Saturday, 30 September 2017

Moth update: 450th species for the year

A relatively quiet time with moth trapping recently, with several new species for the year being taken but nothing unexpected. New for years have been:
Ypsolopha sequella (12.ix.17) Westland Green
Turnip moth (12.ix.17) Garden
Brown spot pinion (13.ix.17) Garden
Black rustic (14.ix.17) Garden
Barred sallow (24.ix.17) Garden
Mallow (24.ix.17) Garden
Lunar underwing (24.ix.17) Garden
Beaded Chestnut (25.ix.17) Garden
Grey pine carpet (25.ix.17) Garden
Feathered thorn (26.ix.17) Pig's Green
Sallow (26.ix.17) Garden
Large ranuculus (27.ix.17) Garden
Pink barred sallow (28.ix.17) Garden

The pink barred sallow of the other night was the 450th moth species of the year: 265 macros, 185 micros made up of 9426 moths trapped and identified this year.
Ypsolopha sequella

Turnip moth

Brown spot pinion

Black rustic

Barred sallow

Mallow

Beaded chestnut

Grey pine carpet

Feathered thorn

Sallow

Large ranunculus




Monday, 25 September 2017

Kefalonia visit 17th - 24th Sept

We were looking forward to our week on this wonderful island, one we visited previously in 2013 and in the small hours we set off from home for our 8a.m. flight from Stansted. All was great and by 2.30pm we were at our room in a lovely hotel a mile or so up the hill from Skala village. Wonderful views over the Ionian Sea to the Greek mainland and south to the island of Zakynthos.
I spent a little time each day wandering around to find the nature. As I had discovered on our previous trip, not many birds here, so it was good to get the list started with: Sardinian warbler (common,) Jay (ubiquitous,) blackbird and collared dove. On the beach I added yellow legged gull and that remained my list for the first two days.
Whilst sitting enjoying the view from the hotel pool I noted 4 Alpine swift overhead and these, on migration, were noted daily afterwards, usually in the later part of the day. On one occasion their number was in excess of 200, all south bound. In amongst these were crag martins.
On a visit to Poros, firstly by bus and subsequently on a quad bike we hired, I noted cormorant and a white breasted kingfisher.
Back at the hotel  great and blue tits got on to the list as did two Olivaceous warblers and overhead, a small movement of migrating black kites.
As we wandered down the lane there was frequently a kestrel resting on telephone wires and our walk was often to the sound of calling buzzards.
In all 23 species were seen.
Butterflies were mainly Lang's Short tailed blues, scarce swallowtails, a meadow brown variety and several clouded yellows. Green Ionian lizards were fairly regular as were circadas and several grasshopper species.
Red veined darters were the most common dragonfly along with an unidentified species which was bright yellow and larger than the darter complex.
Looking east towards mainland Greece

meadow brown type butterfly

fast flying Alpine swift

Not sure on this darter species, showing all black legs.

A probable red veined darter, showing yellow stripes on the legs.
Leader of the local herd

another Alpine swift

Strange geology near Poros

tough terrain to bird watch. Jays and sardinian warblers were common here.

Norfolk Visit

After an abortive mission to do some birdwatching in North Norfolk in early September, due to a clutch failure on the car near Mildenhall, I tried again on 13th Sept. This time, I arrived without issue and headed off to CleySpy to buy a new tripod for my scope. Got a great deal on a second hand, carbon fibre Manfrotto. From here, off to Cley to see if any migrants had been recorded. The only bird of note was a Pectoral sandpiper, seen somewhat distantly on The Serpentine from the East Bank.
A tour of the reserve gave views of regular birds, but nothing scarce, so off to check Gramborough Hill near Salthouse Beach. Again usual stuff and, now, in constant drizzle under grey skies, I left my camera gear in the car, as I did when later visiting Kelling Water Meadows.
Following this, a coffee at Cley HQ before a drive east to Titchwell, stopping briefly at Holkham and Burnham Overy.
Titchwell was in superb light when I arrived, so off to the island hide where waders, predominantly ruff were on show. Other waders, apart from black tailed godwits were hard to come by whilst duck were mainly teal.
A trip to the Parrinder Hide as the skies darkened, meaning, a.) photography was not good and b.) I was going to get wet.
Not only was the sky now heavy, the light was beginning to fail, so I made my way back to the car and home, with a long and tedious diversion around Newmarket due to road closures. All in all, a good day to birdwatch even if not too much was noted. Almost all photos here, from the good light period at Titchwell. In total, 73 species noted and just the pectoral sandpiper being an addition to the year list.
Cley and a teal

Shelduck at Cley

Colourful moorhen from the Island Hide, Titchwell

Ruff too busy feeding to notice me at Titchwell

Another juvenile ruff judging by the long tertial feathers

Black tailed godwit at Titchwell

redshank

Another black tailed godwit. Just remants of the orange breeding plumage still visible.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

New amphibian species for my parish records.


