Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Pearl-bordered Bloody-nosed Muslin Skua

With that title you are probably thinking he has lost the plot.... I lost that AGES ago! But I felt writing "Butterflies, A Beetle, Moths and Birds" was just too boring!!!!

As this is suppose to be a local patch birding blog, that's where I'll start...

I was out early this morning...though not as early as Bun! At high tide, Blackhole, Colyford and Seaton Marshes, the salt marsh on the Estuary and Seaton Beach were all checked....and all had no waders worthy of mention at all! Which was very surprising! As the tide dropped the river offered little better with just eight Whimbrel and a Greenshank.

Whilst walking the beach a flew glances out to sea showed a few birds were on the move, so I tried a sea watch, 07:45 - 08:55.

The highlight was my (and I think the patch's) first Skua of the year, with a dark-phase Arctic close east at 08:22. When I say 'close', I could see the protruding central tail feathers, so that can go down as 'close' for here!!!

The rest of the list from the watch includes: 2 Common Scoter (on sea), 29 Manxies, 3 Whimbrel, 22 Black-headed Gull, 3 Kittiwake and 10 Sandwich Tern. Although not fantastic by any means, it was much more than I expected from a flat calm sea!

One of the Whimbrel briefly landed on the beach

Still on patch, before I talk about Moths I should mention the Otter I watched for five minutes on the river from the farm gate. It looked really big, but considering the distance I was watching it from I wouldn't put money on it being any bigger than the usual two.

Moth time! So I had both moth traps out last night, did it make any difference...?

I was expecting some cloud cover during the night, but it never seemed to materialise, so numbers wise it was much the same with just 19 moths. There were a few more species though, with 9 including three smart new ones for the garden...

Mullein Moth

Lunar Marbled Brown - my favourite of the catch!

Muslin Moth - a male

The rest of the catch was made up of: 8 Common Quaker, 3 Hebrew Character, 2 Brindled Beauty, 1 Clouded Drab, 1 Powdered Quaker and 1 Purple Thorn. I'm hopeful for tonight, I have both traps out again...

To round of the patch part of this blog, whilst out ringing with Mr T a couple of days ago in Beer, I picked up this beetle and it started bleeding all over my hand....

...that's because it's a Bloody-nosed Beetle! Thanks to Mr T for the photo :-)

So that leaves the 'Pearl-bordered' bit of the title...

Late morning today I headed off to Dartmoor and really enjoyed watching good numbers of Pearl-bordered Fritillaries. I spent an hour going up and down the hillside, and every single PB Frit was acting like it had been taking speed! They just wouldn't stop flying around like they had a rocket up their arse! The best photo I got was this...

This one only paused briefly because it had a bit of its left wing missing!

So after an hour of chasing PB Frits around like a mad man, I returned to my car. And guess what was feeding on a dandelion virtually right besides the road where my car was parked...

Check out its funky eye!!!

Also saw a Green Hairstreak and a Tree Pipit.

Off to bed now, am hoping to have a large catch of moths to sort through in the morning....

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