Thursday, October 28, 2010

Merveille du Jour

The second Merveille du Jour for the garden. The last was in 2005. Also Feathered Thorn, Red-green Carpet, Brick, Yellow-line Quaker, Red-line Quaker, Beaded Chestnut, Green-brindled Crescent and Garden Rose Tortrix.

Merveille du Jour Dichonia aprilina

Canon Powershot A640

Sunday, October 24, 2010

West Penwith, August

Only just got around to sorting out the photos from a superb 10 day visit to West Cornwall at the end of August. We normally go to Sennen in late October but for various reasons ended up going around the summer bank holiday. An excellent week with lots of walking, some surfing and a fair bit of rock climbing plus of course plenty of wildlife.

A good series of Basking Shark records, a couple of Sunfish and good seabird passage, with quite a few Storm Petrels, Balearic and Sooty Shearwaters.


Roesel's Bush-cricket Metrioptera roeseli

Grey Bush-cricket Platycleis albopunctata

Speckled Bush-cricket Leptophyes punctatissima

Field Grasshopper Chorthippus brunneus


Yellow Shell Camptogramma bilineata

Prausta despicata

Grayling Hipparchia semele

Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas

Wall Lasiommata megera

Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria

Fox Moth Macrothylacia rubi, larva

Emperor Moth Saturnia pavonia, larva

Vapourer Moth Orgyia antiqua, larva

Other insects and arachnids


Rose Chafer Cetonia aurata

Harvestman eating grasshopper


Common Toad Bufo bufo

Common Lizard Lacerta vivipara


Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo

Golden-ringed Dragonfly Cordulegaster boltonii


Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax

Jackdaw Corvus monedula, eating Slow worm

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus

Stonechat Saxicola rubicola, juvenile


Basking Shark Cetorhinus maximus

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gannets and Crane

I took a bike ride out to Bradley Fen this lunchtime but long before I got there I noticed four juvenile Gannets were circling low over me as I biked across the Frank Perkins viaduct. They headed off over Fletton and I rang Mike Weedon over at Lynchwood to get him to put the news out.

Ten minutes later I had a call from him to say they had just flown past his office over the East of England Showground. At that moment I was at the west end of Bradley Fen and had just noticed an adult Crane flying over me. This drifted off over Stanground where it gained height and headed off west. Sure enough ten minutes later Mike had this go over the office too! Unknown to us at the time Matt Webb had seen the same bird from Ferry Meadows.

Multiple observations of the same birds as they fly through are strangely satisfying and the whole experience made for an exciting and entertaining lunchhour.

I'd seen one Gannet earlier this autumn taking the same route as the four here. It was also seen by Steve Dudley as it flew over the town bridge five minutes before I saw it crossing Nene Parkway and heading over Orton Mere.

With the six seen by Matt and Don the day before my single Gannet is becoming a positively common bird in the area!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Autumn Moths

A good selection of typical autumn moths last night. Pink-barred Sallow is only the second garden record (last in 2007) and Light Brown Apple Moth only the fourth. The Marbled Beauty is an unusually late record.

Pink-barred Sallow Xanthia togata

Yellow-line Quaker Agrochola macilenta

Large Ranunculus Polymixis flavicincta

Feathered Thorn Colotois pennaria

The Sallow Xanthia icteritia

Green-brindled Crescent Allophyes oxyacanthae

ab. capucina

Beaded Chestnut Agrochola lychnidis

The Chestnut Conistra vaccinii

Angle Shades Phlogophora meticulosa

Blair's Shoulder-knot Lithophane leautieri

Marbled Beauty Cryphia domestica

Light Brown Apple Moth Epiphyas postvittana

A good selection of moths last night during this mild spell of weather.

Canon Powershot A640

35 moths of 23 species
0998 Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana) 1
1048 Garden Rose Tortrix (Acleris variegana) 1
1795x November Moth agg, (Epirrita dilutata agg.) 1
1923 Feathered Thorn (Colotois pennaria) 2
2087 Turnip Moth (Agrotis segetum) 1
2107 Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba) 1
2109 Lesser Yellow Underwing (Noctua comes) 1
2199 Common Wainscot (Mythimna pallens) 1
2240 Blair's Shoulder-knot (Lithophane leautieri) 1
2245 Green-brindled Crecent (Allophyes oxyacanthae) 3
2245 Green-brindled Crecent (Allophyes oxyacanthae) 1
2252 Large Ranunculus (Polymixis flavicincta) 1
2258 The Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii) 1
2263 Red-line Quaker (Agrochola lota) 1
2264 Yellow-line Quaker (Agrochola macilenta) 1
2267 Beaded Chestnut (Agrochola lychnidis) 5
2270 Lunar Underwing (Omphaloscelis lunosa) 1
2272 Barred Sallow (Xanthia aurago) 4
2273 Pink-barred Sallow (Xanthia togata) 1
2274 The Sallow (Xanthia icteritia) 2
2306 Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa) 1
2361 Rosy Rustic (Hydraecia micacea) 1
2441 Silver Y (Autographa gamma) 1
2477 The Snout (Hypena proboscidalis) 1

Friday, October 08, 2010

Rock Pipit, Ferry Meadows

Matt Webb found two Rockits on the rocky shore of Gunwade Lake at Ferry Meadows this afternoon. One showed very well as I cycled past on the way home but I'm sure two more flew off. So perhaps there were three!?

Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus

Digiscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica APO77x20

Stanground Wash Migrants

An inspired decision to head along the North Bank this lunchtime netted a few grounded migrants and a PBC lifer.

This is the year for Lapland Buntings. The numbers being recorded countrywide are huge and the first one in our area this year was reported over earlier in the week, predictably by the workers on the Nene Washes. However while I was watching the chats pictured below I heard an unmistakably 'pu' call and looked up to see four birds flying south over my head. This is not a species we get around here very often so I've listened to recording of the call every autumn for years to keep familiar with what to listen for. I always dreaded my first being a distant one calling just once and leaving you wondering if you were hearing things. But this was calls close by overhead and repeated several times. Couldn't want for better.

My 237th PBC species and 212th find for the area.

This is a very late date for Whinchat locally. In the past 10 years or more there is only one later record and that was on 13th Oct.

The Wheatear was one of two. Overall quite a lunchtime haul from this excellent little patch.

Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe

Whinchat Saxicola rubetra

Digiscoped with Canon Powershot A640 and Leica APO77x20