At this time of year we love the enormous variety of visitors who spend a little time with us at the Secret Campsite in sussex
photo Chris Cloake
Some of these visitors are campers looking to escape their busy lives for a few days. But, most of them are locals. For some of these more permanent residents, our little campsite, in sunny sussex, is their entire world.
photo Chris Cloake
Sussex is a great county and we are really lucky to have heaps of woodland not to mention the beautiful channel coastline. We’re often the first piece of land migrating birds encounter as they arrive on our shores for a summer spent feeding and rearing their young.
Woodland surrounding the camping meadow
The beautiful ancient and mixed woodland that surrounds the camping areas is a great neighbour for us. Its a well know fact that the edges of all habitats are where the most exciting things happen. These edge habitats are in a continuous state of flux. This week we have seen some beautiful species in and around the camping areas.
Here are just a few of them
photo Tim Squires
This fledgling Greater Spotted woodpecker was seen at the bird feeder next to ur reception. He, or she has already devoured most of the peanuts we put out for them and most of the sunflower seed had also disappeared, perhaps the squirrel is helping itelf.
The little wren below was seen in the woodland edges by the campsite.
photo Tim Squires
This tiny common lizrd was seen dashing around by the shower block where there are numerous nooks and crannies for it to hide in. They need to hide in order to escape the attentions of the marrauding crows and magpies that would make a snack of them. Eventually, it ended up in the office behind one of the computers. We relocaated it to the stone gabions by the log store where he or she can bask safely in the afternoon sun.
Some of the repiles like this grass snake spotted on the old railway bridge that crosses over into the camping meadow are a bit more daft and very vulnerable to attack from overhead
The end result is this the skeleton of a grass snak that had been killed by something. No idea what it would have been. Perhaps a badger, a fox, a bird of prey or even one of the stoats that i often see darting through the meadow at dawn, before the campsite wakes up.
Butterflies insects and moths
The meadow is alive with the beautiful colours of our flying friends during the day. No Purple Emperors seen this year yet, but we have had a huge array of other butterflies and some amazing moths to, but this mazing Rose chafer beetle is stunning.
White admirals are woodland butterflies and they are often seen on the rides around the edge of the camoing meadow. They are hard to photograph as they dont sit still for very long
White admiral by Max Mudie
We found lots of mothes and butterflies during our wildlife festival at the beginning of the month. A particular favourite is the Polplar Hawk moth and the elephant hawk moth whcih you can see here
In July we get a huge influx of Marbled white butterflies in the camping meadow. They seem to all hatch in a few days and have a really weird way of scatteringtheir eggs over a wide area, presumably to reduce te risk of them being eaten in one go by some voracious predator. You can read much more about them in the attached link
Finally, hows this for an amazing site on a tree? These moths are rarely seen during the day so you need to keep your eyes peeled.
Come on down, there’s lots to discover and let me know if you know what this pastie lookalike, clinging to the tree is.