Hainault Forest Website

Written and Designed by © Brian Ecott


For even more content visit Raymond Small's website at hainaultforest.net

MAY 2018

New Bug

Red and Black bug Corizus hyoscyami. Only 23 records since 1990 in Essex. Photo © Michael Rumble 23rd May 2018.

New Tree

Newly found in Hawthorn hedgerow from café, Purging buckthorn Rhamnus cathartica small tree flowering, 24th May 2018  Scan © Brian Ecott

Purging buckthorn flowers. Photos © Brian Ecott

Fungal gall on Purging buckthorn Puccinia coronata  27th May 2018

Hainault after dark 
For a Badger video taken at night in the forest  (2 minutes)  click here


Herb Robert Geranium robertianum  27th May 2018  Photo © Brian Ecott

Cut-leaved cranesbill Geranium dissectum 25th May 2018 Photo © Brian Ecott

Common storksbill Erodium cicutarium 25th May 2018  Photo and scan © Brian Ecott

Red headed Cardinal beetle Pyrochroa serraticornis.on nettle Photo © Brian Ecott  18th May 2018 Hoghill path.

Black headed Cardinal beetle Pyrochroa coccinea on nettle 15th May 2018

Photo © Raymond Small. Hoghill path.

Red tipped flower beetle  Malachius bipustulatus on May blossom. Photo © Brian Ecott 22nd May 2018

Lily beetle Lilioceris lilii 6-8 mms. 23rd May 2018 Photos © Raymond Small

14 spot ladybird Propylea 14-punctata. pair On oak leaf. The spots or rectangles often join up to show an anchor. The male on the right clearly shows this.  . Photo © Michael Rumble  4th May 2018

Longhorn beetle Anaglyptus mysticus  23rd May 2018 Photo © Brian Ecott Wasp beetle Clytus arietis  27th May 2018  Photo © Brian Ecott
Nests and nestlings

Robin's nest in Plantation. Robins normally nest low down but here on the ground. Photo © Martin Bell  26th May 2018

Left to right: Male and female Greater Spotted woodpeckers feeding chick at nest hole in standing birch tree, Hoghill. Photos © Michael Trump.. 25th May 2018

Crèche of Canada geese goslings differing ages, being looked after by two aunties by the lakeside. Photo © Brian Ecott 28th May 2018..


Nail galls > 8mm on lime leaf  Eriophyes tiliae -  a mite 23rd May 2018              Photo © Brian Ecott

 Pock galls on Hawthorn leaf Eriophyes crataegi - a mite 8th May 2018      Photo © Raymond Small.

Sawfly larvae

Common sawfly larva on oak leaf  Apethymus filiformis 17 May 2018.

Photo © Brian Ecott.

Oak Sawfly larva Periclista lineolata said to be a pest of oak trees..

 Photo © Michael Rumble. 17th May 2018.

More Minibeasts

The Maiden's blush moth Cyclophora punctaria  Forewing 14mm 20th May 2018 on nettles Photo © Brian Ecott

Footballer hoverfly Helophilus pendulus 23rd May 2018 Photo © Brian Ecott

White death spider Misumena vatia Female. has caught a footballer hoverfly.  The head of the White death spiders above right has 8 eyes including two on top of the head. 18th May 2018  Photos © Michael Rumble.

Cucumber spider  Araniella cucurbitina gathering up unsuspecting flies on May blossom. 23rd May 2018 Photo © Brian Ecott


Scorpion fly Panorpa sp. male. The male's tail is turned up like a scorpions. On nettle, harmless  

CAPSID BUG Striped oak bug Calocorus quadripunctatus on oak leaves, 13th May 2018 Photo © Brian Ecott

CAPSID BUG Dryophilocoris flavoquadrimaculatus   13th May 2018

Photo © Brian Ecott


 Squash bug Coreus marginatus on Dock leaf 9th May 2018 Photo © Michael Rumble

Caterpillar of the Lackey moth Malacosoma neustria  Photo © Michael Rumble   Photo © Michael Rumble

Mottled umber moth caterpillar Erannis defoliaria  on hawthorn

13th May 2018  Photo © Brian Ecott


 Holly blue butterfly Celastrina argiolus. There are two generations a year. This is the spring generation and the open wing shows it to be a female.

