Haslemere Natural History Society

Providing a focus for enthusiastic naturalists of all ages

Signs of winter on a Shillinglee walk.

Date: 20 November 2021
Field Meeting

Leader: Jon Taylor (HNHS member)
West of Plaistow, the Shillinglee area just in the South Downs National Park has a mixture of habitats.
In a mixed deciduous copse found on different leaves were tiny white “tracks” or mines.  These had been made by leaf miner larvae of a micromoth or flies.
In the Sweet Chestnut woodland a tiny buff-coloured November Moth was seen fluttering and there was a circle of the common large Wood Blewit fungus.
Near the freshwater lake some members caught a brief glimpse of a Kingfisher and on The Lake were Tufted Duck, Mallard, Coot and Great Crested Grebe.
Walking through the rough grazing fields three pellets thought to be from either Little Owl or Kestrel were discovered.  These were taken home by members keen to dissect and identify the contents!  One with tiny remains of beetles and flies but no bones was probably from a Kestrel, but another with several undigested green and brown caterpillars (from two species of moth) was more likely to have been ejected by a Little Owl as these caterpillars will come out to feed on mild nights even in winter.

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