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Paracorymbia fulva

While carrying out a butterfly transect last week I came across this striking beetle feeding on creeping thistle in the Barn Field. A check of the interweb suggested it was a tawny longhorn beetle (Paracorymbia fulva), an identification confirmed by Peter Hodge the county beetle recorder. This is an uncommon species in Britain, confined to the southern counties and designated as Red Data Book 3 (vulnerable). In addition, as well as being new to the reserve, Peter informed me it is new to Sussex, so all in all a good find.


Two Typhas

There are  two species of bulrush or reedmace in the RX area and they are both flowering now. Above left is lesser reedmace (Typha angustifolia with narrow leaves, narrow seed head and the male part of the flower is above the female but there is a gap, the seed head is a mid-brown colour) and on the right is greater reedmace (Typha latifolia with broad leaves, thicker seed head with no separation between the male and female parts of the flower and it's a dark brown colour).


20 metres freestyle

The oystercatcher family at the Parkes hide photographed here three days ago is now down to one chick and it commutes the 20m between the safety of the islands and food on the mainland by swimming. Three days ago the chicks were reluctant to enter the water, but today there was barely any hesitation from the fittest one.

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More protected roadside nature areas

Another piece of protected road-side grassland, this time at Camber.  I stopped to check for insects and found these stunning pyramidal orchids Anacamptis pyramidalis last weekend.

Helping with protection

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Ghosts of spring past

One of the best ways for determining the presence of great crested newts Triturus cristatus is to look for their eggs.  They are larger than those of smooth and palmate newts, and like those species are attached to the leaf of an aquatic plant which is folded over the egg.  The pinched leaves are easy to spot, and because of their larger size great crested newt eggs tend to be laid on larger plant species, with water mint Mentha aquatica being particularly popular.  This summer I have been surveying the Open Pits on the RSPB reserve and I have been finding pinched leaves, used by great crested newt, late into the season.  At first some of these contained eggs, but now all of these finally seem to have hatched, but the leaves remain glued together and retain the pinched look.  Instead of amphibians the pinched leaves now contain chironomid larvae, making use of the crevice. Here is a piece of pink water speedwell Veronica catenata with three pinched leaves that was found on 8 July 2012.

The pinched leaf to the

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