A rare Wall on the Firehills

A personal new butterfly species record and a rare one for the CP it seems, as I can only find 2 previous records, one in 1993 in the field next to Barn Pond and the other in 2017 also on the Firehills. Possibly just under recorded as there are plenty of records for the rest of East Sussex.

Also seen today a juvenile Stonechat, note the mottled breast, making it’s unmistakeable alarm call with an adult male nearby doing the same. This demonstrates successful breeding again this year on the Firehills.

New Mirid Bug record

I am unable to find any previous records of Miris striatus or Fine Streaked Bugkin so am presenting this record of a nymph on the Firehills this Tuesday 12-05-2020 as a new species record for the Country Park. Many thanks to Taughtus for providing the ID.

First Bluebells 2020

Walking up Brakey Bank this morning I was pleasantly surprised to find some Bluebells out in flower and fully out too. Not many but plenty of Wood Anemones, a few Celandines and a couple of Red Campion too. That coupled with finding two Gorse Shieldbugs on Monday makes one feel that despite the incessant wind and rain, Spring is still able to make it’s presence felt.

Exmoor ponies

HBC have purchased 6 Exmoor ponies, yes 6 not 5 as announced on Facebook. They are currently in the heathland compartment behind the Quarry closest to the Coastguard cottages. They arrived on Saturday but today was the first opportunity to get a decent photo due to the atrocious weather. Still windy this morning but a bit of welcome sun.

A Remarkable Find in the Country Park

At the top of Ecclesbourne Glen there is a wild rose hedge that has proved to be good habitat for invertebrates. A number of finds over the past year have been new species for the Country Park list. Despite the Bank Holiday Weekend being cold and blustery, fresh leaf growth on the rose hedge was worth searching as it revealed another new species. It was a parasitoid wasp of the Platygastridae family, and not only was it a new species for the Country Park list, it was a new UK species. Until last weekend there were four wasps of the genus Metaclisis on the UK list, there are now five. Metaclisis germanica was described earlier this year as a new species to science, and it had only ever been found in Germany. Identification was made by microscopic examination  comparing the wasp to the species description.

Not quite Spring…

A search in tussocks of grass growing on the sandstone bluff in the middle of the quarry has found an interesting Springtail or Collembola. Anurophorus laricis is a new species for the Country Park, and also a new species for Sussex. Springtails are so called because they have a forked appendage (a furca) under their back end that acts like a spring enabling them to flip away when danger approaches. The species found yesterday has no furca, and hence the question arises as to whether it ought be called a springtail, perhaps better to use the preferred term Collembola.