeing
these attractive moths in this area in previous years.
The cocoons were suspended on a single strand of wire
or were attached to grass stems. Most of the adult
moths had emerged from their cocoons, some were
already flying and visiting local flowers for nectar,
while at least two pairs appeared to be mating. They
certainly waste no time! Here is a pair locked
together that Tony picked up.
Burnet Moths are
extremely poisonous, their bodies containing cyanide
derivatives generated from the food of the
caterpillars and the red spots warn birds to avoid
them. There is also a 5-spot Burnet Moth which has
five red spots on its wings and another variety called
Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnet Moth which I often see
on the Southmoor at Langstone.
While Tony and
I were looking at the Burnet Moths, I pointed out the
Hairy Tare to Tony that is flowering on the edge of
the path. He said it reminded him of the parable of
the wheat and tares in the bible in which wheat had to
be separated from the tares at harvesting. Tony
explained that he was a Biblical Hebrew scholar and
was just on his way home from leading a U3A group in
this subject. Well, I never! Amazing, the hidden
talents we have among us! I looked up the wheat and
tares parable which is in Matthew 13:24-30. Sorry, my
camera is not up to taking such tiny flowers.
Warbler was singing in the reeds in the south west
corner of Peter Pond. Crow Garlic bulbils are
now showing on the side of the Pond.
On Slipper Millpond
the Mute Swan with 6 cygnets was near the
bridge. One of the two Great Black-backed Gull
chicks was swimming in the water near the nesting
raft. The other chick was on the raft with one parent.
Gulls were on the pond. Here is a shot of three of
points out that my photo of a 'Small Blue' butterfly
on Portsdown Hill on the blog June 13 is, in fact, a
Common Blue. My apologies. Ralph is quite correct, as
he always is!
Ralph suggested the
following links for for information about the
differences between these two butterflies. . .
I am fairly sure there
were both Common Blues and Small Blues fluttering
around the flowers below Fort Purbrook, the latter
being considerably smaller than the former. I thought
I had got a Small Blue, but clearly not. Sorry. But
here are two photos of real Small Blues taken at Fort
Purbrook from my files. On the left by Richard
Somerscocks (June 2011) and on the right by Jill
Stanley (June 2014).
Evans went round Farlington Marshes this afternoon and
saw Reed Bunting, Stonechat, Kestrel, Linnets,
Shelduck, Lapwing, Black Tailed Godwits and a single
Great Crested Grebe. Here is a small flock of
Oystercatchers in flight.
Maureen Power reports
that the Field Cow-wheat is now in bloom at
Skew Road, Portsdown Hill. This is a former corn field
weed which is now a rarity. However, Skew Road verge
is a a local hot spot for this attractive
Maureen says other
wild flowers are also there, including groups of
Broomrape, Pyramidal orchids and
JUNE 15 - 2017
I went over to
the meadow this morning for the regular 3rd Thursday
in the month work session led by Maurice Lillie.
Eleven volunteers turned up on a warm and sunny
morning. The main tasks were to trim back the
overhanging vegetation along the main paths and remove
the sticks that had been used to mark out the orchids
in the north meadow and the Lumley area.
The power scythe was
used to cut the casual paths and give the two rounded
experimental areas on the north meadow another cut.
These areas are being mown regularly as an experiment
to see if anything interesting turns up. There are
some tiny blue flowers in the southerly experimental
area, which we have left to see how they develop.
Julie Kirk and a group
of pupils from Glenwood School were just leaving the
meadow as the work session started. They had been
collecting grasses for further study and possible
identification in the classroom. Good to see them.
Julie will arrange with Jennifer Rye for a future
During the break
Jennifer came up with a plant which she had found on
the path near the new Gooseberry Cottage bund. It was
Water Figwort and was in flower. This is not a
rare plant by any means, but a handsome one, so we had
a little ceremony to mourn its passing and celebrate
it presence on the meadow with us.
Demoiselle by the south bridge
Demoiselles were in flight at two locations. Two
males were sparring near the north bend in the river
and a male a female were chasing each other below the
south bridge. Interestingly, this damselfly appears to
have taken over residence on Brook Meadow from the
previous dominant Banded Demoiselle which are now
The only butterflies I
saw this morning were Meadow Browns.
I had several firsts
of the year. Celery-leaved Buttercup in the
"Lumley puddle" area north of the Lumley gate. Last
year we had a magnificent crop of Celery-leaved
Buttercup (about 100 plants) on the new path by the
Gooseberry Cottage bund, but there is none there this
year. Toad Rush is also well out in this small
almost permanently wet area.
on the centre meadow just below the main seat, but no
sign yet of Meadow Barley.
