Sightings

Share your sightings of wildlife in and around Normandy via the comments section below or email to fnwildlife@gmail.com.  Such sightings provide vital information to better understand and protect our local wildlife.

Where possible, please provide the following : Time & date of sighting; Location; Species; Number seen; Descriptive detail (what was the animal doing, where was the plant located, what was fungus growing on, etc); Photo(s).

Remember you can ask the FNW Committee for help with identification via fnwildlife@gmail.com. Or try out this plant identification app on your phone – Picture This.

[The photo above is of a female sparrowhawk seen in The Paddocks, Normandy.]

REPORTED SIGHTINGS

Four photos from Catherine Firth, May 2021

Photo of dragonfly larvae in garden in Westwood Lane by Martin Hall

 

Photo of heron in garden on Westwood Lane by Martin Hall

 

Freshly emerged male silver-studded blue (Plebejus argus) on cross-leaved heath, Ash Ranges. 5 June 2020. This butterfly is a U.K. BAP Priority Species.
First visit of a dark green fritillary (Argynnis aglaja) to Springhill garden (on Cephalaria flower), 2nd June 2020. Coincidentally another was seen feeding on bramble flowers in the adjacent Traditional Orchard on the 13th June. Presumably these had come from the Hog’s Back but let’s hope they are or will breed in Normandy, cultivate your violets!
White admiral (Limenitis camilla) attracted to a bird dropping on a fig leaf in Springhill garden. 24 June 2020. This is a U.K. BAP Priority Species.
Small skippers (Thymelicus sylvestris) mating on oxeye daisy flower, Traditional Orchard. 22 June 2020
Mottled bee-fly (Thyridanthrax fenestratus) basking on oxeye daisy, Traditional Orchard 13 June 2020. This is a local fly in Surrey (rare nationally), more at home on the heathland where it parasitizes a single host, the nationally scarce heath sand wasp (Ammophila pubescens). According to Baldock and Early (Soldierflies, their allies and Conopidae of Surrey, SWT Atlas, 2015) the eggs are possibly provided with ‘ballast’ via sand grains and laid in flight, aiming for the nesting area or burrow!
Smooth snake (Coronella austriaca) on sandy track, Ash Ranges, 10:27am, 11 June 2020. This is Britain’s rarest native reptile and generally the most secretive. This one hadn’t read the script and I was privileged that it ‘posed’ to let me take photos. It is strictly protected and a licence is needed to pick up reptile tins where they may be present and for some other actions.
Sandy coloured, male roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) on Ash Ranges (just north of Dolley’s Hill). 25 July 2020
Common Gull (Larus canus) at Manor Fruit Farm, 2nd December 2020. Herring gulls are often seen here but I needed some help with the identification of this one!
Green hairstreak (Callophrys rubi) on allium flower, Springhill garden.18 May 2020
Roach (Rutilus rutilus) in Normandy Pond, morning of 2nd June 2020, stocking up on O2.
Cat’s-ear (Hypochaeris radicata), oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) and common spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsia) flowers, Traditional Orchard. 9 June 2020. Note insect hotel on left.
A slime mould (Dog vomit?) on pine debris, Normandy Common. 9 June 2020. Slime moulds were part of the Fungi kingdom but now it seems likely they aren’t animal, plant or fungi and more related to the amoeba!
Early marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnata) showing frost damage, Ash Ranges. 8 June 2020. This is a rare plant for Surrey.
Four-banded longhorn beetle (Leptura quadrifasciata) on tea shirt in Springhill garden. 1 July 2020. A local species at home on wooded heaths.
Silver-washed fritillaries (Argynnis paphia) mating at rest (female on right), Week Wood area. 1 July 2020. Earlier their spectacular cart-wheel mating flight was seen.
Holly blue (Celastrina argiolus) taking part in the picnic and enjoying cheese at Springhill garden! 27 June 2020
Carp (Cyprinus carpio) coming to surface of Normandy Pond for O2. Morning of 25 June 2020
White admiral with wings open
Spotted flycatcher (Muscicapa striata) on east edge of Kiln Copse. 7 July 2020. This bird is on the ‘Birds of Conservation Concern 4’ red list.
Bulrush wainscot (Nonagria typhae) at Springhill garden. 3 September 2020. First sighting.
Jersey Tiger (Euplagia quadripunctaria), Springhill garden. As far as I know the first one seen at Normandy was attracted to the mercury vapour lamp at Springhill garden on 7 August. This is a large and attractive moth that flies during the day time as well as at night (diurnal) with either red, orange or yellow on the hindwing. It was very pleasing to hear that one with red on the hindwing turned up soon after at Liz and Brian Oliver’s house on Glaziers Lane “It flew into the house during the heavy rain yesterday (12 August), a new one on me”. My book mentions it visits flowers such as buddleias – no mention of flying into houses in heavy rain but who could blame it! The larva feed on nettles and other herbaceous plants. There is no record of the moth in ‘The Larger Moths of Surrey’ (Graham A. Collins) published by Surrey Wildlife Trust in 1997 but it has expanded greatly out of London (as well as along and away from the south coast) since 2004. Whether this moth makes up for the loss of the Garden Tiger I’ll leave up to you to decide.
Dew drops on mouse-ear hawkweed (Pilosella officinarum) leaves, Ash Ranges. 23 October 2020
Lousewort (Pedicularia sylvatica), a scarce Surrey plant, in flower, Ash Ranges (near Dolley’s Hill). 25 April 2020
Greylag geese (Anser anser) with goslings, Normandy Pond. 29 April 2020. This bird is on the ‘Birds of Conservation Concern 4’ amber list