Sent from my iPhone

Upon emptying the garden moth trap on Thursday morning, along with 50+ moths I encountered a palmate newt. A new record for the parish.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Few more moths

As this week has progressed the moth numbers have continued to increase, with 55 of 22 species taken last night to the garden Skinner 125 MV trap. Whilst most remains the same a few additions to the year list have been made.
A red underwing was new for year on the 2nd whilst an exciting find of the relatively common Argyresthia semifusca  was new for parish records on the 3rd, also in the garden.
Argyresthia semifusca

On the 4th I set the 15W heath actinic trap on the local golf course. I was rewarded with new for year records of Acleris emargana, centre barred sallow, Mompha subbistrigella and a new for parish record of an Anacampsis species. I suspect A. populella as the trap was underneath willow, but gen det required to confirm.
Centre barred sallow

At home on the same night a surprise 2nd generation lilac beauty and a first of the year oak hooktip. This was my 253rd macro of the year, the Anacampsis being 185th micro.
last night, nothing new, but an Old Lady actually in the trap was unusual and only my 2nd Cataclysta lemnata for the year. This morning's haul takes me to 9000 moths for the year of 438 species.
Old Lady

Cataclysta lemnata

Acleris emargana

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Moth update

Jersey Tiger
A new month brings a new for year moth in the form of a Feathered gothic. This constitutes my 330th garden moth species for the year and also represents my 250th macro moth for 2017.
Very much the same catch most nights at present, with good numbers before the heavy rain of Wednesday night. Also, that night was the coldest for a long time, so meant numbers were well down. Just started to pick up again
Feathered gothic

Highs over the last few days have been:
33  Large yellow underwing from Pigs Green on the 21st
33 Setaceous hebrew characters from the garden on the 27th
19 Common wainscot from the garden on the 28th
14 Latticed heath from the garden on the 1st.
Frosted orange


Less regular moths recently have included:
Jersey Tiger, garden 24th
Angle shades, garden 24th
Burnished brass, garden 24th
Lime speck pug, Clinton's footpath 28th
Old Lady, garden 28th
Frosted orange, garden 28th
Purple bar, Millfield Lane and garden 29th
Yellow barred brindle, Millfield Lane 29th
Silver Y, garden 29th
White point, garden 29th
Burnished brass

Yellow barred brindle

Purple bar


All these additions take the total of moths taken this year to 8572 specimens of 431 species


This is me

This is me
At the end of another Norfolk Coastal footpath walk. 47 miles, 3 days 99 species of bird

Caley Wood view

Caley Wood view
sunshine through the canopy 29.05.08

A walk along the Warta Valley, Poznan, Poland. Feb 2007

A walk along the Warta Valley, Poznan, Poland. Feb 2007
Best birds on this walk: black and middle spotted woodpecker and short toed treecreeper

About Me

My photo
A primary school teacher for 30 years, I retired from teaching in July 2009 to set up my own science enhancement and communication company. The Primary Works offers science clubs, workshops and staged science shows nationwide. I have always been interested in bird watching since my early years. Apparently my first tick was after inquiring about a chaffinch and then receiving the Observer book of birds. By the age of 9 I had moved on to Tory Peterson's collins guide and was now involved on YOC birding holidays to Northumbria, Essex coast, Slimbridge and Yorkshire. My twitching rule is that I will willingly travel 1km for each gram the bird weighs. However, I have had many rarities just by being in the right place. I have travelled widely throughout Europe and also visited Australia and Sri Lanka. Further European destinations are planned and a bigger trip to The Crimea was planned for 2014 but now not possible. so 2014: Sri Lanka in January, Poland in April, Madeira in June and The Camargue in July. So far 2015 has been Sri Lanka in Jan, Poland in Feb, Sri Lanka in April and The Camargue coming up in 1st week of September.