Willowherb is out - the earliest date I have ever
recorded it on Brook Meadow. Soon much of the meadow
will be adorned with the pretty pink flowers.
Creeping Thistles are flowering well on the
Lumley area and are extremely attractive to insects.
Long may they prosper.
Some of the Dock
leaves along the path through the south meadow
have been severely nibbled by some insect, leaving a
pretty lace-like effect. What could have done
Also, one of the Wild Angelicas in the south
meadow has completely collapsed revealing a network of
stout red stems. Wild Angelica is flowering a good 2
weeks earlier than usual.
Enjoy a walk
through Brook Meadow and along the River Ems led by
local expert Dr Alison Barker this Saturday 17th
June from 10am - 1pm. Suggested donation £2
per person to Brook Meadow Conservation Group.
Meet at 10am, Palmers Road car park (behind Tesco
Express) Emsworth. Bring outdoor clothes, good
footwear and a packed lunch. Families welcome but
children must be accompanied by an adult.
To book, please contact Sarah Hughes on 07765 175494
Please be advised that this event is weather
JUNE 14 - 2017
This morning I
had a walk around some of the local waysides. I
started at Washington Road, then went through the
Recreation Ground and across to Christopher Way before
coming back home via the New Brighton Road Junction
and the Railway Wayside.
The Greater Burdock at the end of the path from
Washington Road by the recreation ground is looking
good, though no flowers as yet.
Coming along the path
I noticed another substantial plant between the two
bridges, which could well be another Greater Burdock.
The grassland behind
the bowling club on the recreation ground is really
looking very good having a variety of grasses and
flowers, all packed into a small area.
There is an excellent
showing of Lesser Stitchwort
Of the grasses I had
two firsts of the year with Timothy and
Creeping Bent both showing well, along with
Sweet Vernal Grass and Yorkshire Fog which have been
out for some time. Here is the Timothy.
Browns were attracted by the variety of nectar
Further north, I found
my first Meadow Barley of the year in the usual
spot near the gate to the pony field.
It would certainly be
a pity to see this nice grassland engulfed by the
progressive advancement of the Blackthorn scrub. For
its size, I reckon this is the best piece of grassland
in Emsworth. On the main mown grassland I came across
a clump of a what I think are Hairy Buttercups.
Following my request
to Havant Borough Council in early May that the
cutting of the small section of grass verge at the
northern end of Christopher Way where the Wild
Clary grows should be delayed until the end of the
growing season, I was delighted and relieved to find
the verge uncut and the plants standing tall and
already setting seed. Hopefully, the seeds will spread
to other areas of the verge. There is no sign of any
Wild Clary on the 'official' wayside. It's all gone.
There was nothing
special on the New Brighton Road Junction wayside
apart from flowering Field Bindweed, Creeping
Cinquefoil and Common Ragwort.
I eased myself through
the railings onto the wayside north of Emsworth
Railway Station which was largely dominated by Black
Medick and White and Red Clover. I also noted some
Yarrow, Perforate St John's-wort and Selfheal in
flower, but generally this wayside has not lived up to
my initial expectations when it was first created in
2012. Most of the smaller delicate flowers have been
lost as the native residents assert their authority.
But that's nature for you, you can't trust it! There
is an ominous growth of what looks like willow
saplings at the northern end of the wayside that could
take over. The Marsh Woundwort has yet to flower (if
will be delighted to see that the footpath under the
railway bridge, which has been closed for months, is
arrive at Baffins
reports that the annual migration of Canada Geese to
Baffins Pond has begun with over 80 having arrived
over the past week. The geese gather at the safety of
the pond during their annual moult when they are
flightless in June and July. My own record count was a
staggering 273 in June 2003, though numbers were
usually more in the region of 150.
JUNE 13 - 2017
I had an
e-mail from Ralph Hollins this morning concerning the
Rock Rose that I reported on the lower slopes of
Portsdown Hill below Fort Widley on Sunday.
Ralph says, "Until this year I was convinced that the
only place you could see Rock Rose on Portsdown was at
the bottom of the hill slightly south west of Fort
Southwick (approx SU 627 066) where the boundary fence
separates the hill side from Rock Rose Avenue in the
Paulsgrove estate". Ralph wondered how sure I was in
my identification of the Rock Rose.
I was, in fact, fairly sure, as its flowers are quite
distinctive and unlike any other small yellow plant.
