Monday, 28 July 2014

Moths at Snetts and Strumpy

A great couple of nights mothing with dad at the weekend resulted with quite a few additions to my list, many of which are micros and in wait of being identified by a chop from dad. There were some macros to see but not that many of which were new.
A list will be passed on to the relevant authorities when all identified, but as always was pleasant, if a little shattering with several very early starts.
The extra bonus was that mum and dad helped out with some gardening and now its looking great- thanks guys!!

Here are just a few of the pics from weekend for all to ponder/enjoy

Sand/coast dart or something else??

Double Kidney- a Yare valley speciality

Marbled Clover- a new macro for me from Snettisham

This wee beasty was in the moth trap, I am not sure what it is called but it is a louse like insect that had some of its previous meals carried on its back. Any ideas on  an ID?

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Buckenham, strumpshaw and water levels

Buckenham continues it's good run of waders, this time with a fine summer plumaged knot, yet another patch year tick.
In the past two weeks Buckenham has given up greenshank, spotted redshank,  knot, black tern and little ringed plover- all great inland species.
I have cut a lot of the docks in front of the hide pool to allow a better view in, just in case anything good does turn up! Unfortunately it appears as though the water n the hide pool will not last much longer than the end of this week unless it rains a lot! The positive news However appears to be that the mill pool is still pretty full so will allow views of waders for the majority of august, extending the wader season a little. Strumpshaw fen water levels are now on the decrease too so there should be plenty of mud to look at from tower hide soon.

On a different note there are 5 swallowtail caterpillars feeding on fennel at strumpshaw near the visitor centre. They are fast becoming the most photographed caterpillars in the world I should think! It is quite odd that they are surviving so well on fennel, but it have little reason to believe that they are from continental origin. My thoughts are that a female swallowtail was nectaring in the garden as they do so frequently and got caught short without a milk parsley plant nearby, I have since been told that the caterpillars seem to survive on a few plants other than milk parsley, however it is the female swallowtails that show a very strong attraction to milk parsley as somewhere to lay their eggs, an evolutionary process which has kept them in the broads!
Here is one on its more traditional Milk Parsley food plant

Monday, 21 July 2014

Buckenham Black tern + waders

Buckenham is looking pretty good at the moment so I've been visiting the past couple of evenings.
On Saturday eve I had;
4 wood sand
12 green sand
3 Little ringed plover
4 greenshank
4 blackwits
18 Little egrets

Not a bad haul at all so I retuned on sunday evening. There was far less about but still managed;
2 wood,
3 green sands,
38 ruff- a fairly decent number, they are in all different shapes, sizes and colours as always trying their best to look like something more interesting!
at least 1 lrp
...and on the way back I had a patch year tick Black Tern briefly.

I think I'll try again a few nights this week, while the water in the pools is still there. No doubt evaporation will play its part and the pools will be dry very soon :(

The Tern turned up as the light was fading so picks were suitably always!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Yellow Legged/Scarce tortoiseshell!!!

Today, I had a day off and given the forecast I thought it'd be a good day for hoverflies...(and butterflies)
With news of the yellow legged/scarce tortoiseshell access having been arranged in Norwich this morning, I thought that would be a good place to start!

I arrived in warm but cloudy weather at the 'car park'. After an hour and a half a call for purple hairstreak went from one person to the rest of his group, having seen one before a little while previous to the call, I didn't bother going over. A few minutes later the YL tortoiseshell was found basking on the same oak tree, thank god for the hairstreaks! The butterfly was watched in good light for about half an hour, but it was quite high up in the oak so photos were hard, however binocular and for the sensible ones scope views were excellent (and greatly appreciated, thanks Dick!). Although the photos don't do it justice, the butterfly was clearly larger than its smaller relative and as can be seen the markings differed as they should. The closest black spot was divided in two, the hindwing was orange rather than dark, the underwing was dark with an outer pale panel and the legs were clearly yellow!
After the half hour of watching, it took to flight and disappeared (and still has not returned yet), after being told all the time that it was on the tree that we would all see it really well and very close on the buddlia  in a few mins (by those who manage the site) it was a little disappointing not to have seen it at eye level and close. Still, a second for the UK (at the time it was found) is certainly something id rather see at a bit of distance than not at all!

The first was found in ?1953 in Kent so its been a bit of a wait for the second! To add a little controversy to the record a funeral a couple of miles from the site last wednesday released some butterflies! As far as Ive been told they were Camberwell Beauty's and Plain Tigers, but it would be good to know the full species list just to be on the safe side! The positive news is that they have invaded the near continent in the past week or so, Holland I believe as well as other countries. This coupled with the fact that there was also one at Minsmere, Burgh Castle and a couple of other places on the east coast over the past couple of days certainly adds weight to the fact that this butterfly is not from the funeral release. It did however seem to be in pretty good condition with little wear noticed on the wings, the only wear was on the thorax, which was de-haired in the central region, I suspect closer views may have given away a more warn image possibly.
What a cracker and quite an unexpected twitch! 


Sunday, 13 July 2014


With the breeding season almost over its time to share some stats.
The Fen has now produced two Bittern nests, which is great news, amazingly they are the first nests for three years. one has finished and been successful, the other female can still be seen conducting feeding flights regularly from reception and Fen hides.
The 10 Marsh harrier nests at the fen now have many juveniles emerging from them, they look so clumsy as they try to land on the scrubby trees. They are instantly recognisable by their dark plumage and bright ginger crowns.
The Otters are putting on regular fishing trips to the Reception Hide, which are giving great views on occasion. I think there are two separate females around the fen, one with a single cub and the the with two cubs.
The moth taps have been yielding some interesting records, nothing overly rare but some nice stuff.
Hopefully the next few weeks will give some waders to look at, 2 Whimbrel flew over on Friday and yesterday there seemed to be quite a few Curlew moving and I was in the office all day.

Acrobasis advenella

Dark Umbar

Leopard moth
Fly sp, looks like a bit of a bad boy, species anyone??

White Admiral- these have had a great year at Strumpshaw