Monday, 22 August 2011

Wembury 20th August 2011

I had the moth box out again on the Friday night (19th) and was up early again on the Saturday morning (20th) to sort it out before the rain came again. A big surprise were the wasps in the trap, I sometimes get the odd one or two but there must have been around 20 in the box and they were very feisty. Unfortunately I found the wings of a brimstone moth and a willow beauty in the bottom of the box so assume the wasps had eaten them and the other moths in the trap were decidedly skittish with good reason. I am allergic to wasp venom so spent longer than usual sorting out the moths as I did not want to get stung and in the end I had to squash a few of the wasps as I could not get rid of them easily out of the trap.
Remains of a brimstone moth and a willow beauty

Moth wise I had 2 Jersey Tiger moths, a smart Marbled Green, a tatty Old Lady and a Copper Underwing amongst the haul.

I headed out to Wembury later than planned due to the heavy rain in the morning but by the time I got to Wembury it was sunny and warm. I enjoyed a pasty from the cafe, delicious as usual. Yesterday we went to Flavour Fest in Plymouth city centre where Chunk, the makers of the pasties, had a stall and I complimented the chaps behind the counter on the fantasticness of their pasties!

The toilet block only held a few moths including a dead dingy footman caught in a spider web. Butterflys were much in evidence in the warm sunshine with wall, red admirals, a comma, a peacock, a small tortoiseshell, large whites, meadow browns, gatekeepers, speckled wood and 2 holly blues being seen. A magpie moth was seen tucked away in the base of a hedge and a Jersey Tiger moth was seen perched on the glass window of the bus-stop when I arrived.

Birds seen included a pair of cirl buntings, the male looking decidedly tatty, a male and female stonechat with 2 juveniles and later a male with a juvenile, a sparrowhawk being mobbed by 2 carrion crows, a male kestrel, swallows, house martins and a buzzard.

Waders seen were a turnstone, 4 ringed plover, a common sandpiper, 2 curlew and a bar-tailed godwit with the usual oystercatchers. Mallards were feeding amongst the rocks, some of the males were back in full plumage with some still in eclipse plumage. Whitethroats and chiffchaffs were heard with brief flight views only across the bushes. An adult lesser black backed gull was seen roosting on the rocks amongst the herring gulls.

No sign of any yellow wagtails, some were reported at Wembury in the morning and they are starting to appear along the south Devon coast now so maybe on my next visit.

Wembury flower field

A close up of the flowers - not sure what they are but the Large Whites love them

Also seen was a sexton beetle enjoying a meal of a dog turd on the path, I couldn't see any lice on this one and it was much more hairy looking than the individual I saw at Bude in July. Still, it was a first for Wembury and on checking the guide book there are different species of similar looking sexton beetles in the UK so presumably is a different type to the one in Bude.

Sexton beetle eating dog turd!

I finished the walk at Bovisand and caught the bus home from there and in the evening headed out to the Duke of Cornwall hotel for the wedding reception of Davids ex-work colleage Krystle, David having been at the wedding for the whole day. And back to work on Sunday again, such fun!

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