Sunday, 7 August 2011

Recent sightings

Going back to work after the great time off I had was a bit of a shock especially as work has been very busy, my time off seems a long time ago as I type this but it was only 12 days ago I returned to work.

I have at least had the moth box out in the back-yard on a few nights and I have had some nice moths. Shuttle shaped darts seem very common this year and I have had quite a few Jersey Tiger moths and a nice male Four spotted footman along with ruby tiger, marbled green and buff ermine. Best moth however was a new to the garden and life-list True lovers knot, the ID threw me but a quick post to Back Garden Moth Forum and somebody ID'd it for me.

True Lovers Knot

A trio of Shuttle Shaped Dart

Male Four Spotted Footman - check out those funky metallic blue legs!

A trio of Buff Ermine

Marbled Green - a browner individual than I usually see in the backyard

Ruby Tiger

A trip out to Wembury for a walk on the 5th August was quite fruitful and I didn't have a pasty either! 6 adult ringed plovers were heard calling and then seen on the rocks as the tide went out, having been disturbed by dog walkers and a summer plumaged dunlin was with them. Also on the rocks were a curlew and the usual oystercatchers. Also seen were a fly over kestrel and buzzard, a juvenile and a moulting male stonechat, a female cirl bunting, the usual whitethroats and a sign of autumn, a very confiding juvenile wheatear with very fledgling looking feathering on its upper wings.

The toilet block held a few goodies but the beach was busy in the good weather and with the school holidays in full swing so I managed a few quick snaps only of Brussels lace, an unfortunately dead rosy footman and a dingy footman (the only place I have seen them other than at Bude) and a marbled green (the only place I have seen one other than my back yard).

A dead Rosy Footman

Brussels Lace

Dingy Footman - also known as the melon pip and you can see why!

Sunday 7th August was a mixed bag weather wise so we headed off to Jennycliff on the Mount Batten ferry for a walk. It was sunny at times but with a strong breeze and some heavy showers but we had a nice walk and a slice of coffee and walnut cake and a breakfast bap in the cafe at Jennycliff with a cup of tea. A kestrel battled against the wind along the cliff top and offshore an adult winter plumaged Sandwich tern was followed incessantly by a surprisingly quiet juvenile. Wall, meadow brown, common blue, gatekeeper and small tortoiseshell butterflys were seen keeping to areas out of the wind but the best find was what I thought was a wall butterfly which flew past me as I walked along a hedgerow before it landed in the grass. I almost dismissed it but headed to where it landed to have a look, expecting it to be a wall but it was a tatty looking, feisty male oak eggar moth which didn't want to settle so I managed a quick snap of it after catching it gently in my hand before releasing it in the hedge. It is the first oak eggar I have seen in the UK, having seen a female in Santurtzi in Northern Spain a few years ago.

Tatty and feisty Oak Eggar

Heading home we stopped at the allotment to pick some veg for tea and I saw a 2 spot ladybird on the runner beans and a dead young mouse on the footpath.

Back to work on nights tomorrow, such fun, so no moths for the next few nights.

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