Sunday, 22 August 2010

Back in Norfok

Its good to be back here in Norfolk, as much as I liked Kent, its so nice to get away from an overcrowded place where the main thing you hear is road noise. I am currently sitting in my lounge looking over Buckenham Marshes listening to swallows chattering on the gate posts...nice.

First full day in the Strumpshaw area today and spent the majority of the day at the reserve. Highlights included the regular reedbed birds, Bittern flyby, bearded tits, marsh harriers, kingfishers as well as other nice, but expected birds.
I had 1 main target today though, knowing that there was a sighting of Willow Emerald Damselfly on the reserve last year I thought I would spend a bit of time checking the willows overhanging the still ditches. After about an hour of searching what seemed to be prime habitat my bins locked onto 4 pale pterastigmas and the unmistakable features of a Willow Emerald Damselfly, a further 2 were seen mating as well as another individual. So as far as I know its the only Norfolk location of this spreading species and my sighting is the first of multiple individuals, a good first day back! Also it means that I have managed to see all four Emerald damselflies of the UK, even better I have self found all 4 this year without having to twitch anyone elses, great stuff!....back to birds soon I promise.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Moving house

Lack of recent updates is due to the fact that I'm in the middle of moving up to Norfolk.

I put the moth trap on last night in the garden for the first time in a little while due to a run of rubbish weather. Not a bad haul, 43 species in total, 3 year ticks including Vines Rustic, Cabbage and best of all, a real surprise...A Dotted Footman! According to Waring & Townsend this moth is nearly confined to Norfolk Broads but was found at Ham Fen in the late 19th and early 20th century, looks like its back/still there!!
I also had a pug and a micro which are both new, to be id'd at a later date.
Also recently had an Old Lady in the toilet block (not as dodgy as it first sounds!) as well as a red underwing and an Orange swift, also the attractive bug Corizus hyoscyami was found pretty much in my garden which was a nice find.

I'll be offline for a few days but will re-emerge as yet another Norfolk Blog in the not too distant future.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Few bits

Still busy with work at the moment but the moth trap has been on a fair bit recently, a few additions to the year list...not sure what its up to now, need to update the excel spreadsheets.
At Pegwell lately I have had a juv Black Tern, Little Stint and a cracking pale phase Arctic Skua. Numbers of waders and terns are still rising, should be getting good as I go. Unfortunately I missed my bogey bird the Icterine Warbler at Sandwich Obs today, I have been so close to seeing this species too many times, maybe I should 'go for one' at some point, East coast of Norfolk may be a good bet this autumn.
A few pics of recent sightings below

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Kinky Southerner

The past few days I have mostly been locked in my office writing up reports, 3 reserves breeding birds surveys and generally doing things I tend to save for a rainy day. Due to my leaving Kent these things have to be completed asap before I can go up Norf.
I did manage to get out for a few hours to a private site to check up on some of the rarer Odes. Of which I was pleased to find 3 male Southern Emeralds, one of which was almost certainly the original male seen 2 weeks ago with another two new males one of which was strangely misshapen, I could not find the female but hopefully one of the males did ;)

On another brief outing (I need my daily fresh air!) to check up on one of the reserves I found a few new species for me including finally getting a good sighting of Restharrow moth and photographing the impressive Wasp Spiders.

The trapping has been a little poor lately, pretty chilly nights, surprisingly so for August, however I did pull out a few firsts garden. These included a Reed Dagger, Sharp Angled Peacock, least yellow underwing and a Small waved umbar. Also a nice freshly emerged Sallow Kitten, the first of the 2nd generation.
Hopefully the moths will pick up by the weekend as I have another moth event to run on Saturday evening. Can anyone comment on the Pug in the picture below? I know its a new one for me as I dont recognise it at all, it was a shiny lead grey colour, Golden Rod Pug has been suggested but I'm still not sure as it would be quite a rarity. click to enlarge. Please leave a comment as its starting to bug me now.

The trap is on again tonight so hopefully the cloud cover will produce a few more moths tonight, watch this space.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

A week in Devon

Last week was spent in the lovely South Devon, returning to some of my university haunts, a really good week with all the family. We spent the week in a thatched cottage in the village of Galmton, just SW of Kingsbridge, a great location for the SW coast path and general peaceful countryside.

Dad had his moth trap with him so we did mange to catch a few new species, maybe not quite as many as hoped for (especially in regard to micros) however there was a fairly good selection.
New for the me were;
Thrift Clearwing
4 Spotted footman
Royal Mantle
Mullein Wave
Crescent Dart
White line Snout
Sharp Angled Peacock
Brussels Lace

and new for the year;
Small Pheonix
There were a few new micros too, however I am awaiting confirmations from dad before posting.

Bird wise I caught up on a few (shameful) year ticks including Kittiwake, Guillimot, Manx Shearwater and Shag. unfortunately the only Cirl Bunting I had was singing briefly but did not show itself, I checked the song to make sure, shame I didn't see one of these cracking birds though.

One new dragonfly for the list in the form of a Beautiful Demoiselle, a sign that I have not been out if East Anglia for a while! Also seen were at least 5 Golden Ringed Dragons which I managed to capture slightly better than in Wales.