Friday, 3 August 2012

A small milestone - my 100th Macro Moth species for the Backyard

A small milestone for my small, innercity backyard - my 100th macro moth species! It was a kind of anti-climax as I had reached my 100th species without realising it. The small fan-footed wave I caught on the 25th July was the 100th species but I only realised this when I finally managed to ID a few days ago a pug I caught in the back yard on the 9th July as a grey pug (with the help of the experts on the Backgarden Moth Forum). I am still amazed at reaching 100 species considering my location in the centre of Plymouth although I am fortunate to have a small park at the back of the house full of old deciduous trees which helps.

My Backyard

Grey Pug

Another nice moth I have recently had in the moth trap was a female four-spotted footman, my first of the year and a very pretty moth which is quite docile and easy to handle.

Female Four Spotted Footman

The hot weather finally broke but not before I had a walk along the coast at Stoke Point. It was sunny but breezey at the start of the walk but had clouded over by the time I headed home and when I got back to Plymouth it had started to rain. The walk was as usual very enjoyable, with the best birds being a very smart and yellow juvenile willow warbler and a juvenile wheatear. 5 ravens flew along the cliffs honking and tumbling together, presumably a pair with 3 well grown young. Yellowhammers and cirl buntings were seen and heard and a green woodpecker yaffled away in woods near Noss Mayo.

Male Yellowhammer

Butterflies were on the wing despite the breeze with small copper, common blue, meadow brown and gatekeepers seeming to be everywhere. A nice wall brown was seen and I managed to get a decent photo of the very beautifully marked underwings.

Wall Brown

Autumn squill was flowering in the area where I saw it last year but with more flowers showing than last year.

Autumn Squill

The only other wildlife news is that there are a pair of noisey juvenile herring gulls on the rooftops at the back of the house, I don't think they are my birds from the chimney stack but another brood from another rooftop nest in the area.

A busy few weeks coming up with work and family visits so limited wildlife watching opportunities but as Summer School Holiday Hell is in full swing I will be content to see what new moths I can find in the moth trap in the backyard if the weather is good.

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