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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Moth's and Swallows are back !

I ran the moth trap on Friday night for the Garden Moth Sc... and was delighted to find 3 critters present the next morning, all different, and 2 were new species for the garden. A fresh looking Hebrew Character was a welcome and hoped for year tick.
The next moth threw me initially as I did not realise it was a micro, but eventually I put a name to it, again a nice fresh example, Diurnea fagella.

Diurnea fagella

Next out was a slightly worn Double-striped Pug, thanks to Patrick C for confirming my suspicions, not easy when they are a bit tatty.
Double-striped Pug

I popped to Grimley Saturday, the weather was not quite what we had been lead to believe it was going to be. Still the Chiffchaff's were singing and a brighter bird with a more distinct supercillium and pink legs was almost certainly a Willow Warbler, but I prefer to here one singing before I tick it off the year list. A pair of Bullfinches was nice to see, not had one recently, and my first of the year  White Wagtail showed on the east side.
Around midday a few hirrundines arrived, initially high over the north end of the Camp Lane Pitts. Initially Sand Martins, then a A few Swallows, my first this year. Numbers built and they started feeding over the water, despite the cool weather and drizzle.
I moved to the south end, where House Martins were now present, another year first .Numbers of all 3 species were respectable and gave good views.

Saturday nights trapping yielded a single Clouded Drab, still, another year first and the 7th species to be trapped in the garden this year.

Clouded Drab

I spent most of Sunday trying in vain to find a Yellow Wagtail or Wheatear on my local patch. You would have thought the strong southerlies and rain would have delivered something. Between showers there were signs the inverts were picking up. My first patch butterfly tumbled past on the breeze, possibly a Peacock. A Tree Bumblebee dropped on some Coltsfoot, as did this Marmalade Hoverfly.
Marmalade Hoverfly

Sunday night yielded a single Common Quaker, but better was to come on my first real after work patch walk of the year. Two Queen Buff tailed Bumblebees was nice, but far better was the first Swallow of the year on the patch hanging around the kennels. This was just after I had the unexpected surprise of a pair of Bramblings.
As the weather chilled and the clouds darkened I headed for home, thinking I was done. However, one final welcome surprise, 3 House Martins reclaiming their residence near the pub.


  1. I enjoyed reading your post Mark. A lot of interseting species in your post! Good that we seem to have now turned a corner with the weather!
    I had my first of the year Brimstone at Wolverley and Small Tortoiseshell at Arley,both seen on Monday! Also 4 Swallows over the Brake Mill Pool yesterday.
    I hope your weekend will be a good one!

  2. Thank you Pam, It is great that we are finally enjoying some of the fruits of spring !