Monday 13 August 2012

Mostly About Things With Wings

Well what a few days!

I'll start back with last Friday, when I enjoyed showing Vic Tucker, one of the authors of 'Where to Watch Birds in Devon and Cornwall', around the patch.

The main destination was Black Hole Marsh, but apart from 27 Dunlin, two Ringed Plover and 18 Black-tailed Godwit it was quiet. The weather was stunning, and Vic requested a look around Lower Bruckland Ponds - so that was where we went next.

Before we arrived I jokingly remarked how we could be on for a Lesser Emperor, as a couple had been seen in the country the previous day. Ten minutes into our wander and a stunning male Lesser Emperor flew past us! Amazing!! The second for the patch, I've found them both, and both in exactly the same place - and I mean EXACTLY the same place! I was standing on the same edge of the same pond on 16th July 2006 when a male Lesser Emperor whizzed past.

We only saw it for about 30 seconds, before an Emperor chased it off. Pleasingly though, within the next few hours it was seen another four or five times by others in roughly the same spot. No photos I'm afraid as it moved so quickly!

On the lower couple of ponds, it was nice to see c10 Small Red-eyed Damselflies. The larger ponds don't look suitable at all now due to the lack of surface vegetation, but it's great to see they are hanging on where they can...

My first for a few years - mostly because I haven't tried hard enough!

Rewinding the day back a little, I had a moth trap to go through - and it was crammed full! There were 241 moths of 45 species in the trap. 31 of these moths were Willow Beauties, with Riband Wave, Brimstone, Large Yellow Underwing, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing and Dark Arches also represented in double figures. The highlights for me were...

Black Arches - a stunning moth

Magpie - common yes, but still a looker!

Marbled Green - caught four of these

The Fern - there were three of these, all resting on adjacent walls

Mullein Wave - a coastal species

So Friday was a successful day! What about Saturday then...

Well Jess and I decided to go west from Seaton, and we ended up here...

Jess and the entrance sign to Bystock Ponds!

The main pond - looking lovely

So, what is it we were looking for...

'in action!'

Well it wouldn't be found here, although we did see this...

A Terrapin!

After a bit more walking, and some useful directions from Chris Townend, we got to here...

That looks more like it!

Nearly, just a little too large....

Bingo! We saw at least five Small Red Damselflies - amazingly a first for me!!!

And on the way back to the car, we saw a couple of these...

Common Lizard

And that brings me to today, and the end of this post.


  1. Hi Steve, Your Mullein Wave looks a very close match to Small Fan-footed Wave. Cheers, Paul

  2. Hi pabs, I'm glad you've commented. When I was looking at it, it just seemed too big for Small Fan-footed Wave, more like the size of Riband Wave. But as you say, in the picture the markings make it look like a Small Fan-footed