However, I did not take as much notice of it at the
time as I probably should have done and did not take a
photo. So, to clear up this uncertainty, I decided to
go to the hill again this morning to check on the
I parked the
car in the main observation area to the east of Fort
Widley and retraced my steps of Sunday's walk, in
which I had Jean for company, but today I was alone.
It was scorching hot on the hill, so I opted against
doing the full circuit around the fort as we did last
Sunday. I stopped to admire the view across
I found several
Rock Rose flowers in the same spot as before at
Grid Ref: SU 66077 06282. I did not see any others
during the walk, so they are quite rare on this
hillside. My camera does not take yellow flowers too
well, so this is the best pic I could get. I also saw
Hoary Plantain which I missed last time.
I was also puzzled by
some tiny white flowers on the ends of straggling thin
stems, well branched. I thought of Squinancywort, but
don't think that is right. Any ideas?
I stopped at
Fort Purbrook for a walk along the path beneath the
fort where hundreds, or maybe thousands of bright
Pyramidal Orchids were in full flower, a beautiful
sight. I kept looking for Rock Rose, but did not see
any on this path. I spent most of my time chasing
butterflies, waiting for them to pause for me to get a
photo. They were mainly Common Blues, Small Blues and
Marbled Whites. Small Blues typically perch with wings
half open as shown in the photo on the left.
Emsworth, I had a quick look at the Great Black-backed
Gull nesting raft at about 12.30 where I found both
chicks on the water swimming around the raft, not
straying too far. I watched them clamber back onto the
raft which was not an easy task. Both parents were
present on the raft, apparently unconcerned.
The lady who lives in
the mobile home opposite the raft told me they two
chicks had been swimming for a couple of days, but
never far from the raft. She also told me that two
lads swam out to the raft at the weekend which
disturbed all four birds, but they all returned to the
raft after the lads left and no harm was done.
- is now in flower for the first time this year on
Brook Meadow, several days earlier than usual.
got this excellent image of a Common
Scorpionfly on Brook Meadow about 2 weeks ago.
This attractive insect is so-called because the
abdomen is often upturned like a Scorpion, but it does
not sting! It main diagnostic feature is the downward
extension of the head to form a beak. Tom also had a
Silver-Studded Blue taken at Iping Common this
JUNE 12 - 2017
Lettuce is now abundant under the Beech hedge by
the car park, more so than I recall having seen it
before. Its tiny yellow flowers only open a few at a
But its leaves have a
The flowers are
similar to Nipplewort, but smaller and the leaves are
quite different. Pellitory-of-the-wall and Lesser
Stitchwort are also flowering by the hedge.
Milinets-Raby had a third sighting of a Stag Beetle in
his Havant garden this afternoon. The beast was a
wonderful looking female!
are a few of the less common things they recorded.
Milinets-Raby sends the final totals for the
Pan-species listing Day on Saturday in the Gosport
area with John Norton.
They concentrated on flowers, which is John's
speciality, and certainly had an amazing number of
them. Peter thinks with a little more planning, they
could have seen many more. The day was a success and
basically a trial of what was the potential.
Plants = 353. Mammals = 1 (a Rabbit - they needed to
start at dawn to see a few more). Birds = 32 - too
much looking at the ground! Lower plants (Moss Lichens
etc) = 29. Invertebrates = at least 31. Giving a rough
total of 446. There are a few things still to be
identified, so the total could change. Peter reflects
that this total is poor in comparison with the 1,044
seen by the Sussex crew! But what an exciting day it
must have been.
Burnet Moth Caterpillar . . . Fern Grass
Sand Spurrey . . . . Starry
JUNE 11 - 2017
Jean and I had
a walk round Fort Widley on Portsdown Hill this
afternoon. Starting from the main observation area we
walked along the lower slopes beneath the fort before
walking round the back of the fort. It was very windy
and fairly chilly on the hill, but the view and the
wonderful flowers more than made up for that.
We found masses of Pyramidal Orchids below the fort in
full flower. The Common Spotted Orchids mainly behind
the fort are going over. We found one pure white
I noted lots of other
flowers that have emerged since my last visit about a
month ago on May 11th. These included Yellow-wort,
Rock Rose, Bee Orchids, Viper's Bugloss, Wild Thyme,
Wild Privet, Agrimony, Restharrow, Tall Melilot,
Tufted Vetch, Rough Hawkbit.
Tall Melilot . .
