Thursday 26 July 2018

Birdy and Burdy Fly The Nest

I had the moth box out in the back yard on Saturday 21st July and the next morning had another modest haul of moths with the highlights being a male four spotted footman, 7 knot grass, 2 mullein wave (one of my favourite moths), a silver y, a lesser yellow underwing and a dunbar. Birdy and Burdy watched me intently from the flat roof as usual but there were no adults around so emptying the trap was a more relaxed experience than of late.

Knot Grass

Mullein Wave

Birdy and Burdy

A quick walk around Plymouth Hoe later that morning and I was pleased to find the grey seal we saw last week in Sutton Harbour on returning from our pelagic boat trip, this time it was sleeping in a mass of floating seaweed close to shore near the yacht club, rising to the surface to breathe every now and then before dropping back down under the water.

On returning home there was only 1 herring gull chick on the roof as the other had finally fledged and flown off. I assume the bird left on the roof was Birdy, the chick that spent 5 days coming down our chimney and therefore behind developmentally due to a lack of food during those 5 days.

Monday 23rd July and the last day of my holiday before returning to work and despite grey skies I headed out to Wembury by bus for a walk. The grey skies soon cleared and it became another hot and sunny day and there were as usual lots of butterflies flying about including 2 wall but the highlight was a clouded yellow seen from the bus near Laira Bridge on the journey home.


The toilet block held 2 male drinkers, lovely moths doing good impressions of furry hedgehogs.


At Wembury Point there were signs of autumn on the horizon with 2 whimbrel, 2 curlew, 48+ oystercatchers, 3 common sandpipers, 2 little egrets and 1 grey heron on the rocks while along the path stonechats, whitethroats and cirl buntings were seen.

Tuesday 24th July and Birdy was still making loads of noise on the roof as I headed off to work in the morning  but on my return home it was eerily silent as Birdy had also finally fledged - I will miss their antics but not all the early morning noise and I hope it rains soon to wash all their poop away.

Wednesday 25th July and we headed off to Cawsands for a beach day. Fortunately this time there was a pleasent breeze keeping things a little cooler than on our visit last month. A gannet was seen circling around the bay off Cawsands as we arrived on the ferry and on the rocks amongst the herring gulls (including a few juveniles) were 16 adult Mediterranean gulls moulting into winter plumage.

I did a Big Butterfly Count on the walk from Cawsand village to Sandways Beach and saw 2 painted lady, 1 red admiral, 2 peacock, 1 clouded yellow, 2 silver washed fritillary, 1 comma, 1 large white, 2 wall, 1 gatekeeper, 3 small white and 3 meadow brown - not bad at all.

On the walk from Sandways Beach to the ferry at Cremyll there was no sign of any purple hairstreaks in the Mount Edgecumbe Woods but I did see another 3 silver washed fritillaries.

Silver-Washed Fritillary

On arriving home Birdy had returned to the flat roof next door but after making loads of noise and having a little snooze he left before it got dark.

I had the moth box out again in the back yard overnight and this morning I finally had my first Jersey tiger of the year with other highlights being a male and 2 female four spotted footman, a marbled green, a marbled beauty and a black arches.

Marbled Beauty

Marbled Green

Black Arches

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