7th September 2017
This amazing looking beetle was spotted on a leaf close to our dwarf conifer collection in the Pinetum. This is a Common Sexton Beetle and it's carrying some luggage too - mites!
Although Autumn is upon us, we still have dragonflies on the wing; here is a male Ruddy Darter, seen basking in the sunshine at Black Pond - a great hangout for these beautiful insects.
2nd September 2017
Bedgebury's trees and waterways are a real attraction for the bats and seven different species of bats have been identified across the four batwalks we have held this summer:
Long brown eared
20 August 2017
The rare albino squirrel (snow white in colour) showed up again to the amazement of walkers.... keep the sightings coming!
5th August 2017
Today's wildlife discovery walk swept through the knapweed meadow at the back of the Visitor Centre Lake. The morning started once more with an examination of the moths caught overnight. This was followed by a sweep of the meadow with nets.
The following insects were netted:
Common blue butterfly
Meadow brown butterfly
14-spot ladybird (see image)
Common green shieldbug
Harvestman spider (Opiliones)
Hairy shieldbug (see image)
Fruit fly (Tephritidae) including Acinia Corniculata which is nationally rare! (see image)
Tachinid fly (Eriothrix rufomaculata) (see image)
Solitary wasp (Ichneumon)
3rd August 2017
The following report came into us from a Bedgebury visitor:
'I was on my mountain bike approx. halfway between the top of ‘Cardiac hill’ and the fire-road, and I saw a completely white squirrel being chased by a standard grey squirrel. Having never seen a white squirrel in my life (it was completely snow white in colour), I did an online search and apparently it’s a rare albino squirrel - there are only a handful in the country.'
If anyone else comes across this albino squirrel please do let us know by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
15th July 2017
At our wonderful wildlife discovery event, the following species were seen:
In addition to the 20 plus species of moths we looked at from the moth traps first thing (highlights including elephant hawk-moth, poplar hawk-moth and birch tip), bugs caught during Saturday’s meadow-sweeping included:
Common red soldier beetle
Flower beetle (Ischnomera cyanea)
Froghopper species (Philaenus)
Cluster fly species (Pollenia)
Solitary wasp species (Ichneumon)
Gnat species (Chironomidae)
Fruit fly species (Tephritidae)
Plantbug species (Miridae)
Hoverfly species (Syrphidae)
And a Common Frog!
20th June 2017
White legged damselflies (Platycnemis pennipes) have been reported on the Leaky Lake. Although a rare species in the UK, they seem to like Bedgebury and some are sighted most years.
14th June 2017
Bedgebury's nightjar have returned and numbers of Roding woodcock remain high, retaining Bedgebury Forest as the number one spot for these birds in Kent.
3rd June 2017
Amazingly, a flyover today, by an osprey! Usually they are spotted going north around March-April. The sighting was corroborated by further sightings in Kent so at least one bird spend the day in the area today, going steadily north.
16th May 2017
The first sighting of a painted lady butterfly feeding on the bluebells that currently carpet the Pinetum.
11th May 2017
Over 34 different species of birds were heard during yesterday's birdsong session and the dawn chorus walk today, We also had excellent sightings of a juvenile kestrel, greenfinches, red poll, a great spotted woodpecker in flight, a buzzard being mobbed by a pair of ravens along with all the usual suspects including goldcrest and firecrest. A truly lovely dawn chorus!
1st April 2017
First orange tip butterfly of 2017 spotted today in the Pinetum. This is a good find as it is the first genuine butterfly of spring (ie it doesn't hibernate over winter) and quite early - they usually emerge in April. Last year was a very bad year for this species and they did not emerge until late April/May. So to see one on 1st April is really encouraging. It was a male, (orange tipped wings) - females emerge about a week later.
13th February 2017
The hawfinches continue to be elusive but regularly spotted - one tantalising bird was spotted in the thuja collection.
5th February 2017
An enjoyable birdringing session where a treecreeper was a lovely find and coal tits were by far the commonest bird. Blue and great tits were very conspicuous by their absence. These birds seem to have had a very poor breeding season last year and very few young from last year are in evidence. No great tits were caught in this session and the only two blue tits to be caught had been born in or before 2015 .
Thanks to all those present a substantial species list was built up during the session with 26 species being seen or heard. Highlight of this was a pair of crossbill landing in a tree in the car park as the ringing session was being cleared away. Sadly they appeared a little to late for some of the visitors to the session.
2nd February 2017
The winter bird walk with resident birdringer, Chris George, yielded 25 different bird species in the space of an hour. The highlight of the walk had to be a solitary brambling among a flock of chaffinches (15+). Other noteworthy birds spotted were 3 mistle thrushes together, about 8 fieldfare and lots of redwing. A green woodpecker and a great spotted woodpecker were heard.
31st January 2017
About 2.00pm certainly seems to be the witching hour for hawfinches at the thuja collection. Two, possibly three, were spotted along with a small flock of redpolls.
23rd January 2017
A couple of hawfinches spotted in the late afternoon around the area where the Old Man of Kent used to stand.
15th January 2017
Despite the rain, one regular birdwatcher spotted 2 hawfinches, 20+ redpolls, at least 7 siskin, and lots of coal tits and goldcrests in the Pinetum.
10th January 2017
A nuthatch turned up at this week's birdringing session. They are fairly common at Bedgebury. They are very resident and territorial birds with their staccato call and trilling song often being heard. It is also possible to hear them tapping on branches as they hunt for food.
With good views male and female birds can be easily told apart. The males have a lovely rich chestnut colouration on the underside of the their tails and also down the sides of their bodies (flanks). The females are a warm buff in this area. In addition there tends to be a definite demarcation between the buff and the white on the cheeks in a male. In a female the white and buff usually blend into each other.