Having my telescope with me today provided views of a new bird for me for Wembury - Manx shearwaters. With the strong breeze I managed to pick out small groups of 1 to 3 birds moving West offshore at regular intervals doing their usual banking shearwater flight and moving surprisingly fast. They had the distinctive white undersides when they banked in the wind contrasting with their dark upperparts but I couldn't pick out any Balearics amongst them. It was nice to finally see a new bird for my Wembury list although I have never really looked for them at Wembury before.
Other birds seen were :- a juvenile sparrowhawk flying overhead being mobbed by swallows and pied wagtails ; 15 mallard around the sewage pipe (1 female, 1 male and 13 eclipse males) ; 2 whimbrel, 2 summer plumaged dunlin, a juvenile ringed plover, a curlew and oystercatchers roosting at Wembury Point : 4 juvenile wheatear ; a juvenile whitethroat ; a great spotted woodpecker flying between trees in gardens in the village as the bus drove past ; a pair of cirl buntings ; and a kestrel.
Male Cirl Bunting
Short Winged Cone Head
Dark Bush Cricket
Some scrots had set a fire in the toilet block using the toilet paper but there was only minimal damage and I found a marbled green, 2 small fan footed waves, a dead single dotted wave (from smoke inhalation?) and a lesser yellow underwing. I also saw what I think was a flame carpet before it flew out of the doorway and out of sight, it would have been a new moth for me if I had gotten a good view of it.
With the sunny weather I spent a few hours in the sunshine synthesising vitamin D while sitting on Plymouth Hoe admiring the stunning views on Thursday afternoon and enjoyed views of a winter plumaged Mediterranean gull flying by, a noisey adult and a noisier juvenile Sandwich tern fishing, a juvenile whitethroat feasting on some blackberries, a Jersy tiger moth and common blue butterflys.
I have also had the moth box out in the back yard a few times and have had 2 new garden moths - a very dead and dessicated peppered moth in a spiders web and a common footman. I've also had a Jersey tiger moth and at least 4 male and 3 female four spotted footman amongst more usual fare although I have as yet not had the large numbers of large yellow underwings that I usually have at this time of year.
Male and female Four Spotted Footmen