17th May 2018 Photos © Colin Carron

Orange tip  Anthocharis cardamines Male on Lady's smock flower - one of the food plants 2nd May 2018  Photos © Raymond Small.

Speckled wood on bramble  Parage aegeria Photo Colin Carron  17th May 2018

Longhorn moth  Nemophora degéerella. Males swarm on still days around shrubs. Photo © Brian Ecott 23rd May 2018

Speckled Bush-cricket (nymph)  Leptophyes punctatissima on nettle leaf  Photo © Brian Ecott 23rd May 2018


Choke or Epichloë typhina  a fungus of short grass stems on Hoghill  26th May 2018  Photo © Brian Ecott.

Caca de luna (Moon's Poo)

This was found on the woodchip piles by the Headland Path. The conservation team has arranged for some of the indigenous trees to be thinned out and chipped for future use. Raymond Small's sister Elaine Wiltshire spotted a strange sight on a woodpile which lead to an extensive Slime mould being discovered covering many of the wood piles Slimy plasmodium of Fuligo septica the colour of peanut butter pictured here. This creeping slime mould which can appear worldwide was named Caca de Luna or Moon's Poo by the South Americans as it suddenly appears overnight and creeps very slowly in amoeboid fashion and changing its form over a few days. Pictures © Brian Ecott 18th May 2018

 View of the aethalium of Fuligo septica. Note the porous, "bread-like" texture and the deep red liquefied areas

Close-up view of the aethalium of Fuligo septica above. Note the porous, "bread-like" texture and the deep red liquefied areas Mature aethalium of Fuligo septica with crusty, powdery surface resembling cement. Just below the surface are masses of spores resembling fine brown dust.

The crusty, powdery surface of this aethalium has been gently scraped away to reveal a spore mass resembling fine brown dust Slime mould are not plants, animals or fungi and have their own Kingdom Myxomycetes.

Seasonal flowers

Bee orchid Ophrys apifera 29th May 2018 Photo © Brian Ecott

Common spotted orchid Dactylorhiza fuchsii  Lost for several years as a tree fell on it. 29th May 2018 Photo © Brian Ecott

Ragged Robin Lychnis flos-cuculi 29th May 2018 Photo © Brian Ecott

White deadnettle  Lamium album 29th May 2018 Photo © Brian Ecott

Red campion Silene dioica 29th May 2018 Photo © Brian Ecott

Yellow rattle Rhinanthus minor  29th May 2018 Photo © Brian Ecott


Dogwood flowers Cornus sanguinea 29th May 2018 Photo © Brian Ecott

Guelder rose Viburnum opulus 22nd May 2018 Photo © Brian Ecott

Field madder Sherardia arvensis grassland near kerb edges. 28th May 2018

 Photo © Brian Ecott

and finally - The Pure Gatherers

Ilford North Scout group  now in their 70 year.

Their badge above shows shows the monogram of a letter K with a crown which represents Barking North in which Barkingside once stood in the medieval Hainault Forest.

Behind the monogram shows a representation of a cattle skin which were sent to Barkingside to the Tannery which prepared the leather. Tanners Lane stands near the site today.



Part of the preparation of the leather process was tannin which was obtained from oak bark and we know that in 1851 many oaks.  were cut down and their bark removed. Another process used in the curing of leather was the use of Dog Poo or PURE. This littered the pavements and roads in the 1830's to 1930's and people earned money by gathering it in bucket loads and selling it to tanneries. Top prices were paid for white dog poo which was drier  and contained bone which were eaten by dogs even within my memory. As urine was also used in the industry piss pots were placed on street corners as collection points.

