Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Bordered Straw - East Malling, Kent

This fine Bordered Straw was caught by Jake and Luke Else in their back garden actinic trap on Friday night (15//5/15) - well done boys. Tentative ID by Mark Else was duly confirmed by Mitzi - a family team effort. Nice!

Bordered Straw, East Malling, Kent

Friday, 15 May 2015

13 May 2015 - Dew Moths at Abbotscliffe, East Kent

Up early to head for the Folkestone area in search of Dew Moth - the weather seemed perfect, still and sunny. The first Dew Moths seen fluttering over the cliff edge, occasionally flying straight up to and then round me - some travelling further inland and going over the nearby crops.

Easily counted a minimum of 30 Dew Moth - a great way to see a new moth spp and thanks to Ian Roberts of 'Folkestone & Hythe birds' fame for his generous time spent helping guide me in the right time and place.

Several new butterflies for the year - all in all, a nice start to the day and arrived back in the office in time for coffee...
Dew Moth
Dew Moth
Dew Moth
Dew Moth
Dew Moth
Dew Moth
Dingy Skipper
Mother Shipton
Small Heath
Painted Lady
Soldier Beetle spp
Cercopis vulnerata - a smart froghopper!
spid spp

Sunday, 10 May 2015

22/4/15 - 10/5/15, Bryher, Isles of Scilly to Somerset to Norfolk

Time precludes me from writing a full account of three recent which have done so very well in getting themselves on to my UK life list.

First up was the Great Blue Heron - a Tuesday night twitch, sleep in the car (Otter at Marazion first thing), Scillonian out to the islands (complete with Hoopoe a long way out at sea), all followed by jet boats and beach landings - marvellous!

Great Blue Heron, Bryher, Isles of Scilly. Photograph by the Indie Birder
Seconds for Britain (the Great Blue Heron) as great, but grip-backs are even better. This stonking Hudsonian Godwit was a greater performer in Somerset. And I thought I'd have to look at one (eventually) at three miles range on some distant tidal flat - not a bit of it!

Hudsonian Godwit, Somerset. Photograph by Carl Bovis.
The final bird in the amzing spring run of 2015 (so far..!) was the cracking little Citril Finch in the west end of Holkham Pines. Only seven years since the Fair Isle bird - yet another amazing grip-back!

Citril Finch, Holkham Pine, Norfolk.Pphotograph by Penny Clarke

Sunday, 12 April 2015

10 April 2015 - Kent

Spent two and a half hours trapping in East Kent - first session of the season. Target was Barred Tooth-striped (following success at the same site last year), which duly appeared for the assembled audience (well, both of us). A respectable 145 moths of 20 species.

Barred Tooth-striped
Mottled Grey
Water Carpet

Acleris cristana
Acleris cristana
Diamond-backed Moth (2 caught)
Herald Moth

Saturday, 11 April 2015

11 April 2015 - Leybourne Lakes Country Park

A wander round the country park with family (Jenny, Max, Marc and Yasmine) produced a Swallow in addition to Slow Worms and Water Vole - nice.

Water Vole
Hoverfly spp - I think...
Slow Worm
Slow Worm - a longer, smiller, faster one
Slow Worm

Friday, 10 April 2015

10 April 2015 - Pulborough Brooks RSPB

I enjoyed Wednesday's visit to this fine reserve so much that I thought I'd go back and have another look... News of the Scarce Tortoiseshell showing on Thursday afternoon meant it had to show today, didn't it? Even Captian Slow and his wife saw the ruddy (OK, orangey) thing!

Alas, our quarry had other ideas... Some (but not much) consolation was had by an Adder and a distant Osprey.

Adder (male? - it was tres skinny)
House Sparrow
Another Small Tortoiseshell

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

8 April 2015 - Pulborough Brooks RSPB

The lure of a three-hour Scarce Tortoiseshell yesterday was to great... This morning I found myself staring at butterflies in West Sussex, hoping to see yesterday's mega. Alas, this most pleasant of trips failed to produce the birdie - or butterfly for that matter...

Bee Fly spp on Primroses
Peacock - complete with blade of grass in the wrong place
Small Tortoiseshell - common today and certainly not scarce at all...

Small Tortoiseshell - sans body hair

Sunday, 11 January 2015

11 Jan 2015 - Chilham, Kent

Managed to escape this afternoon and pop to Chilham to see the Great Grey Shrike - always great to see these fantastic birds. This one caught a large rodent spp, just after narrowly missing being hit by a car, and took it to its larder where is was hung up and and then revisited several times over the next hour.

No pics - kept assuming it would come closer, which it never did!

Friday, 9 January 2015

4 Jan 2015 - Stream dipping in East Malling

Did some steam dipping with Max - when we caught this wee chap, European Bullhead (Cottus gobio). A brilliant little thing - not sure if they are common, but they seem to be widespread. If nothing else, they look a lot better than you average Stickleback!

European Bullhead, 4//1/15, East Malling, Kent

European Bullhead, 4/1/15, East Malling, Kent

Saturday, 27 December 2014

December 2014 - BadgerWatch

Have been trying a few bits of video from the camera trap. Think the results are a wee bit better than the stills taken with the same camera. Both viseos taken in early December.



Friday, 26 December 2014

26 December 2014 - Foxy video for Christmas...

Collected in the camera trap to see what had caught itself on the camera trap. Not quite BBC eh..?



Friday, 12 December 2014

6 December 2014 - Emsworth, Hants - Sea Slaters

Visited the east Hampshire coast - an obvious (?) place to look for Ligia oceanica, the sea slater. Up to 30 millimetres in length, it is one of the largest oniscid isopods - or marine woodlouse, if you prefer!

Never seen these chaps before - huge (ish) - and certainly worth the whole effort of turning one rock over.

Sea Slater, 6/12/14, Emsworth, Hants

Saturday, 15 November 2014

15 Nov 2914 - Tree climbing badger...

I'd have expected some scent marking from a badger, which would result in other males having a good wiff - but this chap (or chap-ess) seems to be really going for it. Is there another explanation?
Tree climbing badger

Thursday, 13 November 2014

13 Nov 2013 - camera trap results

2nd set of results from camera trap revealed Badgers, Fox, Grey Squirrel and Blackbirds - how come Simon King always comes up trumps with a flippin Tiger or some previously unknown species of rodent-marsupial-bat?

Of the 10+ badger pictures I got, this is the only one head on - but I do have an extensive photographic collection of Badgers' arses!

Fox again
and again...
And a badger

Monday, 10 November 2014

10 Nov 2014 - Camera trap

Tried out Adrian Harris' camera trap over the past two evenings near a badger set. First night (Saturday) was wet and the camera set too high - the result was two pictures of grey squirrels investigating the badger sets.

Grey Squirrel - well, a bit of one
Following a repositioning of the trap - lower and pointing down an animal track - bingo! A nice badger trying to show us his best side.

The system needs a little further refinement, but I think there's a start of something interesting.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

9 Nov 2014 - Reculver Towers, Kent

Popped up to north Kent this afternoon to pay homage to the male Desert Wheatear.

A later than hoped-for arrival (me, not the bird) helped 'warm' our quarry in the fading light. Still, the Wheatear was ultra-confiding for the first two minutes of my stay - then it moved from its favoured rock and never returned!

A Black Redstart with newly replaced tertials on the right wing was an interesting start to the visit.

Black Redstart with asymetric moult in the tertials
Desert Wheatear
Desert Wheatear