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Monday, 14 May 2012

Cuckoo and good moths

Green Carpet Moth
Only real opportunity for a birding last week came on Thursday evening when I scooted less than a handful of miles down the road to catch up with a Spotted Flycatcher. I have had these on my own patch the last 2 years,  as passage birds I have happened upon. After staking out the location I had heard one was occupying, I  connected after about 45 minutes. That's Pied and Spotted in a the last few days for me, great !

The weather was warm , cloudy and breezy, so after drawing blanks for the last few weeks I was cautiously optimistic that setting the moth trap last night may finally yield something.  At 6.30 am Friday I hopped out of bed and attended the trap. there were 2 moths visible on the inner aspect of the perspex lid of them yellow, I gave a whoop that hopefully did not wake the neighbours.

Hurrying inside I started with the yellow fellow , which I recognised straight away as a Brimstone. Fantastic , fresh looking moth. He was pretty lively so I grabbed the best record shot I could manage and allowed him to escape. Amongst the egg boxes was a fresh looking Common Quaker, a species I had had a few weeks ago. Finally, another newbie Garden Carpet , a pretty Smart moth, my 9th from the trap.

Brinstone Moth( Sunday find)

I had planned Saturday to fulfil a desire to try and see Dotterel on the Long Mynd and then try and see some Skippers and Fritillaries around Button Oak. By 12.30 that day I had done a lot of driving and only managed to add Garden Warbler to my year list..things were not going well.

Resisting the temptation to head home and have a nice afternoon snooze, I headed to Upton where the sun was out and there was some activity on the wing. There was a good emergence of Beautiful Demoiselle,  many resting away from the water getting their strength up. I also picked up on a fresh female Banded Demoiselle, my first of the year.

Female Banded Demoiselle

My day was also made worthwhile by finding a lovely Cinnabar moth, I love these !

Cinnabar Moth

After covering 120 miles on Saturday, I was not going far on Sunday. I was desperate to see a Cuckoo, and the sun was shining early doors, so I headed back to Upton. Whilst walking to the hide I heard a Cuckoo calling in the distance, and within 10  minutes of settling in the hide, he was showing on the south side of the Moors pool..excellent ! It was worth a dodgy record shot, but I won't bother with it here.

The Little Gull was still performing well, and Sedge and Reed Warblers getting more showy, but otherwise it was a bit slow on the bird front, with the sun quite warm, I turned to the invertebrates. Walking the track a Holly Blue showed briefly, which was my second of the year. On the Damselfly front , an appearance of  male Banded Demoisells on the wing since yesterday. On the way back I stopped at Shenstone, planning to walk some set aside, but it was much more exposed to the cold wind, so I cut this short. However, not before finding 2 more new moths..a micro moth  incurvaria masculella  and a Small Yellow Underwing ( many thanks to Patrick C  for the ID )

incurvaria masculella moth and Small Yellow Underwing
More images/ species here

1 comment:

  1. A great selection of inverts Mark...sounds a good weekend...even if you have gripped me off with Small Yellow Underwing on my patch!