 Photo © Brian Ecott 13th May 2018


APRIL 2018

Red Kite - first picture over Hainault

The first Red Kite seen over the forest and silhouetted against a grey sky on the 15th April 2018. Red Kites have recently been seen in Lambourne End and Chigwell Row. Photo © Raymond Small.

A Story of European Gorse  

I wanted to photograph the  beauty of the European gorse Ulex europaeus  in Hainault Forest. It flowers during the winter months. A large patch is in the Horse pasture. After taking a suitable picture Raymond Small pointed out that I had a Muntjac deer standing  in the background. Photo © Brian Ecott.  6th April 2018.

Muntjac deer originate from South East Asia but some escaped from Woburn, Bedfordshire in 1900 and since the 1950's they have spread over most of the south-east of England. Photo © Brian Ecott.  6th April 2018

The buck (left) is stockier than the doe (right) and has two backward pointing anlers. The neck is thicker and there is yellow on the forehead. Muntjac stand at 48cms with does slightly smaller. They are active day and night.  Photos © Brian Ecott.  6th April 2018.

Muntjac are also known as Barking deer as the doe may bark every 5 seconds for a long period especially after giving birth and ready to mate again.. Raymond Small tracked down a continual barking sound in Hainault Lodge Local Nature Reserve last year on 5th May  which turned out to be a Muntjac . He found it hiding in a holly bush. Photo © Raymond Small.

Raymond Small found this bug on gorse and sent its photo to Dr Tristan Bantock of britishbugs.org.uk. who identified it as

Lygus pratensis. Raymond forwarded the picture to the Essex Field Club website who were asking for a picture of this species.

Photo © Raymond Small. 13th April 2018

Gorse seed weevil Exapion ulicis a tiny weevil  on gorse flowers 2-3mm  feeds on developing seeds. It bores through the flower leaving a tiny hole. (above centre) Photos © Brian Ecott.  except above right © Raymond Small 6th April 2018.

Gorse shield bug 10-13mm. They emerge from hibernation in spring and are yellow green colour with blue edges. They are the only shieldbugs to have pink antennae.  Photo © Brian Ecott.  6th April 2018.

Pine ladybird (above) and Seven spot ladybird Photos © Brian Ecott.  13th April 2018

 A Crab spider hiding in the flowers and right a Robber fly. Photos © Brian Ecott.  14th April 2018

Back again

The Grey wagtail is back nesting in the Lake outfall. In the shallow waters of the waterfall it searches for insects. Photo © Michael Trump 17th April 2018

Greylag family of ten

Family of  Greylags 25th April 2018 Photo © Martin Bell.

Primitive life




Nostoc commune is a very early form of life on earth. It is present on hoggin paths and bare earth and very common this year.

It is a communal blue-green alga also known as a prokaryote or cyanobacterium. The cells do not contain a nucleus, but all the genetic material was found throughout the cell.

From fossil evidence they were present on earth before oxygen had  evolved, and were able to fix nitrogen. They are thought to date from 3.5 million years ago

Photos © Brian Ecott 1st April 2018 (Not a joke!)


Lichen Physcia tenella on wooden gate by Horse pasture Infrequent in the forest. 10th April 2018 Photo © Brian Ecott

Microscopic lichen Candelariella aurella on gate (above) and Fruiticose lichen Ramalina fastigiata on Hawthorn (above right)

 13th April 2018 Photos © Brian Ecott




Dog Lichen Peltigera sp. found amongst grasses and mosses on Hoghill and sent to John Skinner, Lichenologist at Essex Field Club for identification.


John reports " Peltigeras recorded in Essex are Peltigera hymenina, rufescens, neckeri, didactyla and a single record of membranacea. Despite their size they can be difficult.


I am sure it is Peltigera hymenina, both upper surface and lower surface look right. It is also the commonest Peltigera in Essex.  I would like to come over and see and photograph the site and carefully search for other species, particularly Cladonias. It must be after rain as Peltigera will almost disappear in dry weather."