 

Gingery common carder bumblebee (Bombus pascuorum) on lupin flowers. Springhill garden. 9 May 2020

 

Broad-bordered bee hawk-moth (Hemaris fuciformis), a bumblebee mimic, on honesty flowers. Springhill garden. 7 May 2020. This moth was also seen at Springhill in 2016 feeding on the same flowers. Its foodplant is mostly honeysuckle which is plentiful on adjacent Normandy Common. The moth flies just like the more common Humming-bird Hawk-moth so if you see a moth flying like this do look closely and photograph it if you can.

 

Colourful shieldbug Eurydema ornata on garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) at Springhill garden on 6th May 2020. This shieldbug isn’t mentioned in the ‘Shieldbugs of Surrey’ book (Surrey Wildlife Atlas) of 2003, by Roger Hawkins. According to Roger (pers. comm.) this is a common European species that was found to be breeding in Britain a few years ago, at a coastal site in south Hampshire, and may now be spreading. He knows of at least one previous Surrey record that he had interpreted as an accidental introduction. The shieldbug sucks the sap of plants, especially those of the Brassicaceae. If you see this bug please photograph it and note the plant it is on and what it is doing as Roger is keen to know more about it.

 

Stock dove (Columba oenas) looking for food at Springhill garden. 30 March 2020. This bird is on the ‘Birds of Conservation Concern 4’ amber list and a fairly regular visitor to the garden in the winter.

 

Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) on gorse flowers at Ash Ranges (near Dolley’s Hill). 23 March 2020

 

Mocha moth, (Cyclophora annularia – foodplant field maple). Springhill garden. 4 May 2020. Second siting
Linnets
Linnets (Linaria cannabina) on Ash Ranges, Feb 2020

Linnets (Linaria cannabina) on Ash Ranges – 4 photos. The photo below shows 93 birds flying to Ash Ranges at Dolley’s Hill on 12 February 2020. At least 124 were counted flying in that day and there could have been as many as 150 or more! The birds were first seen just before Christmas (2019) and came to roost in the gorse patch just north of the flagpole. It seemed that initially there were small numbers of birds and then in mid-January and February numbers were over 100.

The birds would congregate in taller trees in the area, a little before sunset, then fly around and often land in birch trees closer to the roost before flying into it. Another photo shows the linnets in more detail on the birches; the birds are glowing in the setting sun of the 29th February. This bird is on the ‘Birds of Conservation Concern 4’ red list so it’s good to have them in such numbers in Normandy.

Linnets (Linaria cannabina) on Ash Ranges, Feb 2020
Linnets (Linaria cannabina) on Ash Ranges, Feb 2020
Linnets (Linaria cannabina) on Ash Ranges, Feb 2020
Crossbills

On the 17th October 2020 a flock of 15 crossbills were seen on the ‘top’ of Ash Ranges (Fox Hills) before circling (quite close) over my head, making a terrific load sound (just like that available on the RSPB Birds A-Z  website) before landing in the top of a very tall pine tree. The first photo shows a pair of them but is very poor because of the lousy weather and distance. The female at top is tucking into a pine cone, the male is on lookout. The three pics below are all from the ranges. As the RSPB website says they are an irruptive species so hopefully we’ll see more of them this winter!

