The Messenger - Serving Gislingham, Mellis and the Thornhams

Nature Notes - July

Date: 15 August 2019

As Mike says, whilst looking attractive they are a pest with Rosemary, Lavender, Sage and Thyme foliage being their particular targets. The RHS is asking that sightings be reported to them via their website so that their distribution can be evaluated – see  These beetles are believed to have arrived in London from southern Europe in the mid-1990’s and have since been expanding their territory.

A more common and garden-friendly insect is the humble Ladybird and I’m pleased to say that we have seen quite a few in the garden recently in search of their favourite food – Aphids. The Ladybird’s ally in this respect are the Blue and Great Tits and they have provided much entertainment as they forage acrobatically amongst the roses - good on them!

It continues to be a good year for butterfly sightings and my list of species seen now stands at 20, which is one more than the whole of last year. Numerous Painted Ladies have appeared in the garden, mostly on Lavender flowers. As others have noted, these butterflies appear to be very pale in colour and also quite ragged-looking, suggesting they have recently arrived in the UK on their migration trial. It’ll be interesting to see how successful they are at breeding when the next generation appear around September time.

A couple of notable recent sightings include the Brown Argus and Silver Studded Blue (shown here on Bell Heather), both seen in July on Westleton Heath, near Dunwich. A visit to Bradfield Woods also paid off with good views of Silver Washed Fritillary but, alas, no sign of the Purple Emperor!

Tony Clarke’s list of birds seen in Gislingham during June:

3rd *CUCKOO* heard again from our garden in the vicinity of High street ( see also 21/05 )

9th footpath , fields , woods s/e of Coldham lane ; 3x *TREECREEPERS* ( village list no. 70 ) 1x Turtle dove , 4+ Skylark , 2+ Yellowhammer , 3+ Blackcap , 2x Whitethroat , Chiff Chaff , 6+ Swift , displaying Buzzard , Nuthatch , Kestral , Long tailed tit with young , Great tit with young . Good numbers of nesting House Martin's including three pairs in Broadfields road with one pair on our house!

18th Footpath , fields adjacent to Back street ; 1+ *SPOTTED FLYCATCHER* ( village list no. 71 ) 2x Turtle dove including display flight which is encouraging , Skylark , Yellowhammer , 2+ Blackcap , 2x Whitethroat , Chiff Chaff , Great Spotted Woodpecker , 2x Green Woodpecker , 1+ Bullfinch , 2+ Swallow ( numbers are down this year ) 4+ Swift , 6+ House Martin , 6x Lesser Blacked Gulls over - wanderers can be seen regularly now .

28th fields , bridle way to North of Mill street across to Mellis road ; In song : Yellowhammer , Skylark , Blackcap , Whitethroat , Chaffinch , Greenfinch , Goldfinch , Linnet , Song Thrush , Wren plus Bullfinch , Green Woodpecker , Kestral , Swift and House Martin

Finally, like many of us, I’m always on the lookout for owls when driving across Mellis Common at dusk and recently came across this Little Owl sitting on the old tree trunk remains near Hall Farm. Happily he was still there after I’d collected my camera from home! Happy Wildlife Watching!