Anyway spurred on by the continuing mild nights and the moth blog sites I follow which are still filled with reports of moths coming to traps I decided to put the moth box out in the backyard again on the night of the 2nd November and the next morning I found a few small flies, a few small spiders and on turning over the last egg box in the trap..... an Angle Shades! I don't know if it is the same one I had in the garden back in October but I potted it up to take some photos where it started to lay eggs so I released it quickly back in the backyard. The caterpillars eat a variety of herbaceous plants so hopefully there is something in the garden that they will eat if any more eggs are laid.
It was grey and mizzley on the 2nd November so we had a wander around The Barbican and The Hoe and saw a very large male grey seal in the water near The National Marine Aquarium. It had a large dark grey head and a paler grey body and it quickly dived beneath the water and out of sight. However when we walked over the footbridge across the lock for Sutton Harbour it was swimming underneath us into Sutton Harbour, the lockgate being open as it was high tide - what a day to forget my camera as it was an excellent view! It dived again heading in to the harbour, no doubt to try and catch some of the large mullet that we often see in the water around the harbourside.
The 8th Novemeber saw us heading to Plymbridge Woods for a walk. The weather has been very mild but very wet lately so we picked Plymbridge as the paths are generally not too muddy in wet weather. It started to rain but we still wandered up to the viaduct from Marsh Mills with a big brolly to keep us dry. From the viaduct I had a good view of 2 marsh tits and a nuthatch feeding on the peanut and seed feeders with blue, great and coal tits while a grey squirrel fed on scraps on the ground with chaffinches. The only other bird of note was a goldcrest with a flock of long tailed tits feeding in the treetops.
The 10th November was bright and sunny despite the weather forecast being for heavy rain! I headed out to Wembury on the bus for a walk and it was very muddy from all the recent rain but I had a good walk. Best bird was a brief view of a firecrest feeding in the bushes with a long tailed tit flock near the boatyard before they headed up the valley, the firecrest not being seen again. However I did then see a goldcrest which showed very well - typical!
Around 20 blackbirds were feeding in the hawthorn bushes on the hillside above the wheatfield, they were very flighty, chasing each other around the bushes and also chasing nearby woodpigeons but I couldn't make any of them into a ring ousel. With them were a couple of song thrush and a small flighty group of around 10 yellowhammers which included at least 3 bright males. Along the footpath by the wheatfield a small flock of around 7 cirl buntings were also very flighty and also included at least 3 males.
3 little egrets and a grey heron were feeding amongst the rocks at low tide and a high count of 43 mallards were seen (24 male and 19 female) but there were possibly more hidden amongst the rocks. Also seen were a male kestrel and a buzzard overhead, an adult gannet offshore, 3 curlews amongst the rocks and a female stonechat in the valley to the beach. Along the beach amongst the pied wagtails and rock pipits were a single grey wagtail and a few meadow pipits.
A flyby red admiral was a surprise and a fox moth caterpillar shuffled along the footpath - I've seen loads of fox moth caterpillars but never a moth!
|Fox Moth Caterpillar|
Quite a few different types of fungi were seen in the sheep field including a few parasol mushrooms in different stages of growth and of different sizes.
|Half-nibbled mushroom sp.|
|Unknown mushroom sp.|
|Cleared footpath at Wembury|