Friday, 22 December 2017

Hempstead Meadows Local Nature Reserve - Species

Every time that I visit Hempstead Meadows Local Nature Reserve (run by Uckfield Town Council) I try to record a few of the species that I see. This isn't a proper survey, but it does give me a idea of what is there.  I record in a website/app called iRecord and here are my results for Hempstead Meadows.  Because it works with map squares some of the following records are from areas just outside the reserve - including the Station, which is a surprisingly good spot for birdwatching.


Common Frog - as tadpoles.


One of my favourite sightings from this year was a Chiffchaff, seen amongst the brambles in April.

Chiff Chaff

Common name Species
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Swift Apus apus
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus
Robin Erithacus rubecula
Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
Dunnock Prunella modularis
Nuthatch Sitta europaea
Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
Blackbird Turdus merula


I've seen sticklebacks several times in the little stream that runs through the reserve. In 2015 I saw a lovely red-bellied male guarding his nest.  I've also heard that eels sometimes move through the reserve.

Flowering Plants

There are all sorts of pretty and interesting flowering plants but one of the most unusual is the Greater Tussock Sedge and one of my favourites, the Meadow Cranesbill.

Greater Tussock Sedge, 14 April 2017

Meadow Cranesbill, photographed in September 2015 but flowers year-after-year.

Common name Species
Ramsons Allium ursinum
Hairy Bitter-cress Cardamine hirsuta
Cuckooflower Cardamine pratensis
Greater Tussock-sedge Carex paniculata
Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria
Common Hemp-nettle Galeopsis tetrahit
Meadow Crane's-bill Geranium pratense
Indian Balsam Impatiens glandulifera
Yellow Iris Iris pseudacorus
White Dead-nettle Lamium album
Gypsywort Lycopus europaeus
Yellow Loosestrife Lysimachia vulgaris
Water Mint Mentha aquatica
Water-Dropwort Oenanthe
Tansy Tanacetum vulgare


There are, of course, many different types of insect in the reserve.  One of my favourites was this bug.

Notostira elongate - True Bug - 26 August 2017

Common Pond Skater - Another True Bug - 6 June 2015

Common name Species Taxon group
7-spot Ladybird Coccinella septempunctata insect - beetle (Coleoptera)
  Gyrinus substriatus insect - beetle (Coleoptera)
Devil's Coach-horse Ocypus (Ocypus) olens insect - beetle (Coleoptera)
Common Red Soldier Beetle Rhagonycha fulva insect - beetle (Coleoptera)
Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria insect - butterfly
Comma Polygonia c-album insect - butterfly
Common Blue Polyommatus icarus insect - butterfly
Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens insect - dragonfly (Odonata)
Hairy Footed Flower Bee Anthophora (Anthophora) plumipes insect - hymenopteran
Common Carder Bee Bombus (Thoracobombus) pascuorum insect - hymenopteran
Long-winged Cone-head Conocephalus fuscus insect - orthopteran
Dock Bug Coreus marginatus insect - true bug (Hemiptera)
Tortoise Bug Eurygaster testudinaria insect - true bug (Hemiptera)
Common Pondskater Gerris (Gerris) lacustris insect - true bug (Hemiptera)
  Notostira elongata insect - true bug (Hemiptera)
Dark-edged Bee-fly Bombylius major insect - true fly (Diptera)

Common Blues on Birds-Foot-Trefoil - Big Butterfly Count 2017
As well as recording in iRecord, I did a count in Hempstead Meadows for the Big Butterfly Count. I saw Common Blues, Gatekeeper, Large White, Meadow Browns, Red Admiral, Ringlet, Small Copper and Speckled Wood.


Marsh Snail - 25 July 2015.
Finally, a Marsh Snail, which I found when pulling up Balsam in 2015.

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