Bugs and Beetles


Yellow and black long horn beetles Rutpela maculata are prominent in the meadows, cruising like small bombers between hogweed flowers.


Corizus hyoscyami, a handsome bug basking on the meadowgate.

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Butterfly survey July 2016

At last temperatures are up to butterfly standards. The grassland species meadow brown and gatekerper are plentiful in the meadows. The nettle feeder peacocks glow in their freshly emerged colours.

Peacock in the sink garden by C.Williamson

Peacock in the sink garden by C.Williamson



The meadow browns gradually shread their wings as they flit through the grass egg laying.

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Entomologists survey 7th June


Tony Russell-Smith, Andy Phillips and Ian Phillips gave their time to set up an invertebrate survey across a variety of habitats on the Dixter Estate to build on the previous data collected to give a really good grounding for the continued management of Great Dixter with biodiversity at the forefront.Eucera longicornis male - Weights Wood

The BAP species of long horn bee Eucera longicornis was spotted by Andy feeding on bush vetch in a woodland glade. And a basking Slow worm..

slow-worm 02

Thanks to Ian Phillips for the above photos.

We look forward to the results of the survey.

Posted by Claire Williamson



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Butterfly survey 7th June 2016


A first for Great Dixter. A tiny Green Hairstreak. This most beautiful iridescent green butterfly prefers dyers greenweed upon which to lay eggs. Both small white in the meadow and speckled wood at Weights wood  were out and about.


A Painted lady had arrived and was feeding in the long border.



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Butterfly Survey 20th May 2016


At last the weather has warmed up enough, a balmy 18 degrees, to allow the orange tips to fly. The male’s vivid with fresh orange wing tips. The females are like weaker, bouncy small whites but with speckled green underwings. They seek cruciferae to lay their eggs upon.

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The first blog of the new season, which has got off to a very chilly windy start. The salix in the cat garden is alive with bees and I spotted a lonely, tatty comma which must have survived the winter and was feasting on nectar.



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Butterflies and Fungi September 25th


The Indian summer has brought out a late flush of Red Admirals and Commas feasting on aster and rotting fruit.


The woods at Dixter abound with fungi so I thought I would try and I.D. some. It’s tricky and I should be grateful for any help as I am a beginner!


Amethyst Deceiver (laccia amethystina), common in shady woods. An eye catching purple and some say edible.


A spectacular bracket fungus, possibly a Lenzites.


I think these little parasols are Mycenia galericulata.



Two types of Russula?, a large very diverse group varying from bright red to yellow. Any help gratefully received.


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