Saturday, 18 June 2011

Bude, 5th - 8th June 2011, and other sightings

Sunday and we headed off to Bude for a few days away in the caravan. The weather had changed, it was at least 10 degrees cooler and was grey and overcast.

We stopped off at Waitrose to pick up goodies, having secured a loan to pay for it before entering the store! We also stopped off at the car boot sale in Bude where I picked up a bargain, the DBWPS book "The birds of Devon" published last October priced £45, I got it for £12.50 and it was in excellent condition!

That night I put out the moth box and the next morning I had a small and limited catch of moths , totally different to the catches I was getting at the caravan last June presumably due to the different weather conditions. I did have one new moth, a treble lines, and quite a few common wainscot.

Treble Lines

Common Wainscot

The next 2 nights were cool and windy and showery so I didn't use the moth box again. Fortunately the toilet block on the camp site for portable toilet waste disposal has now got a bright security light on the roof which is on all night and each morning I would check it out and I found a few moths inside including a nice green carpet. I also saw Depressaria daucella caterpillars on the dropwort flower heads along the path leading up to the clifftop.

Green Carpet

Other wildlife included a nice female Roe deer out in the open in the middle of the day at Maer Lake, singing whitethroat and chiffchaff, fulmars along the cliffs and gannets offshore and 8 smart summer plumaged dunlin at Maer Lake that were there one day and gone the next.Offshore 7 Manx shearwaters were seen heading South one morning in a stiff breeze, they were some way out and difficult to see against the waves and foam.

The weather wasn't great, we did have some sunny spells but it was cool and showery and increasingly windy. It was a nice break away though despite the weather and it was also nice to get some rain at last although it was dry in Plymouth while we were away so the allotment didn't get any rain on it.

Back to work on the Thursday, 4 night shifts which were surprisingly quiet and then Mum came down to visit after the nights for a few days stay. The weather remained mixed with a lot more rain but we did manage a few days out and about including walks at Stoke Point and Wembury. Best wildlife was a wood mouse at Wembury which ran towards us along the coast path before running in to some bramble bushes where it sat washing itself, one of its eyes looked mucky and swollen but after having a wash it opened its eye ok and then disappeared into the undergrowth. I wondered if it had been asleep and was disturbed by something causing it to run out into the open, maybe an adder was about in the grass as they have been seen recently at Wembury.

Also seen at Wembury were some caterpillars feeding on the flower heads of umbillifers by the footpath. They were different to the Depressaria daucella caterpillars seen at Wembury before and on checking the guide books I think they are Depressaria pastinacella or Parsnip Moth caterpillars.

Depressaria pastinacella caterpillar

Dessicated and squashed mouse at Wembury

Hovering kestrel at Wembury

And so it is now the 18th June, Mum has left for the drive back to Ipswich after a nice stay with us and I'm back to work on a late shift for a 6 day stretch, such fun!

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