Monday 31 January 2011

31 January 2011 - Wallingford, Oxon

A day of little wind presented the opportunity to snap a few of the Hazel catkins that are currently adorning the hedgerows. The season is beginning.

Thursday 27 January 2011

27 January 2011 - A small wood near Didcot, Oxon

My second catch of the year and a further respectable catch - Spring Ushers being the highlight whist the micro Tortricodes alternella (not that this would be much of a highlight for your average aged mother).
Spring Usher
Spring Usher
Tortricodes alternella

Saturday 15 January 2011

15 January 2011 - Didcot & RSPB Rainham Marshes

My first trap of the year - and several weeks since my last attempt - things could only be good... or naff. Decided on putting the trap in the nearby wood as a garden catch would surely be naff. The result was very good - for an actinic light. 9 moths of 4 species. Three species new for me owing to this being my first winter of mothing.

Pale Brindled Beauty Mottled Umber
Mottled Umbers
Mottled Umbers - this chap was a lot smaller than the other two
And finally, this Early Moth hid in the trap amongst numerous Winter Moths.
Spent the remainder of the day at RSPB Rainham Marshes looking at rubbish and gulls - the less said about that part of the day the better!

Sunday 9 January 2011

9 Jan 2011 - Back Garden, Didcot, Oxon

I opened my new copy of 'Woodlice and Waterlice in Britain and Ireland' (S Gregory), only to be inspired that some of these mini-beasts can be found easily during the winter (summer can drive them, er, underground).

With no news of any Waxwings in Didcot, I instead ventured out to the back garden for a quick look-see while the Wiff was asleep. Checking a few upturned bricks and bits of wood, this was definately my childhood returning!

So, how did I do? Well, I was really choughed to find a few tiny, tiny white Woodlice (3-4mm) in an ants nest. In the past, I probably would have dismissed these as baby Woodlice - but I'm more educated on these things now, so have identified them as Platyarthus hoffmannseggii - great name eh?

Platyarthus hoffmannseggii

The other species found wasn't quite so easy to ID - and I may well have got things wrong. But I reckon they are Porcellio scaber.
Porcellio scaber
These white blobs are the lungs - strange stuff eh?

Saturday 1 January 2011

1 January 2011 - Glen Shee, Perthshire

First day of the year and so I thought I'd have a quick run up to Glen Shee to see if there was anything about. The car park up at the ski centre produced a flock of about 20 Snow Buntings.
The flock included several colour-ringed birds.
After leaving the Snow Bunts, a drive to the southern end of the car park produced 17 Red Grouse. Ah well, that's enough year listing for 2011.