22nd April 2018

Photo © Brian Ecott

Frog spawn

Twenty or more batches of Frogspawn were found amongst the Yellow Iris lake edge on the 1st April 2018. About a week earlier a similar amount was found at Roe's well. Photo © Brian Ecott.

Developing tadpoles spotted in the lake. Photos © Martin Bell  25th April 2018

 Pair of Common toads in the lake. 7th April 2018  Photo ©  Michael Trump


Hornbeam catkins on the 13th April 2018   Hornbeam is wind pollinated. Tree pollen causes allergies in some people at this time of year.

Photo © Brian Ecott

This Horse chestnut's sticky buds  have opened and the leaves are unfurling revealing the flower buds which will stand like candles on the end of branches. 13th April 2018. Photo © Brian Ecott

Butterflies and Moths

A male Brimstone butterfly concealed under a blackberry leaf 7th April 2018 Photo © Raymond Small.

A Plume moth at rest with the wings folded, 17th April 2018.

Photo © Raymond Small. 

Moth Diurnea fagella on bus stop window by entrance. 13th April 2018

Photo © Brian Ecott

Other insects

Alderfly Sialis lutaria on hat rim 20th April 2018 Photo © Raymond Small. 

Nut weevil Curculio nucum 3rd April 2018 Photo © Colin Carron 

Mining bee Adrena sp. 3rd April 2018 Photo © Colin Carron. 

 Bronzed or coppery ground beetle  Agonum sexpunctatum.  12mm. among grass cuttings. 21st April 2018  Photo ©  Brian Ecott 

 Brown lipped snail

 BROWN LIPPED SNAIL  Cepheae nemoralis This species is variable in colour and banding. On bark. 11th April 2018 Photo © Raymond Small

April flowers

Common daisies Bellis perennis in short grassland, 16th April 2018. Photo © Brian Ecott

Cowslips  Primula veris grassland near main gate.  12th April 2018. Photo © Brian Ecott

Wood sorrel Oxalis acetosella Common path and. Early Dog violet Viola reichenbachiana 15th April 2018. Photos © Brian Ecott

 Field woodrush Luzula campestris, Roe's well 15th April 2018. and  Wood anemone Anemone nemorosa 16th April 2018. Photos © Brian Ecott

Two important Spring plants. Left: Jack-by-the-Hedge aka Garlic mustard  Alliaria petiolata and Lady's smock aka Cuckoo flower Cardamine pratensis   24th April 2018.Photos © Brian Ecott

Below left: A Green veined white butterfly can be found egg laying on Garlic mustard and below is a male Orange tip. The female will lay eggs on both these plants.  Photos © Brian Ecott and Michael Rumble


Insects on Garlic mustard   23-24 April.  © Brian Ecott

Hoverfly Syrphus vitripennis male. <10mm

Hoverfly Volucella sp. male

Hoverfly female possibly Melanostoma scalare a widespread species <8mm

Scorpion fly Panorpa sp. Male 15mm.
Nomad bee Nomada sp..<10mm.

Longhorn moth  Adela reaumurella female <10mm

Brassica bug Eurydema oleracea (White form). They can have red, white or yellow dots and markings. 7mm.

Hoverfly Baccha elongata male <8mm. Widespread low in vegetation but rarely seen. Photo © Raymond Small

Lost and found again





Last recorded on Hoghill on the 6th May 2006 by Brian Wurzell during a meeting of the British Plant Gall Society.

Blinks Montia fontana (above and left) has evaded being found since.

This year it is growing in profusion on Hoghill amongst the moss Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus. It is a very tiny plant and is seen here with plenty of flowers.

Photo © Brian Ecott  20th April 2018


Fallow deer slots

 Fallow deer slots along Common path, Each approx 5.5cms. Almost twice the size of Muntjac slots.16th April 2018. Photo © Brian Ecott

......and finally -  A Hainault Forest Golf Club Pewter Mug 1938

Inscription : E,.E. Gunary 1938 


The January - March diary pages are not available at present.