Friday 16 October 2009

And Today's Year Tick Was...

Beer Head this morning was rather exciting... In the drizzling rain thrushes were packed into every bush, groups of Meadow Pipits filtered their way along the fence lines, Long-tailed Tit flocks were grilled, and my year tick EIDER!

I'll come back to this later, and keep reading for today's moth news too.

I started today at Axe Cliff, it was rather unpleasant here in the cold and rather strong northerly wind. There wasn't much at all on the move over head, the best being my first Golden Plover of the autumn, eight Swallows and a couple of Siskins. On the ground three Wheatears and a couple of Chiffs were the only migrants.

As I was leaving here, Ian M informed me of a
Ring Ouzel on Beer Head - this text decided my next destination!

I spent over an hour looking down into the Under Hooken where Ian had briefly seen the Ouzel, but no luck. There was plenty of birds here though, loads of Blackbirds and Song Thrushes, a couple of Redwings and my first Fieldfare of the autumn...

Distant and looking the wrong way!

Again, thanks to Ian, I made a sudden retreat from my watch point above the Under Hooken and headed for the Hollow. Ian had got an Eider sat on the sea! By the time I got there it had drifted towards the Head, and was in amongst a group of Shags. A welcome addition to my year list, looked to be a juv male. Also 26 Common Scoter on the sea, with two more and a Teal west.

A little later, a sweep of the estuary showed the two Barwits, two Dunlin, a first-winter Med Gull, two Shoveler and a surprise female Pintail...

Great ducks are Pintail - even the cute females!

The Tufted Duck is still at Lower Bruckland Ponds, and despite grilling all the Chiffchaffs and Long-tailed Tits here, all I saw were Chiffchaffs and Long-tailed Tits...

Now it's time for Moths, and what a brilliant catch I had to sort through this morning! Had two new species for the garden, how's this for beauty....

Merveille du jour...times two!

Here's one up close

And here's the other up close!

And the other first was this...

Yellow-line Quaker

And the second Yellow-line Quaker, had two of these too!

I caught an impressive (for October anyway!) 126 moths of 24 species. Along with the four already mentioned, this included: 50 Setaceous Hebrew Character, 12 Large Yellow Underwing, 11 Common Marbled Carpet, 9 Blair's Shoulder Knot, 6 Barred Sallow, 6 Black Rustic, 5 Feathered Ranunculus, 5 Beaded Chestnut, 4 Angle Shades, 3 Silver Y, 2 Double-striped Pug, 2 Lunar Underwing, 2 Spruce Carpet, 2 Garden Carpet, and singles of: Willow Beauty, Pine Carpet, Snout, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Pearly Underwing, Clancy's Rustic, L-album Wainscot and Straw Dot.

Lastly some updates to yesterday's moth list....

I posted a photo of my first Pale Mottled Willow for the garden. Turns out it wasn't a Pale Mottled Willow, but the much rarer Clancy's Rustic! I re-captured the same moth last night. This species was recorded for the first time in the UK in October 2002....and there was one in my back garden last night!!

Also, I mentioned how I thought one of my two Spruce Carpets may have been a Grey Pine Carpet. It looks like it was indeed a Grey Pine Carpet, another new for the garden....

But what do you think it is? All comments welcome!

Am going to try again for Ring Ouzel in the morning, haven't seen one on patch for too long!


  1. Looks like a Spruce to me.
    Keith, VC55

  2. Thanks Keith,

    I've since caught a 'real' Grey Pine Carpet.