Monday, 28 July 2014

Beer Head Is Calling...

....and loudly!

Many of the usual migration hot spots have already had some decent passage this 'autumn', so this morning I nipped up Beer Head with some tools to make sure the net rides were cleared and ready for some autumn ringing.  I should have done that last week though and taken my nets up this morning, as flitting around my net rides were half-a-dozen Willow Warblers and this Redstart...

Hopefully it'll hang around for a few days...

I've forgotten how good Beer Head is for butterflies, lots of lovely long grass about to attract them.  Saw my first Clouded Yellow of the year (a nice male) and several Marbled Whites in this short visit...


Friday, 25 July 2014

Great White Garden Tick

Have actually got some bird news to blog about! And I'll start with this morning, I was down Black Hole Marsh early doors for a pre-breakfast bird binge...

A lovely Wood Sandpiper was without doubt the highlight, showing well in front of the platform at the far end.  There were plenty of others waders around too with the water levels looking perfect to draw in a good rare - hope it does too as it's about time I found something half decent!  



Also present 05:45-06:45 were; 8 Teal, 400+ Black-headed Gull, 2 Med Gull (ad and juv), 1 Common Gull, 8 Lapwing, 10 Dunlin, 15 Blackwits, 1 Greenshank, 3 Green Sands and 15 Common Sands.    

As expected for late July, I've seen a fair few Med Gulls, including an impressive nine on the Estuary late morning today (eight juvs and an adult). I also had four (an adult and three juvs) on the Estuary on Wednesday, and on Tuesday morning during a sea watch four more (two ads and two juvs) flew past west. With the ever increasing numbers I wonder how many others fly past the beach when no ones looking...

As well as the Meds, the Tuesday morning sea watch from Spot On (05:45-06:45) showed; 5 Mute Swan (out then east), 31 Canada Goose (all in from east, some flew in off and others continued west), 16 Common Scoter, 110 Manx Shearwaters (all blogging about feeding), 1 Redshank (out then west) and 1 Common Sandpiper. Sadly no big white birds....

Early on Thursday morning whilst Ian M was sea watching he had a Great White Egret fly in off just after 6am, which then lingered in the river valley.  My alarm was set for 06:50, and on seeing the texts jumped up and watched the valley from the house.  About 15 minutes later there it was, flying down river past the Black Hole Marsh area, it seemed to continue flying south too. My third Egret sp. on the house list!  About an hour and a bit later it was in west Dorset at West Bexington and then Abbotsbury - so as usual our little valley proves not big or attractive enough to hold a Great White for long.

I will keep this an insect-free post, but to pre-warn you, Wednesday night was an absolute mega moth night with 406 moths of 68 species in one trap at Mum and Dad's!  So more moth photos coming soon...

Monday, 21 July 2014

Missing Moth Migration

I really need to sort out a way that I can moth trap in rain, as over the weekend I missed some really good moth immigration (take a look at the Portland Bird Obs website).

With last night being the first forecasted dry night, I trapped at Mum and Dads. Despite the lack of anything exceptional, it was nice to see some of the mid summer species as I've not done any mothing for over a month!

Out of the 151 moths of 45 species, this Herald took some beating...

Herald

Although for the 'wow factor', Black Arches aren't too shabby...

Male Black Arches

And how about this Scorched Carpet...

Scorched Carpet

Although annual here, Crescent Dart is quite a localised species, so I always like seeing them...

A worn male Crescent Dart

This is small and not that spectacular, but it was nice to trap as I've only caught one before...

Least Carpet

Look out a Shark...

A Shark

And it wasn't quite a blank catch for migrants, thanks to one of these...

Silver Y

I have to say, Honey was a very good and patient girl whilst I was emptying the trap. Although I suspect she would have loved to have been able to chase the moths around the garden!



I will keep this post insect related and mention the wander around Lower Bruckland Ponds with Jess the other day.  It was nice to see Small Red-eyed Damselflies again, with most on the top pond. Lots of males were visible along with a couple of ovipositing pairs.

Male Small Red-eyed Damselfly

And I just had to take a pic of this Common Blue Damselfly munching on its dinner...

Common Blue Damselfly

I don't have any earth shattering bird news, so the few bits of slight interest can wait to the next post.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Saturday 12th July 2014

Thank you to everyone who helped make this special day the incredible day that it was. Unforgettable...