Grey heron

Grey heron
Over the allotment 28.09.08

Southern Hawker

Southern Hawker
Ridge footpath 27.08.08

Juvenile green woodpecker (17.08.08)

Juvenile green woodpecker (17.08.08)
Note the stripes, denoting a bird fledged this year.

common blue

common blue
Ash Valley G.C. 15.08.08

Indian balsam (impatiens glandulifera)

Indian balsam (impatiens glandulifera)
River Ash

azure damselfly

azure damselfly
River Ash 28.07.08

marbled white

marbled white
Discovered at Westland Green 22.07.08

ruddy darter

ruddy darter
Bush Wood 21.07.08

honeysuckle 19.07.08

honeysuckle 19.07.08
growing in hedgerow in Chapel Lane

cinnabar moth caterpillar

cinnabar moth caterpillar
Photographed on ragwort 19.07.08

Bittersweet

Bittersweet
Study of petals 11.06.08

male yellowhammer

male yellowhammer
08.06.08

common blue butterfly

common blue butterfly
06.06.08

River Ash

River Ash
looking south from the bridge at Hadham Ford

Common poppy (papaver rhoeas)

Common poppy (papaver rhoeas)
in rape field 29.05.08

Caley Wood sunshine

Caley Wood sunshine
29.05.08

Millenium Wood fox

Millenium Wood fox
24.05.08

common comfrey (symphytum officinale)

common comfrey (symphytum officinale)
06.05.08 banks of the River Ash

Garlic Mustard or Jack by the Hedge,(Alliara petiolata)

Garlic Mustard or Jack by the Hedge,(Alliara petiolata)
flowers, leaves and fruit edible . Good in salad and pesto

April showers

April showers
Double rainbow 30.04.08

Caley Wood bluebells

Caley Wood bluebells
22.04.08

Yellow Archangel

Yellow Archangel
Chapel Lane (20.04.08)

sunlight 16.04.08

sunlight 16.04.08
looking south west from Bush Wood

snowy buds

snowy buds
06.04.08 in Bush Wood

Looking north west

Looking north west
05.04.08 evening shower approaching

Back Garden

Back Garden
Easter Sunday (23.03.08)

Brick Kiln Hill

Brick Kiln Hill
Looking east (23.03.08)

No play today

No play today
The 2nd hole at Ash Valley golf course

Teasel head

Teasel head
Bush Wood (21.03.08)

Reflections

Reflections
daffodils at Bush Wood pond (21.03.08)

Swollen River Ash

Swollen River Ash
The river at the bottom of Winding Hill 16.03.08

Daybreak over the chapel

Daybreak over the chapel
Thursday 13th March

Wild daffodils (narcissus pseudonarcissus)

Wild daffodils (narcissus pseudonarcissus)
growing in Bush Wood

January snowdrops

January snowdrops
Banks of River Ash, north of Much Hadham

Good Moon

Good Moon
From garden 24.01.08

Village Green

Village Green
Looking east towards Acremore Street

Looking south before Hadham Ford

Looking south before Hadham Ford
rare January blue sky

Useful sites

The following are some useful websites that may interest readers of this blog.
Firstly, Bishop's Stortford Natural History Society http://bsnhs.webplus.net/

Fellow birder, Gary Whelan's blog. Gives reports from our trips out together plus reports from his trips abroad. http://hairybirders.blogspot.co.uk
http://www.hertsbirdclub.org.uk/ The official herts bird club website. Frequently updated, listing bird sightings around the county. Offers links to many other websites. Both of these sites also offer links to yahoo discussion groups.
http://www.birdforum.net/ An international site. You can enter as a guest but become a member( free) to post comments, bird sightings and just about anything to do with wild birds. Good news updates, classified section for binoculars, cameras etc.
http://www.guidedbirdwatching.com/ A new site set up where you can contact people worldwide who will help you find good birds in their country. UK section being set up presently.
http://www.britainsbirder.co.uk/
Fellow birders blog. Strtford resident, Graeme Smith regulary birds the area south of Stortford as well as around Spellbrook and the River Stort from Spellbrook to Twyford Locks. Some superb bird photography: Graeme uses a digital camera attached to his powerful telescope to get detailled images of the birds he sees. Well worth a browse.
Two local sites that may be of interest can be found at
http://www.thehadhams.com/ www.thepelhams.net/content/section/12/139/

South Easterly walk

South Easterly walk
black, normal, red extended walk

South Westerly route.

South Westerly route.
Black usual, red extended

North Easterly walk

North Easterly walk
black short, walk. Red, extended

North West Patch

North West Patch
black route regular. Red route the extended wander