Saturday 31 March 2012

30 March 2012 - Wittenham Clumps

A decent catch last night, despite clear skies and cold temperatures - 190 moths of 16 species and thankfully very few micros....

Best of the bunch were four White-marked. Only a couple of kms from where I was catching several last year (Long Wittenham Wood).
A few Frosted Greens were a welcome addition to the year's tally. 

This presumed melanic Brindled Pug (f. hirschkei) was interesting. 

Shoulderstripe may not be the rarest moth, but they are pretty smart when you take the time to really look at them!

Wednesday 28 March 2012

28 March 2012 - Crowmarsh Gifford

Was intending to head out for another raptor watch at lunchtime - fortunately, yet unfortunately, depending on your viewpoint, I didn't need to go out at all...

Whilst using the staff restaurant garden, I gazed up (at 12.45pm) to check for raptors once again, and there was an Osprey slowing tracking North. B*llocks! I didn't have my camera with me.

Saw Orange Tip, Small Tort and Peacock, just to add to yesterday's Holly Blue - Spring is definately with us!

27 March 2012 - Crowmarsh Gifford (Osprey Watch)

Took lunchtime out along a footpath at lunchtime, primary aim was to search skyward for migrating raptors - most notably, to look for Ospreys.

Whilst this might seem a little optimistic, the reality is that there must be several hundred birds pass over our heads each Spring, and several times that each Autumn. Indeed, in Sept 2008 I spent a memorable few hours, looking skyward, in my back garden in Kent - and looking at the radio-tracked Ospreys, their routes are fairly north/south, without favouring the South-East corner.

Could I really repeat the exercise?

First up, the usual Red Kites.

And then the first Buzzard.

More interesting was this large female Sparrowhawk.

Three species of raptor, so far....

My attention was then drawn to two very distant raptors - Kestrel and a Peregrine.

With the Peregrine giving only record-shot views (it was so far away it could have been in Hampshire!).

Five species of raptor in my lunchbreak and even a wee Long-tailed Tit gathering nesting material. Still, it was certainly worth some time looking skyward even though there was no Osprey to reward me!

Monday 19 March 2012

19 March 2012 - Crowmarsh Gifford

A quick pop out ofthe office at lunchtime showed that the Black Redstart was still present... Or was it.

A rather unscientific glance releaved that this was a much brighter bird - and certainly a male (given Friday's bird was a female-type possible first summer male). So, the two-bird theory was then confirmed when Badger, of Listless Birder fame, and Tom, had both birds together.

Friday 16 March 2012

16 March 2012 - Crowmarsh Gifford

This female-type Black Redstart was a welcome diversion at the end of lunch-break.

Apparently a few have been seen on site over the past few years - nice.

Thursday 15 March 2012

15 March 2012 - Whittenham Clumps, Oxfordshire

A good catch of several hundred moths last night - in a couple of pleasant hours spent with 3MVs and Marc Botham.

This Red Chestnut was new for having - having eluded my trap last spring when I was regularly catching White-marked instead.

Saturday 3 March 2012

2 March 2012 - Warburg Reserve

135 Moths caught last night at the Warburg reserve. New for me on the macro front were three Yellow Horned.

While this Acleris cristana was a slightly more impressive new micro...

Impressive white scale-tuft.

This Ypsolopha mucronella being one of the 'highlights' - for Marc.