What is Patton's Tiger?

I have been immersed in natural history since I was 18 and started work at the (then) Wildfowl Trust at Arundel. I met, worked and lived with some brilliant naturalists and a lifetime's obsession was born.
Birding was followed by mothing and the height of 'achievement' was obtained when a moth was given the above vernacular name in recognition of the fact that I trapped the first British record.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Far from Common

A trip to Chobham Common in Surrey produced some new species, but was disappointing in terms of number of insects seen. In my opinion, the wettest April, May and June since records began, is certainly having an effect on some invertebrate populations. Very few butterflies or dragonflies were seen (a few Silver-studded Blues were nice to see, as was a Golden-ringed Dragonfly), hardly any flies or wasps and only very small numbers of beetles. There were plenty of grasshopper nymphs however, one group which doesn't seem so affected by the rain?

Mottled Beefly was new for my list. I am CERTAIN that I HAVE seen it before though!

Leptura quadrifasciata

Twiggy Mullein

Amazing chimney on a wasp nest. Probably
Odynerus spinipes

Cute kitten caterpillar

Neoscona adianta

Delving into the past

I don't spend ALL my waking hours thinking about natural history!! I have recently become interested in my family tree, or rather, half of it! My mother has been working on her relatives for some time now, but my dad's side of the family obviously has no connection to her. I knew, having dabbled a little in the past, that they were a Sussex family going back several hundred years. I started looking using mother's software and the information started to fall out. I was hooked!

Anyway, this led me to the church at Lyminster in Sussex, where I thought I may find some relatives buried. Only one headstone was seen but, on a nearby verge, two interesting plants were seen.


Milk thistle