. . Wild Thyme
We also noted plenty
of Greater Knapweed accompanied by what I assume is
I put the
photo of the mystery spider that I saw on the Lumley
area yesterday onto Facebook. I had a reply to say it
was a female Wolf Spider carrying its egg-sac. I
thought the egg-sac was a white abdomen!
As to the species, I
don't think it was a Nursery-web spider (Pisaura
mirabilis), which I am fairly familiar with on Brook
Meadow, as that one carries its egg sac underneath its
body. A wolf spider that carries its egg-sac at the
rear as in the Brook Meadow spider, and which is
abundant and widespread at this time of the year, is
Pardosa amentata, so it might be that?
JUNE 10 - 2017
this year. Jointed Rush on north meadow. Common
Knapweed and Creeping Thistle flowering on the Lumley
area. Blue Water-speedwell and Toad Rush on the
small path down to the Lumley Stream.
Mystery spiders with
white abdomens on the Lumley area.
Can anyone help?
Milinets-Raby and John Norton had a long day in the
fields recording plants for a Pan-Listing Day, keeping
to the Borough of Gosport. Starting at 6am Peter had
to retire at 2:15pm, but John continued. They recorded
380+ species, mostly flowers, grasses and mosses.
Peter sent photos of some of the highlights. He will
reported on yesterday's walk by 8 friends of wildlife
joined by one more later. They met in car park south
of George Inn, Portsdown Hill on a sunny but windy
morning and walked east towards Fort Purbrook
saw many insects including several small blue
butterflies, meadow browns, a large skipper, large
white and a cinnabar moth. On flowers were several.
male swollen thigh beetles (Oedemera nobilis). Some
grasshoppers, crickets and a female broad bodied
chaser dragonfly were seen.
included jackdaws, robins, a rock dove, a buzzard,
jay, song thrush, blackbirds, swifts, swallows, wood
pigeons, wrens, black headed gulls and 2 adult
kestrels flying with young in the fort.
among the flowers were the many pyramidal orchids near
were also some common spotted orchids and a bee
orchid. Other flowers included common gromwell,
aquilegia, mouse-ear hawkweed, rough hawkbit, creeping
cinquefoil, sainfoin, vipers bugloss, red valerian,
wild carrot, rockrose, marjoram, dogwood, hedge
bedstraw, cleavers, bladder campion, milkwort, self
heal, rosebay willowherb, birds foot trefoil, black
medick, greater and black knapweed, dog rose, tufted
vetch, thyme, crosswort, agrimony, hemp agrimony,
yellow wort, quaking grass, flax, smooth sow thistle,
herb bennet, yarrow, white bryony, meadow vetchling,
woody nightshade, knapweed broomrape, mignonette, rest
harrow and bramble.
JUNE 9 - 2017
through Brook Meadow down to Peter Pond where I
stopped for a chat with Dan Mortimer and his wife
outside their house in Lumley Road. I admired their
'beach garden' which is quite unique in the area,
covered with pebbles and exotic plants and grasses. In
the centre is a piece of driftwood sculpted like two
figures which came all the way from New Zealand!
It was on this garden that I saw my one and only
butterfly of the morning, a Small
Tortoiseshell. What a beauty!
Over on Slipper
Millpond, the two Great Black-backed Gull
chicks were moving around on the south raft with
one of the parents keeping an eye on them from its
perch on top of the nest box. The Mute Swan family
with 6 cygnets was also on the pond, but well away
from the gull raft.
Sea Couch and
Pineappleweed are now out on the Dolphin Quay
Pineappleweed - The flower head is dull yellow
cluster of florets to look at, but crush it between
your fingers and it gives off the most delicious
pineapple-scented smell. I can't resist it. Stace and
Crawley: 'Alien Plants' describe Pineappleweed as 'the
most common and widespread neophyte in the British
Isles'. Neophyte means an alien plant that has been
recorded in a wild state since at least 1500. I gather
it was introduced into cultivation in this country
from its native E. Asia by 1781 and was first recorded
in the wild in 1871. So, it has been with us a good
while and is fully integrated into our floral
wrote to say that the Bumblebee identified by Eric
Eddles in this blog on June 7th as Bombus humilis was
in fact Bombus hypnorum - the white tail against the
black of the abdomen can be clearly seen, despite the
angle of the photograph. Humilis is an all over bright
ginger, almost reminiscent of a brand new teddy bear.
Humilis is also, sadly now a scarcity across the
country, although it does still occur on Portsdown
Hill. Bryan recorded it there during surveys in 2014
JUNE 8 - 2017
I had a look
at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds stall
behind the Chichester Cathedral cafe which had its
usual web cam monitor trained on the Peregrine nest.
