Wednesday 23 September 2015

22 Sept 2015 - Acadian Flycatcher at Dungeness

News of an Empidonax flycatcher spp at Dungeness rather changed my lunch hour.

Just before we (avec Adam Whitehouse) arrived, news came through that the bird in question had vanished! Hmmm... This wasn't quite as I'd planned but, to cut a rather amusing story short, we were delighted when 20 minutes later the bird was refound in the South View garden.

I was struck by the depth and width of the bill - big, deep, strong, wide - and given that this bird was clearly not a Willow/Alder on colouration, but instead of the Acadian/Yellow-bellied complex, it seems good for Acadian rather than the slimmer bill of Yellow-bellied.

Photograph is from the Plodding Birder blog - run by the bird's finder Martin Casemore. Nice one Martin!
Acadian Flycatcher - Dungeness
And what a year 2015 is turning out to be: Great Blue Heron, Hudsonian Godwit, Citril Finch and now Acadian Flycatcher. And it's still not even October!

Tuesday 22 September 2015

18 Sept 2015 - St Margarets at Cliffe

Made a return visit to St Margarets at Cliffe as the weather forecast a few days ago looked good... Unfortunately by the time I ventured out, the skies were clear and the temperatured had plumeted. Setting up at 8.15pm I began packing up at 10.15 with near frost bite!

Scarce Bordered Straw - just a naff picture of one!
Rush Veneer
Autumnal Rustic - nice pink hues
Rusty Pearl Dot

16 Sept 2015 - Larkfield, Kent - Cypress Pug

Left the patio light on - the result of my (slight) error was this Cypress Pug. Nice!

Saturday 12 September 2015

10 Sept 2015 - St Margarets at Cliffe, Kent - National Moth Night

Visited St Margarets at Cliffe with Dr Marc Botham for National Moth Night.

Very nice and productive visit with migrants including: Great Brocade (1), Scarce Bordered Straw (1), Pearly Underwing (4), Dark Sword Grass (4), Small Mottled Willow (3), Convolvulous Hawk-moth (1), Latticed Heath (1),, Rush Veneer (3), Diamon-backed Moth (1) and 20+ Silver Y.

Great Brocade
Scarce Bordered Straw
Pearly Underwing
Pearly Underwings

Dark Sword-grass (top left) with Pearly Underwings
Small Mottled Willow
Rush Veneer
Centre-barred Sallow - red form
Plume spp - Citrus?
Micro 1
Great Green Bush Cricket (female)

10 Sept 2015 - Death's-head Hawk-moth

Marc Botham passed the office today on his way to St Margarets for a 'National Moth Night' session. With Marc was a couple of Death's-head Hawk-moth larvae which were rescued from a crop of pototoes being dug in a back garden in Leafields, West Oxfordshire.

Huge beasts - fantastic! And looking even more enormous in my daughter's cupped hands!

Monday 7 September 2015

3 Sept 2015 - Marsh Mallow Moth

Helped with some survey work for Marsh Mallow Moth near a reserve I've trapped at in the past. Five actinics set in teh food plant produced 8 adults with a further two being caught at an MV set away from any food plant.

A further surprise was a male Gem which was found on a fence away from any traps and caught by hand using a pot only!
Marsh Mallow Moth

Tuesday 1 September 2015

30 Aug 2015 - Italian Tree Crickets at Dungeness

24 hours after my failed attempt at the Dunge Tree Crickets, news that Marc Botham and Björn Beckmann were meeting up with Dave Walker for a Tree Cricket trip, proved irresistable.

Travelling south, a wonderful lightning display gave concerns that, once again, I'd end the evening soaked... Thankfully my concerns were ill-placed and a pleasant time listening to the crickets was further heightened by the sight of a female Sickle-beared Bush-cricket in the torchlight, found by Dave and Björn.

As for the Italian Tree Crickets - wow! These things look more like assasin bugs than crickets. Quite how they are able to produce the sounds southern Europe or even vaguely fly, I have no idea.

Nice one Dave!

Italian Tree Cricket (Oecanthus pellucens) - male
Italian Tree Cricket - male
Italian Tree Cricket - male
Italian Tree Cricket - male
Italian Tree Cricket - female
Italian Tree Cricket - nymph
Lesser Cockroach (I think)
Lesser Marsh Grasshopper

30 Aug 2015 - Vestal at East Malling, Kent

No sooner had I found a Vestal at Dungeness when I visited work and found another, flying around the garden of one of the hostels.

29 Aug 2015 - Dungeness

Ventured down to Dungeness with the aim of some moth trapping and a search for the Tree Crickets recently discovered by Dave Walker. Whilst the trap generated a few interesting bits, the heavens then opened and, with no end to the rain in sight, we packed up and made it to the pub. 45 minutes later we left the pub, still soaked, and found clear skies. With precise information on where the Crickets were, we set out for home.

Vestal - netted away from the trap
Yellow Belle
Micro 1

21-22 Aug 2015: Isle of Wight

A long weekend on the IOW visiting family provided an opportunity to fill the trap with Jersey Tigers and worn immigrant moths. Next visit, all the equipment is going with me..!

Jersey Tigers - a few of the 15 caught on the first night
Jersey Tigers
Four-spotted Footman
Tree-lichen Beauty
Rush Veneer
Gallium Carpet
Peacock Moth
Maiden's Blush
Marbled Beauty - a grey one
September Thorn
Dusky Thorn
Micro 1
Micro 2
Micro 3