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Sunday, 19 August 2012

Redstart patch lifer ! and a few new moths

A solid weekend in Doorstepshire started with an early doors visit to Upton Warren Saturday. 7am and the Reed Warblers were showing well in the Hen Pool hide. Down at the main flashes hide the focus was on the large amount of passerine activity in the hedgerows ( yes there were Sandpipers, Common and Green ). I was pleased to pick up my first views this year of Water Rail, a species I had heard frequently this year but not seen, so finally I could tick that off.
There were plenty of Chiffy's, Willow Warblers and Common Whitethroats,  and three Lesser Whitethroats. A Juv/ female Redstart showed briefly with distant views through a fellow birders scope as mine was in the hide.A Kingfisher was at the Moors. Not a bad session, fifty or so species when I tried to enter what I could remember later into Bird Journal.

 At 10.45 Sunday I was studying the paddocks on my patch that occupy a bit of a hill . Viewing is not straightforward, with a few pockets of dead ground and areas screened by vegetation. However, at a range of  c150 yards I noticed a bird perched up on a fence post. It looked good for Redstart by the jizz, but aside from distance the light was murky. I skirted round the perimeter to see if I could get better views. The post I had been watching was now occupied by a juv Green Woodpecker. Eventually it showed again,still looked good for Redstart. I went back for my scope and set up. When a Robin showed in the bush I had last seen the Redstart in with my Bins I began to doubt myself, but eventually it reappeared and perched well on a post for good views through the Scope. This was a patch lifer, a nice male ! I have spent a lot of time scanning my patch habitat hoping for a Redstart, they pop up in the regularly watched spots down the road, but this was the first to my knowledge that had been seen here for a couple of years at least.
record shot Redstart from around 150yrds
After securing a record shot I carried on my walk past a spot where in midweek I had found a colony of  white micro moths on the vegetation of a small pond. I had managed a record shot ( after dashing home for my forgotten memory card !) and identified them as Small China-mark moths. The larvae are semi acquatic, and the picture does not do justice to the very pretty blue pattern . This was a moth lifer, and a very pleasing find. They were still present today.

Small China-mark moth
My final highlight of the morning was finding another new moth, on some ragwort. A decent sized micro, called Udea lutealis, one of the Latin names I can nearly pronounce.

Udea lutealis
Finally, before all this daytime joy kicked off, I had emptied my moth trap. The highlight was this not uncommon, but new to the group so welcome, Square-spot Rustic ( I think )

Square-spot Rustic

Have a good week folks


  1. Always a thrill to get a Redstart on the local patch, nice one :-)

  2. Well done on the Redstart Mark...I can only echo what Warren has said. There is nothing quite as rewarding as finding a passage chat on your patch during migration periods!

  3. absolutely. the UW one was ok, but a self find on one's local patch is the holy grail !