Friday, 12 July 2013

An Exciting Morning

Had a really enjoyable morning, thanks to my varied interests in the natural world. I do like July, always have, autumn migration begins in the bird world, there's young birds all over the place (or should be - there wasn't last year!), and insects are out in force.

As this is a 'birding blog', I'll start with birds, and my second patch year tick of the month. Species number 178 to be precise - just 22 to go!

Whilst checking the contents of my moth trap this morning at Mum and Dad's (more on that later), a Crossbill flew west over chipping away. Last winter there were simply no Crossbills anywhere - so I was worried about getting this species on to my patch year list, thankfully though something of a mini-influx has taken place in the UK within the past few weeks. Interestingly, roughly half of my non-Morganhayes Woods patch Crossbills (i.e. vis mig birds) have been from Mum and Dad's. Couchill Woods is just over the hill, and the height makes it a good spot for vis mig in general. Most of them have been July/August too.   

I went down to Black Hole Marsh afterwards - to coincide with the high tide. Lots of Black-headed Gulls roosting, 380 to be precise(ish!). This included 18 juvs, along with one Med Gull. Sadly no Little or Bonaparte's yet, but I can feel it coming I really can.  Just for Laurie (and anyone else who wants to play) let's have a game of Spot the Med Gull...

There's three juv Black-heads in the photo too

Plenty of other juvenile birds about too, some locally born and others not so. Some of the locally hatched juvs included lots of Shelduck families, with most the ducklings looking like this...



But also a couple of new younger families like this...



The Oystercatcher chicks are no longer chicks. What a success story this is, one young raised in 2011, none in 2012 and THREE this year.  Here's one of the adults watching out so the rest of the family can rest...



Two juvenile Redshank (with ten adults) may have been locally grown, but the juv Little Ringed Plover certainly wasn't - my first of the autumn. Other waders here included three Dunlin (also my first of the autumn, all in smart summer plumage), three Lapwing, two Blackwits and at least six Common Sands.

Random I know, but here's a Goldfinch photo. I don't usually post photos of common birds, simly because I never take good pictures of them. With the exception of the grass head in front of its tail, I'm quite happy with this one...

They've got to be one of the flashiest of the resident common birds in the UK

Right, it's moth time now.

It was much cooler last night, with a bit of breeze at times too, so I wasn't surprised to have just 96 moths of 24 species in the trap. There were some excellent species amongst them though - some really nice variety.

Best of all was the garden's fifth Hawkmoth of the year, and only my second ever Small Elephant Hawkmoth...

I don't need to tell you which one it is. Clue is in the name :-)

A Dog's Tooth was a bit of a rarity for me to. They are a marshland/estuarine species really, and this is only the third one I've trapped in the garden...

Look at those sharp pointed 'teeth' at the end of the wing

Had another Crescent Dart in the trap too, my third of the year...

All three have been males

 And although not rare, new species for the year included these...

Light Arches (with a Dark Arches for comparison)

A Shark

To finish off the post, I always like to leave moths in a safe place when I've finished with them. But I even found this Buff-tip a mate...

Or so it thinks....

2 comments:

  1. Haha, thanks for the link Steve! Looks like your Med is at the back on the left in front of a juv BHG. By the way, it looks like there's 3 juv BHGs - they are nicely camouflaged! Does this one have a prize?

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  2. Laurie you have exceeded yourself!!! That is the Med, in front of the juv BHG I hadn't noticed! Checked the flock today and no Meds, so no game today I'm afraid.

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