Saturday 28 July 2012

More Moths

The higher night time temperature and humidity has increased moth numbers in the garden. Here are a few from the trap over the last couple of days.

Silver Y,  Autographa gamma

Silver Y,  Autographa gamma

Iron Prominent, Notodonta dromedarius

Iron Prominent, Notodonta dromedarius

Elder Pearl,  Phlyctaenia coronata

Marbled Green, Cryphia muralis

Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing

Barred Red, Hylaea fasciaria

Common Emerald, Hemithea aestivaria??

Common Footman,  Eilema lurideola

Grey Birch, Aethalura punctulata

Sand Dart, Agrostis ripae

Sand Dart, Agrostis ripae

The Campion, Hadena rivularis

The Campion, Hadena rivularis

White Spotted Pug, Eupithecia tripunctaria

The Swallowtail Moth, Ourapteryx sambucaria

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Buff x3

If you are a birder expecting bird photos then press return as fast as you can, if you like moths then welcome.

I could have entitled this post as "three in the buff" and generated a few more disappointed blog readers. However, this a is about Buff Tips, Buff Ermine and Buff Arches.

Last night being the second  warm night on the trot the lepidoptera of the night came out to play. My suburban garden isn't really an ideal habitat for moths and very little of exotic nature turns up, but at least it is great fun to run a trap overnight and examine the contents in the morning.

I owe my interest in moths to Dr. Richard Osmond, who organised a moth evening for our village Natural History Society back in the late seventies,  from that I day I was hooked. Most dry nights there is a blue glow in my back garden from a 20 watt actinic light illuminating my whitewashed garage wall. Thanks Richard - if you ever get to read this.

Buff Arches,  Habrosyne pyritoides

Buff Arches,  Habrosyne pyritoides

Buff Ermine, Spilosoma luteum

Buff Ermine, Spilosoma luteum

Buff Ermine, Spilosoma luteum

Buff Tip, Phalera bucephala

Buff Tip, Phalera bucephala

Buff Tip, Phalera bucephala

A full supporting cast included the following, the others flew away.

Brown Tail,  Euproctis chrysorrhoea

Brown Tail,  Euproctis chrysorrhoea

Scalloped Oak,  Crocallis elinguaria

Cabbage Moth, Mamestra brassicae
Bright-line Brown-eye, Lacanobia oleracea

Bright-line Brown-eye, Lacanobia oleracea
Large Yellow Underwing,  Noctua pronuba

Large Yellow Underwing,  Noctua pronuba 

Tuesday 24 July 2012

Grasshopper Warbler

Thanks to Richard and Trevor I managed to see a bird that I haven't seen for some time. The Grasshopper Warbler behind the stable at the north wall of Pagham harbour was an easy spot. I arrived at 0600 and because of Trevor's description of the location heard it straight away, patience was required before it came within range to provide an adequate record shot. Unusually it reeled almost constantly for an hour.

 All in all a satisfactory outcome - thanks for the spot.  Returned home before the heat really got going - not a cloud in the sky!!!

For the record the rest of the harbour looked very quiet indeed - more fish to be seen on Breech Pool than birds.

Monday 23 July 2012

Damsel emergence

Having arrived home from a The Burgh I was enjoying a cup of tea by the garden pond when I noticed that a Damsel Fly larva had emerged on one of the reed stems that I had carefully positioned for the Dragonflies. A dash for the camera and by the time I had got back emergence had started, the whole sequence took 82 minutes to first flight. I hope that I have captured the essence of it in the following nine frames.

Best guess  - Common Bluetail (Ischnura elegans)

Emergence  at 1242  - E

E + 4

E + 5

E + 9
E + 10

E + 11

E + 16

E + 25

E + 82 and first flight

A job half done

I realised that the record of the tagged Red Kite was incomplete in that I had only captured the right wing tag which was blue. So in almost perfect weather I went up on The Burgh to see if I could achieve a complete record. Sure enough there it was, sat only yards from the spot that I had first located it. I duly recorded and logged the event and then I continued along the path up to the wood and on to the "Dew Pond".   Unfortunately the spot where I wanted to set up was next to a field containing combined harvesters.  The rape seed harvest is well under-way and knowing the racket these machines make I moved over to Canada Barn. Very little activity and I only noted three Red Kites, three Buzzards and the ubiquitous Kestrel.

Left tag  - Yellow 3, Right tag - Blue 3

The warmer sunshine has brought out the butterflies and I noted, among others, Commas on the Hemp agrimony that is just coming into flower. Perhaps a return with a macro is called for.

Comma on Hemp Agrimony

On the way back I met three nice ladies who were in training for the Brighton to Paris cycle ride. A  great idea - think of all the pubs that you have to stop at on the way - it could take months to get there.

Saturday 21 July 2012

Scruffy Raptors

Spent a fine morning at The Burgh, I had only just started along the track past the barn when I spotted a Red Kite perched in a dead tree, a fair distance off but I could plainly see the blue wing tag marked with '3' and a yellow band, I hope some kind soul will tell me from whence it came. It was one of a total of six that I came across during the morning. Along with the Buzzards that I saw they were all distinctly scruffy with feathers in a poor state of repair.

Taunted mercilessly by three Magpies 

Nice to hear more Quail on the downs, two calling from two fields east of the "dew pond", it is amazing how far their calls carry. Another highlight was being overflown by three Ravens, all cronking away.

Back at the sheep paddock by the triangle two Grey Partridges showed well with a family of just two, possibly a consequence of the recent continuous wet conditions.