The summer has arrived and in the distance the noise of the seabird colony can be clearly heard. but do not forget to look downwards as there are many other interesting beasties moving around you feet. As you observe the seabirds another visitor has been coming in from the continent, painted ladies have become an increasingly numerous migrant over the summer as warm air moves up from Spain. birds are well known for their long distance migration but insects themselves can also complete some amazing trips and Pagham/Medmerry are ideally positioned to see them. it is not just the butterflies that make this journey, dragonflies also drift across the channel. Red Veined Darters have been recorded on a number of occasions around Medmerry this year, but the real excitement was the discovery on a Green Eyed Hawker (Norfolk Hawker) by the Chichester Natural History Society in July. This amazing discovery was the first in West Sussex for the species which is normally is not seen outside Norfolk and Suffolk in the UK. Another first for Pagham was the discovery of small blue butterflies at Slipe field making use of the buffer stripes in the field.
Day time is the realm of the butterflies, but not exclusively as there are some day flying moths such as the Six Spot Burnet. However after dark the moths dominant the night skies, but an occasional Red Admiral do get recorded in the traps. The cooler weather in the evenings at the beginning of the June meant that the moth activity was very limited, but as the weather warmed up then the numbers of species and individuals increased. by the beginning of July there were some exception catches with 156 species recorded on one evening. The preconception is that moths are boring and brown and some are in fact exactly that, but then you see a Privet Hawk-Moth and suddenly the attitude changes.
To date over 350 species have been recorded at Pagham this year, this includes macro moths (large moths) such as the elephant, lime, pine and small elephant hawk-moth as well as may micro moths (small moths) including the rare Evergestis limbata.
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