Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Garden Moths and Birding in Bude

I had the moth box out in the back yard overnight on Wednesday August 24th - Thursday 25th August and I had quite a decent catch in the morning, the best catch I have had in the yard this year.

Highlights were 4 Jersey tiger moths (first of the year), a marbled green, a common marbled carpet, a currant pug, 2 yellow barred brindle, 2 lime speck pug, 1 Vines rustic, 1 shuttle shaped dart, 1 brimstone moth, 1 cabbage moth, 1 knot grass and 1 lesser broad bordered yellow underwing. There were only 3 large yellow underwings in the trap which is unusual for this time of year but there were loads of light brown apple moths and quite a few wasps.

 Vines Rustic

 Cabbage Moth

 Marbled Green - hiding on the pebble dash

Currant Pug

Thursday 25th August and an unscheduled day of annual leave from work due to rota and staffing issues had me thinking of a trip to Fontmell Down in Dorset to look for silver spotted skippers and chalkhill blues. However the weather had other ideas and despite being warm and humid it was cloudy and misty and drizzly and with heavy thunder storms forecast later in the day especially for Dorset we headed off to the caravan at Bude for the day instead. The drive to North Cornwall was wet and misty but by the time we arrived at Bude the sun was beginning to show from behind the clouds and the day wasn't too bad although we did have a few prolonged periods of drizzle mist.

I headed off to Maer Lake as soon as we arrived at the caravan while David worked on the wheels and brakes of the caravan ready for its potential move at the end of the summer. The lake still had lots of water in it but with some lovely muddy margins and I could see various sized waders feeding across the water. However as I arrived at the gap in the hedge overlooking the lake some of the large number of roosting Canada geese took to the air and spooked all the feeding birds but I managed to find a curlew sandpiper and a little stint flying around amongst dunlin, ringed plover and black tailed godwits. The waders soon resttled and with the curlew sandpiper and little stint I counted 3 ringed plover, 18 dunlin and 41 black tailed godwits along with 3 curlew and a common sandpiper - not bad. I had some great views of the little stint feeding with dunlin along the muddy shore but the curlew sandpiper was more distant and feeding with dunlins in the water where it was much more skittish and flighty.

Even better was a yellow wagtail flying over calling as it headed north, I had hoped it would drop down on the marsh around the lake but it carried on flying over without stopping. Later at the caravan a (the) yellow wagtail flew over heading south towards the lake but again it didn't appear to drop down to the ground.

Otherwise it was quiet with an adult gannet offshore, a painted lady along the clifftops, a fulmar along the cliffs, a very yellow juvenile willow warbler along the hedgerow at Maer Lake and 2 adult mute swans with 3 cygnets along the canal.

Juvenile  Herring Gull, Bude Canal

The toilet block had an orange swift, a rusty dot pearl and an oak bush cricket inside which I caught and released outside.

 (Faded) Orange Swift

Oak Bush Cricket

Not a bad day out and what was to be the beginning of an excellent couple of days wildlife watching.

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