There are 4 chicks hatched 5 weeks ago and all are
doing well. They should fledge in a week or so. Here
is a digiscoped photo I got of the female adult
perched high on the turret using my phone through the
See the live link to
the nest camera at . . . http://www.chichesterperegrines.co.uk/live%20link.htm
Nore Barn News
Roy Ewing had
a swarm of bees in Nore Barn today. Quite
dramatic. I gather beekeepers will come along and
remove a swarm of Honey Bees which can be quite
See the following web site for more details . . .
Roy also had a Stag
Beetle in his back garden.
Regarding Anne de
Potier's recent report, Roy says there are actually 15
Southern Marsh Orchids to the west of the Selangor
path, compared with 7 last year. These were not
planted, but have reappeared following our cutting of
scrub and a few trees over the last couple of years.
Just shows what letting in a bit of light can
says the long stalked single flowers on the east side
of Peter Pond are Moth Mullein not Great
Mullein, as I thought.
JUNE 7 2017
A very windy
morning for my walk through the meadow. Some birds are
still singing, though many like Robin will now have
gone quiet during nesting. Blackcap, Chiffchaff,
Whitethroat, Wren and Blackbird were all singing.
Beetles (Oedemera nobilis) - just
love the large white trumpet flowers of Hedge
Bindweed. In this shot on the left two males look as
if they are facing up to one another. Note: only the
male has the swollen thighs. On the right is a
hoverfly - probably Syrphus ribesii -
feeding on a buttercup.
- is now flowering generally around the meadow. It has
very attractive flower spikes, almost orchid-like in
quality. Creeping Thistle is almost there with
buds ready to burst into red flowers on the Lumley
in flower alongside the path in the north-east corner
of the meadow. I think this is the only place where
this interesting plant can be seen flowering on the
Brook Meadow site. As an umbellifer it boasts clusters
of white flowers, rather like Hogweed, but the leaves
are totally different. It is a well known troublesome
weed in gardens, but is welcome here on Brook Meadow
Nature Reserve. It is not a native plant, but was
probably introduced during the Roman period as a
vegetable rather like spinach. The name comes from the
similarity of its leaves to that of the true Elder.
Remote Sedge -
is now showing spikelets on the path through Palmer's
Road Copse near the south bridge end. This is the only
place you can see this interesting sedge on Brook
Meadow, though there are masses of it in Hollybank
Great Black-backed Gull chicks were on the
south raft with one of the parents. Both chicks look
healthy and were flapping their wings when I was
there, so I assume it will be not much longer before
they take their first flight. The adult in this shot
is demonstrating just how it is done. There is still
no sign of any Coot chicks anywhere on the pond which
suggests they have been taken by the gulls.
The Mute Swan
family with their 6 cygnets were snoozing on the
mud at the top of Dolphin Lake by the Chequers Quay
Plants flowering on
the east side of Slipper Millpond include
Hemlock and Wild Carrot.
is in flower on the east side of Peter Pond. Or is it
Ralph Hollins says the long stalked single flowers
indicate this is Moth Mullein.
Milinets-Raby responded to the request in yesterday's
blog from Anne de Potier for any sightings of Stag
Beetles with this one in his Havant garden. It was the
second Stag Beetle he has seen over the last 4 days
and was the bigger of the two. Peter has only ever
seen one before in the garden, which was several years
sent me a couple of photos taken during his daily walk
around Baffins Pond. The first is clearly a Harlequin
Ladybird larvae. Eric says the second is a Bumblebee
called Bombus humilis. It is a cracking
photo, though Bryan Pinchen's guide to Bumblebee ID
cautions that the three ginger Bumblebees are easily
pascuorum and muscorum.
Pinchen wrote to say that Eric Eddles's Bombus
humilis is Bombus hypnorum - the
white tail against the black of the abdomen can be
clearly seen, despite the angle of the photograph.
Humilis is an all over bright ginger, almost
reminiscent of a brand new teddy bear.
Eric has also
identified the fly feeding on the Great Burnet flower
in yesterday's blog. It is a Common flesh fly -
Sarcophaga carnaria. Here is one that
Eric took recently (left photo) and mine on the Great
Burnet (right photo). I notice one difference. The
spots are on the thorax in my photo, but on the
abdomen in Eric's. Is this significant?
