Tuesday, 27 September 2016

An Autumnal Feel

The weekend before last, Carol and I spent an enjoyable time with friends in Lymington, Hampshire and then last week we met up with our son and his friend for a short camping trip to Cumbria. With a schedule of walking planned for both trips, there were plenty of opportunities to scan the hedgerows and fells for wildlife. On our return to Sussex I was keen to check up on my regular haunts and in the last week or so, the air has definitely taken on an autumnal feel.
Before our trips away, we went to Bodiam for a walk along the banks of the Rother. Red Admirals and Small Whites were numerous but my attention was drawn to a small moth flying about in the long grass and eventually settling in a nettle patch. The Vestal (Rhodometra sacraria) is a regular migrant to Britain but is unable to survive our winters.
The Vestal (Rhodometra sacraria)

Whilst walking along the Solent shoreline at Lepe, Hampshire, this Red Admiral posed nicely for the camera.

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

During the trip to Cumbria, I was keen to see the Common Hawker (Aeshna juncea), a species of dragonfly that does not occur in the south-east. I did see one male but the only species of dragonfly that settled for a photograph was a Black Darter on a rather dingy day at Meathop Moss.
Black Darter (Sympetrum danae) (male)

The only insect of note in the moth-trap yesterday morning was this handsome Hornet.

Hornet (Vespa crabro)

Although rather overcast and breezy, a midday walk on Pevensey Levels produced good numbers of Red Admirals, gathering to feed up mainly on blackberry juice before moving south, although a small number may well see out the winter in the UK.
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

In evolutionary terms, Caddis Flies are closely related to moths and butterflies but unlike that group, they do not have scaled wings. Their similarity to a small moth is clear to see. 
Caddis Fly sp. (Limnephilus flavicornis)

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