Every year we organise a recording day somewhere in Sussex, usually somewhere that is under-recorded, but this year we were lucky enough to be granted access to Parham Park.
The Parham Estate comprises 354 hectares, including an historic deer park. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, with veteran oak trees. Thirty enthusiastic biological recorders attended the event; we all split into groups and pottered off in different directions, some looking for plants, some for lichens and fungi, and others for invertebrates.
Among the interesting finds of the day was a first for Sussex netted by the Sussex Beetle Recorder, Peter Hodge: the last tortoise beetle needed to complete the set in Sussex – Cassida nebulosa. This species isn’t commonly recorded, and potentially quite rare.
There were several interesting species of fungi found by Vivien Hodge, including Citrine Waxcap Hygrocybe citrinovirens, Mosaic Puffball Handkea utriformis and an inkcap for which we only have a few records, called Coprinellus xanthothrix.
In the evening about ten recorders stayed on to run five moth traps which were set out in different habitats. The evening started well with one Dark Bordered Pearl Evergestis limbata being netted while it fed on Hemp Agrimony, and a second one was caught nearby later in the evening. This was a rather fitting species to catch as it is the emblem of the Sussex Moth Group. Interesting moths caught included local species Small Rufous, Double Kidney, Black Arches, Pine Hawkmoth, Rosy Footman and Scarce Footman. The bat surveyors recorded Serotine, Noctule and 45kHz Pipistrelle. The Serotine was heard at close quarters chomping on its dinner; the surveyors didn’t even need a bat detector to hear it.
Rosy Footman picture by Dave Green