JUNE 6 2017
I had a look
at the orchids in on the north meadow (orchid area)
and the Lumley area this afternoon. I don't think
there will be any more Southern Marsh or Common
Spotted Orchids in either area. Both species are now
generally well past their best, but it has been a good
year for them both with record counts as indicated
As for Bee Orchids,
the conservation group discovered several more of
these in both areas during Sunday's work session.
However, with the grasses and other vegetation growing
fast I think it will be difficult to find any more.
So, here are what I think will be the final counts for
2017 with the north meadow and Lumley area counts in
brackets: Southern Marsh Orchid 31 (26 and 5), Common
Spotted Orchid 16 (9 and 7), Bee Orchid 12 (9 and 3).
Orchids continue their gradual but steady increase
in numbers from the 2 that were originally planted in
2007. The total of 31 is still modest in comparison
with other local sites, such as, Southmoor, Langstone
which has up to 10,000 and Fishbourne Meadows which
boasts around 500.
Orchids showed a large increase this year, more
than doubling last year's total. Again, the total is
relatively modest, but this year's rise indicates
promise of better things for the future!
were up on last year, but well down in the record of
29 in 2015. The problem is finding these orchids which
are smaller and less striking than the other two and
tend to flower later when they are buried beneath a
mass of grasses. So, the counts are highly likely to
be below the actual number of plants flowering on the
Brook Meadow observations
Great Burnet -
flowering and attracting insects on the orchid area.
However, there seems to be far less of this attractive
plant than in previous years. I could only see a
single cluster of about 10 plants near a Meadowsweet.
Last year I counted a total of 62 flowering plants.
Vetchling - flowering for the first time this year
on the Lumley area with the added bonus of a male
Common Blue butterfly feeding on its flowers. This is
a rare plant on Brook Meadow.
and Red Bartsia are also just starting to
flower on the Lumley area. They should be very
prominent in a few weeks.
- This delicate and attractive grass is showing
better than I can ever remember seeing it along the
new path on the east side of the south meadow by the
Gooseberry Cottage bund. My vote goes for this as the
grass of the year for Brook Meadow.
Meadow Brown -
I had my first Meadow Brown of the year on the Lumley
- I happened to come across this beautiful
butterfly sheltering from the strong winds in the long
grasses near the ground.
Hoverfly (Volucella pellucens) - I
found two specimens of this attractive hoverfly on the
meadow this afternoon, both feeding on the flowers of
Hemlock Water-dropwort. The name "pellucid" literally
means translucently clear because , apparently, if you
catch this hoverfly in a certain light you can see
right through its middle! It gets its common name from
its black and white colouring, though my fun name for
it is Belted Galloway after the cow with a white band
across its middle! The larvae of Pellucid Hoverflies
live inside the underground nests of common
There is one other
hoverfly in the UK with a cream band around its middle
Leucozona lucorum which has a different
pattern of wing veins. I am not really sure how to
distinguish these two, though Volucella
pellucens is more common so I went for that.
Maybe someone could help?
provided the following corrections to blog
1. What I thought looked like Fat Hen on the grass
verge in Chichester on May 30 is in fact Fig-leaved
Goosefoot Chenopodium ficifolium.
Note the distinctive leaf shape with one big middle
lobe and two forwardly pointing small basal lobes. Not
quite a fig-leaf shape though! It is fairly common on
turned over ground and usually can be found wherever
there is a good quantity of Fat Hen. It may mark where
there was a patch of bare soil on the verge.
2. The hoverfly with
the white rear end that Chris Oakley had in his
conservatory on May 29 was Volucella bombylans.
It comes in at least three colour forms, each
resembling a different bumblebee - this one being
similar to a white-tailed bumblebee.
Anne de Potier
reports two items of good news:
1. Orchids are now visible again in the damp ground
adjacent to the Selangor footpath following recent
management and grazing. She saw 2 Southern Marsh
orchids and there is an increasing show of
Ragged Robin since last year, plus a beautiful
display of grasses and other vegetation. Note: this is
the footpath leading from the main Havant Road
opposite Selangor Avenue down to Nore Barn Woods.
2. Anne has
twice recently encountered a flying Stag Beetle
in West Road when cycling home at about 8.45pm. Does
anyone else see them elsewhere in
JUNE 1 - 2017
I had a quick
look at the verge at the Warblington roundabout to
check on the Bee Orchids. The mowers had been out, but
they had given the Bee Orchids a miss. Brilliant. The
notices I put on the verge not to cut have worked!
They were fully open and looking splendid. I counted
roughly 60+ flowering spikes. Here are just a few of
earlier observations go to . . . May