Wildlife sightings at the Secret Campsite in Sussex
Over the last few weeks we have been spotting lots of different species around the campsite in Sussex. Campers from one of the wildlife Trusts around the Chilterns saw the Purple Emperor butterfly that we had searched for to no avail in July and hot on its tail was a Purple Hairstreak that enjoys the oak trees surrounding our camping meadow. We have had a mass of Marbled Whites in one part of the camping meadow and there have also been some small blue butterflies which I think are Holly Blue’s and they appeared on Tuesday in quite large numbers, along with a few yellow butterflies that i suspect might be Brimstones. Two weeks ago one of the younger campers saw a Painted Lady and we occasionally have the odd White Admiral venturing out from the neighbouring Knowlands Wood. Our moth evening with Sussex Wildlife Trust was a huge success and Michael did uncover a rare moth last seen in the area over 150 years ago.
This week a camper thinks he saw a Corncrake and he is sending me a photo as evidence, however on further investigation this would be an exceptionally rare occurrence. One did arrive in Seaford this year which caused a huge amount of interest in the bird world, but they do not breed here. He also saw a few chiff chaffs. The Green Woodpeckers on the site have been cackling away at each other and we have had our resident Moorhen running around the edges of the pond with her chick, but she is quite secretive and only shows herself when she is startled.
The reptile shelters have been proving a great success and we have had plenty of sightings of grass snakes and slow worms. The glow worms are starting to slow down their displays now as the season comes to an end, although we still have armies of frogs and solitary toads creeping around the site and hiding under the heaviest and dampest logs. No one has yet seen an adder but we live in hope that one from the old railway track might venture over.
There have been very few wasps this year so far and we haven’t yet seen a hornet although as the evenings shorten they are often seen buzzing around the lights looking for insects to eat. Contrary to reputation our Hornets are pretty unaggressive unless you are a small moth, but their low buzz does sometimes send a shiver down the spine
Things are warming up for our Gourmet evening in October with the Guyrope Gourmet and hopefully we will start to harvest a few apples from around the camp site. It looks like being a good year for juicing and perry making.