Thursday, 22 July 2010

What a couple of days!

Tuesday was a good day, while out and about on an area of private land I managed to come across 2, yes 2 Southern Emeralds! A first for me and great to see a male and a female.
As I say it is on private land so please don't get any ideas from this post, if you wish to see SE there are another two at Cliffe which are far more accessible.

Wednesday was a very good day, I managed to get a new Job at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB Reserve in the Norfolk Broads, a place I have stayed at while doing my Bittern Research for the past two summers. Brilliant news and very nice to get back to Norfolk too, cant wait to start!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Tree Lichen Beauty!!

With a slightly cooler evening last night the moth trap held just 70 species, new for the year were;
Plain Pug
Kent Black Arches
20 plumed moth
Tree Lichen Beauty- life tick and a very nice one too!- just 3 records of this species before 1991, apparently they are increasingly being found in the South now though so not quite the mega it once was.

I found my first Migrant Hawker today at the Fen, it posed quite nicely for me as they seem to do so often.

Last Friday my father and I managed to get some six belted clearwings to the API lure, it was hung above some kidney vetch at the hover pad and despite the very gusty strong winds we attracted between 10 and 20 individuals in 2 minutes, if only they were all like that!! Dad also managed to attract a Red Belted Clearwing the same morning.

I also managed to catch up with the Pec Sand on Restharrow scare yesterday, a very nice individual although not as well marked as some I have seen, also on the scrape was a greenshank, med gull and a juv Little ringed plover....still have not yet caught up with the red veined darters there though!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

I couldnt resist it!

Getting up earlyish this morning I decided to head south to Dungeness, for the past week I have been seeing reports of the White Tailed Plover and not being able to go due to work etc. Finally I was on my way, I left in bright sunshine and 5 mins after I got in the car the pager confirmed it was still present...great!
I watched the bird at mid range for about 45 mins with good scope views but light was a bit dodgy at times, thanks to the summer storm clouds viewing was much improved, until the rain distorted the view that is!
I also bumped into Ray Roche and his family, who I know from Norfolk which was good, I followed them to Denge Marsh as I did not know the way, which was very useful. The very second we stopped the cars the Purple Heron got up out of the reedbed and gave a fairly good but short flight view. Easily enough to confirm id even if the bins were steamed up and viewed through the car window, they are so different to Grey Herons in flight with there snake like neck, it makes me wonder why I check all the greys! After getting out of the car and setting up the scope the Great White Egret decided to put on a brief show with 3 short sightings just to finish my visit nicely.

So not a bad mornings birding at all, its not every day you get White Tailed Plover followed by Purple Heron and Great White Egret, with side orders of Gargany!
My first UK bird tick this year which takes me up to 398 species now, can I make the 400 by the end of the year?!

Very poor shots of the plover and egret below, not really worth the megabites they take up.

Friday, 16 July 2010

I have added far to many moth species since my update to name them all so will pick out the highlights and add a few photos to go along with them. As soon as a backlog forms its very difficult to update with any regularity.

So my moth list for 2010 stands at Exactly 300 (as of yesterday)
In Wales I added a few to my UK list, it would have been a lot more had the weather allowed me to put the trap on more than twice.
UK ticks included;
Beautiful Snout
Bordered White
Marbled White Spot
Foxglove pug
Barred Red
Ashworths Rustic
Chimney Sweeper
Grey Arches
Beautiful Golden Y

General mothing in the garden recently has turned up a few nice species including;
Small mottled willow
Scarlet Tiger
Lunar Spotted Pinion
Poplar Kitten
Lilac Beauty
Leopard Moth
Ruddy Carpet
Stathmopoda pedella

It seems like there are many more I could add but this gives a general idea, I have barely mentioned a micro, there have been quite a lot and as this is my first year of 'doing' micros most are new, some are time consuming!
Click on the photos to enlarge and the name should be in the top bar

Monday, 12 July 2010

3 new dragons for me

Our cottage was on the left bank just out of sight

I managed to get three new species of dragonfly while in Wales and Norfolk. Not bad considering the weather was pretty rough, 2 days of constant rain and the others being sunny but windy I was pleased with what I got.
The first new for me was the near mythical Common Hawker, I say this because I have been looking for this species for the past 3 years (obviously in the wrong places!). While walking up Snowdon I went through a small pine wood and found this beauty patrolling, trying to get my bins to follow the movement was pretty difficult but I had my suspicions it was a common (or uncommon as it may be) finally it settled on a rock for me to observe and photograph...great stuff, I'll probably see loads in Devon later in the month, still good to get one now!

The second new species for me was a Golden Ringed Dragonfly, the daddy of all species in this country surely (well, the UK). This specimen was flying around a disused coal barn high on the moors quite far from water, luckily this species was 'on the list' before I even focussed on it, no doubting the ID of this one!

The final new species was slightly more dainty than the 2 above and came from a brief visit to a well known and quite interesting Norfolk location. The Small Red Damselfly, I managed to see about 10 of these tiny damsels in about an hours visit. I have tried before at this location and failed so was very happy to get this in my viewfinder.

Other dragonflies seen in Wales included Keeled Skimmer, Blue tailed Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Broad bodied chaser and black tailed skimmer, not great but the weather was partially against me and I didn't know the best sites in the area.

Norfolk yielded Scarce and Common Emerald next to each other which was quite a nice comparison and always a bit of a photo stop.

Saturday, 10 July 2010


Needless to say a lot has happened since my last update. Work is very busy at the moment and I have just had a week in Snowdonia. Currently sorting through photos and updating my moth records. A proper update will follow shortly.