Elephant hawk moth catepillar

The below elephant hawk moth catepillar as spotted in Glaziers Lane in August 2020.

This will transform into this beautiful moth…….

Elephant Hawk Moth photo by Nigel Stone under creative commons
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/legalcode
Dark-edged bee fly

This dark-edged bee fly was spotted on 14 April 2019 in The Paddocks.  These are amazing insects.  See if you can spot them and join in the Bee fly Watch 2019!

Bee-fly

The following 16 numbered sightings from 2018 were provided by FNW Committee member, Bill Stanworth.

1) Green Huntsman Spider (Micrommata virescens) resting on dead Purple Moor-grass from Ash Ranges, East of Dolley’s Hill, 17 April 2018
 
 
2) Single male Common Toad croaking in our garden pond, 18 April 2018
 
3) Grass Snake resting on lily pad in our garden pond, 1 June 2018
 
4) Golden-ringed Dragonfly resting on vegetation by our garden pond, 21 June 2018
 
5) Elusive male Purple Emperor butterfly resting on birch by stream, West of Dolley’s Hill (Ash Ranges, outside danger area), 23 June 2018
 
6) Heath Tiger beetle  (Cicindela sylvatica) on scrape in old gravel pit, East of Dukes Hill, Ash Ranges, 2 July 2018. This is classified as endangered and restricted to lowland heath.
 
7) Male Blackcap. He was complaining about me perhaps because there was a nest nearby (I beat a hasty retreat!) A treat to be so close! Location: Ash Ranges, outside danger area, East of Dolley’s Hill. 12 July 2018
 
8) Brown Hairstreak butterfly that accidentally got trapped in our plastic tunnel! It’s a BAP priority species (BC Red List: vulnerable) and only the second seen in the garden. 16 July 2018.
The great news is that I found an egg on blackthorn in the garden this winter.
 
9) Hummingbird Hawkmoth feeding on a white Phlox flowers in garden. No time to stop! 23July 2018
 
10) Female Silver-washed Fritillary form valesina resting on Hellebore leaf in our garden. This unusual coloured form is apparently rare in Surrey. 27 July 2018.
 
 
11) Male Roe deer on flowering heath, Ash Ranges, East of Ricochet Hill, 2 August 2018
 
 
12) Wasp Spider (Argiope bruennichi) on web by Common Fleabane flowers, Henley Park Fields SNCI, 3 August 2018. This spectacular large spider was also seen this year on Ash Ranges East of Dolley’s Hill.
 
13) Female Blackcap feeding on fig in garden, 13 August 2018. Both the male and female liked figs!
 
14) Clifden Nonpareil moth. I had two of these for the first time to my garden moth trap. It’s a very large moth and it flew off like a bat. Probably the first Normandy record. 22 September 2018
 
15) Smooth Cat’s-ear (Hypochaeris glabra) growing on a gravel track North of Fox Hills, Ash Ranges. Although this is a small fairly insignificant plant it is listed as vulnerable and this is the first record for Normandy Parish
 
16) Probable Mycena megaspora, a fungus of heathland especially when burnt. Here it is with Purple Moor-grass (showing autumn colour) which managed a limited amount of growth after the burn on Ash Ranges in early October, 2 December 2018.
Tawny Owls

May 2018 – two tawny owlets were spotted in a garden in Normandy – amazing photos by Josey Garbutt. Thank you!

Photo by Josey Garbutt
Photo by Josey Garbutt
Black-headed cardinal beetle mentioned in the comments section below.
Black-headed cardinal beetle – photo by Gill Woolfson

6 thoughts on “Sightings”

  1. A single Black Headed Cardinal Beetle spotted on a Dryopteris Fern in my garden (off Bailes Lane, bordering a water meadow.)

    Date 12th June 18, at 4:30pm

  2. I remember a while ago you were recording hedgehog sightings, so if you still are, I can tell you that I saw 2 in our rear garden – 21st May.
    I started leaving “hedgehog bites” out at the end of last month in feeding stations (after finding their little “presents”) and I am pleased to report the food has been consumed every night for the last 2 weeks.
    Westwood Lane.

  3. Just had a green woodpecker in our garden – we often have great spotted woodpeckers but this is the first green for us. We’re on Glaziers Lane backing into to Backhursts

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