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  • Writer's pictureSim Elliott

Butterflies, Wild Flowers, Birds, Lichens and Bryophytes. Devil's Dyke and Newtimber Hill. 20.05.23

The Devil's Dyke | Sussex | National Trust and Newtimber Hill Saddlescombe Farm and Newtimber Hill | National Trust are adjacent to each other, lying just north of Brighton in the South Downs National Park. In the Summer they can be reached on the Brighton and Hove 77 bus, from the centre of Brighton (weekends only except from 12 June to 29 August 2023 when the bus runs daily) 77 - Devil's Dyke-Brighton Pier | Brighton & Hove Buses

The photographs are in the chorological order of my walk (10.45 - 15.30)

All sections of text in italics are quotations, sources sited.

All identifications are provisional; if you note a mistake in identification please feel free to tell me, or if you want to contact me about any aspect of this blog, email me at simeon[underscore]elliott[at]gmail[dot]com.

Devil's Dyke

Sycamore Coppice/Plantation

A "love heart" obscured two liverworts and a lichen: Radula complanata, Metzgeria furcata and Phlyctis argena, on Sycamore.

On the top of the Dyke, south to north

Wall, Lasiommata megera

Cruciata laevipes, Smooth Bedstraw

Buzzard, Buteo buteo

Meadow Pippit, Anthus pratensis

Linnet, Linaria cannabina. Red List

Kidney Vetch, Anthyllis vulneraria. The only caterpillar plant of the Small Blue Butterfly; both chalk specialists.

Sheep's Sorrel, Rumex acetosella

Another Wall, Lasiommata megera

Common Vetch, Vicia sativa

Bird's-foot Trefoil, aka "Egg and Bacon", Lotus corniculatus. It’s the main food plant for a wide range of butterflies. These include the Common blue Polyommatus icarus, Dingy skipper Erynnis tages, Clouded yellow Colias croceus, Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi, Wood white Leptidea sinapis, and Silver-studded blue Plebejus argus. Bird’s-foot Trefoil: An Excellent Plant - Lizzie Harper

Burnet sp, Poterium sp.

Germander Speedwell, Veronica chmaedrys

Common Milkwort, Polygala vulgaris chalk specialist. Substantial decline in distribution since the 1960s, including in Sussex Weald as a result of loss of grassland & heath

Windblown Pendulate Oak, Quercus robur; on the top of the Devil's Dyke

Epiphytes on this Pendulate oak, Quercus robur,

Xanthoria parientina

Flavoparmelia soredians

Parmontrema perlatum

Frullania dilatata, Dilated Scalewort

Possibly, Ulota phyllantha, Frizzled Pincushion

Melanelixia subauifera

Common Twayblades, Neottia ovata. In line with Orchis anthropophora, the Man Orchid, I propose an additional, post StrangerThings, vernacular name for Neottia ovata: the Demogorgon Orchid.

Brimstone, Gonepteryx rhamni

Into the woods; the ancient woodland at the north of the Devils's Dyke

Lesser Celandine, Ficaria verna

Common Dodder, Cuscuta epithymum

Funarria hygrometrica, BonfireMoss, growing on area of chalk grassland with charcoal from burnt wood, on the path that descends through the wood at the north of characteristic of old bonfire sites Funaria hygrometrica - British Bryological Society

Jay, Garrulus glandarius. In the woods, with oaks, to the north-east of Devil's Dyke. It's good for our oak woods that Jays haven't got perfect spatial memory for the acorns they bury.

Wild garlic, Allium ursinum

Forked veilwort, Metzgeria furcata on an Oak

Possibly Leskea poycarpa, Many-fruited Leskea

Worn Peacock Aglais io; probably a butterfly that overwintered in a dormant state

Silene dioica, Red Campion, growing on/with Thamnobryum alopercurum, Fox-tail Feather-Moss (?), on dead oak (?) trunk. I see S. dioica in woods a lot, but not seen it growing on moss/dead wood before.

Heart's tongue Fern, Asplenium scolpendrium

Walking along the bottom of the Dyke

Small Heath, Coenonympha pamphilus

Male Common Blue, Polyommatus icarus

Green Hairstreak, Callophrys rubi

Common Heath Moth, Ematurga atomaria

Dingy Skipper, Erynnis tages

Tyme-leaved Sandwort, Arenaria serphyllifolia

Hound's Tongue,Cynoglossum officinale

Small Heath, Coenonympha pamphilus

Newtimber Hill

Common Sorrel, Rumex acetosa

A Pendulate Oak, Quercus robur, leaf from 2022

Dingy Skipper, Erynnis tages

Another Dingy Skipper

White Dead Nettle, Lamium album

Water Crowfoot, Ranunculus aquatilis in the pond at Sedlescombe Farm

Germander Speedwell,Veronica chamaedrys

Male Taleporia tubulosa moth on gorse

Common Milkwort, Polygala vulgaris

Bottom of Devil's Dyke, with Newtimber Hill in the background



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