Sunday, 17 June 2018

Wembury Wander

Friday 15th June and a warm and mostly sunny morning saw me heading off on the bus to Wembury for a walk. With it being the annual National Moth Night Weekend I kept a good eye out for any moths along the walk as unfortunately I was working a night shift that night and so would be unable to use my moth box in the back yard but I managed to see a few decent moths anyway.

The toilet block held a pale tussock, a willow beauty and a dwarf cream wave which I caught and released outside and on the coast path walk I found 2 nettle tap, a buff ermine, a sharp angled peacock and a wood carpet along with 5 mullein caterpillars on mullein and Depressia daucella caterpillars on hemlock water dropwort flower heads.

 Pale Tussock

 Dwarf Cream Wave

 Sharp Angled Peacock

 Wood Carpet

Mullein Caterpillar

It was quiet bird wise as expected with the highlights being 2 little egrets having a barney on the rocky foreshore where 12 oystercatchers were feeding with 3 male mallards moulting into eclipse plumage, 2 ravens, a swallow and a buzzard overhead, a songflighting rock pipit, songflighting whitethroats, 2 chiffchaffs heard, 2 singing cirl buntings with a third male seen and an adult gannet with 2 juveniles offshore flying west. It was nice to see a few fledglings too including blue tits, wrens, stonechats and carrion crows.

Cirl Bunting

Butterflies were on the wing too with speckled woods, a red admiral. large skippers, common blues, meadow browns and a small tortoiseshell all seen.

 Large Skipper

 Large Skipper

 Meadow Brown

Meadow Brown

A digger wasp was seen on the footpath attacking a bee which I disturbed as I walked by and the wasp flew off without the bee and disappeared into a burrow in the ground and later I found another digger wasp resting on some brambles. 

 Digger Wasp Sp.

 Digger Wasp Sp.

Digger Wasp Sp.

2 common lizards were seen, 1 the usual brown coloured and the other quite green.

 Common Lizard

A few small dark bush crickets were also seen along with what I think was a Roesel's bush cricket which disappeared into the grass before I could get a really good look at it.

 Dark Bush Cricket

Roesel's Bush Cricket?

Another great wander at Wembury with a Chunk pasty and a coffee from the beach cafe for lunch ending a very pleasant morning.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Moths and Bees

Monday 11th June and with David bringing home a scarlet tiger moth from the allotment for me to look at my interest in mothing was piqued and I finally dusted off the old moth box for its first outing in the back yard this year.

Scarlet Tiger Moth

I had forgotten that I had put the moth box out and didn't wake up until 07:45am the next morning to check it out but luckily the local house sparrows seemed to have forgotten what it was too - last year they were actively hunting the moths in the trap and as much as I am pleased to see them bounce back after a notable decline over the past few years I don't want to provide a moth buffet for them. Also the herring gulls are nesting on the chimney stack again and despite having at least 2 small chicks they decided not to mob me this morning.

It was warm and overcast overnight but the moth haul wasn't particularly great despite the recent hot and dry weather with a pale tussock and a clouded border being the highlights along with a white ermine, 3 buff ermine, a diamond back moth, a flame shoulder and a bright line brown eye.

 Pale Tussock

 Clouded Border

 Diamond-Back Moth

Vines Rustic and Uncertain

Wednesday 13th June and we started off with a visit to the allotment where a bee orchid had been reported nearby in a wildflower meadow and I easily found it amongst the tall grass.

 Bee Orchid

 Bee Orchid

Bee Orchid

Also seen were various bees, my first ringlet of the year which looked like it had just emerged and a false oil beetle.

 Red Tailed Bumble Bee

 Red Tailed Bumble Bee

 Red Tailed Bumble Bee

 Ringlet

False Oil Beetle

With a Risso's dolphin being reported in the River Tamar off Torpoint we headed off to Whitsand Bay with Davids Mum via the Torpoint ferry for a look. There was no sign of it on the crossing over nor on the return trip but it was reported later that afternoon - never mind.

Whitsand Bay was as beautiful as always and we enjoyed lunch in the Cliff Top Cafe while whitethroats songflighted from the clifftop and a speckled wood flitted about amongst the flowering stinking iris - a very pleasant day out.

Speckled Wood