Mothing in the back yard has produced the usual moths for the time of year with large yellow underwings becoming the most common and abundant moth, the highest count so far being 37 on the 3rd September.
Large Yellow Underwing
A trip to Thurlestone on the 30th August produced my first sighting of a small rufous, found in the public toilet block near the golf course and released outside. That evening I headed off to Ford Park Cemetery in Plymouth for a moth trapping night run by the Devon Moth Group, conditions were pretty good with it being warm, humid and still, and the 2 traps were full of the usual moths including a new for me antler moth and a few shaded broad bar. A harlequin ladybird and a great green bush cricket were also seen and tawny owls were heard calling.
Shaded Broad Bar
Migration was in evidence at Thurlestone with 5 yellow wagtails around the feet of some horses, 2 sand martins over with swallows and house martins, a whitethroat and 2 wheatears being departing summer visitors and a snipe and 7 dunlin being returning winter visitors. A golden ringed dragonfly, a common darter and a mating pair of migrant hawker were also seen along with a silver washed fritillary.
Mating Migrant Hawker
A walk along the coast path at Stoke Point on the 2nd September in glorious weather was brightened up by the occasional brightly coloured clouded yellow flying by including an helice type female. Autumn squill was in flower in the usual place and a dead shrew in the middle of the footpath was a strange sight. 3 yellow wagtail flew over calling but the bird highlight was 2 juvenile Dartford warblers. A juvenile was seen well feeding amongst the gorse with a family group of stonechat and a second bird was later seen further along the path with another family group of stonechat - my first sighting of the year and nice to see that some birds had survived the cold winter and spring earlier in the year. A humming bird hawkmoth flying around The Ship Inn in Noss Mayo was a pleasant surprise too.
A beautiful autumn day on a trip to Perranporth in Cornwall on the 3rd September was relatively quiet wildlife wise but I did finally see a barn owl although not how I wanted to - a dead bird was seen by the roadside near Trerulefoot Roundabout on the journey home, very sad.
Male Stonechat, Perranporth