Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Tuesday 17th July

A strong south-westerly breeze, combined with long spells of sunshine made it feel like a bracing day at the seaside! While working out in the fields at East Malling Research Field this morning I managed to see good numbers of Skylark, Linnet and Swifts, as well as my first Silver Y moth of the year (sheltering in the straw between the strawberry beds) and a Peacock butterfly on a strawberry flower.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Saturday 14th July

As I walked out my front door this morning I was suprised to see a trail of ants dragging 2 large beetles along my drive. Closer inspection revealed them to be male and female Lesser Stag Beetles! I rescued them from the clutches of the ants and photographed them before releasing them in the back garden - unfortunately I think the damage had already been done. Also of note was a White-legged Damselfly.....another garden tick!

Friday, 13 July 2007

Friday 13th July

The sun shone quite brightly for periods during the day, interspersed by scuttling clouds. A quick visit out to a grubbed plot on the Research Station resulted in anumber of butterfly species, despite the strong breeze. Species included Whites, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Comma, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown and Skipper spp.

Thursday 12th July

I didn't get a chance to go out in the day, but managed to get two interesting sightings on my patio when I switched on the securitry light at 22:30. A toad crawled, nonchalantly across the slabs, posing briefly for me to photograph him. A number of moths buzzed around the light (probably what had attracted the toad), including the moth shown in the photograph below - a Large Emerald?

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Tuesday 10th July

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was seen buzzing around some weed species at the edge of the strawberry plot this morning, and later my first Gatekeeper of the year was seen alongside one of the windbreaks at East Malling Research Station, along with a Small Tortoiseshell by the weather station.

The Barn Owls showed well again near Teston Bridge between 20:00-21:00 on both Friday & Saturday night.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Tuesday 3rd July

A Small Tortioseshell was found this morning while I walked the strawberry seedlings - my first for the year and a rarity for East Malling over the last 2 years! Thunderstorms built up between the sunny spells and I had the added bonus of a Hobby flying west, ahead of the storm, along with a large number of Swifts. Red Admiral and Meadow Brown were also seen.

A trip to Ditton Quarry at lunchtime, resulted in lots of Small Skippers flying around the Pyramidal Orchid bank. Turning some of the rocks over I discovered not only some seashell fossils, 2 juvenile newts playing dead. Not sure which species they are?