Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Mild weather has meant the moths have started arriving with a Hebrew Character and Chestnut yesterday, and this morning a new tortrix for the garden. Picture below:

Acleris cristana

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Just back from 10 days Birding in Calgary where the highlights were 6 species of Owl, 2 Gyrfalcons, Black-backed Woodpecker and Golden Eagle. More photos will appear on my Flickr site shortly.

Great Grey Owl

 Golden Eagle on road kill.

 Gyrfalcon

Friday, 3 February 2017

Having been suffering from one of these viruses for sometime I finally got to Dungeness today. We started at the ARC where liitle was to be seen but at the patch, roosting on the beach were both a Glaucous and an Iceland Gull (2 of the latter were reported later). After lunch we went round the main part of the RSPB reserve where highlights were: Ring-necked Duck, Long-eared Owl, 3 Goosander, 1 Smew, 7 White-fronted Geese, 1 Ruff, a drake Goldeneye in front of the Makepeace hide, and a 2nd sighting of the Glaucous Gull making a visit from the patch. On the way over to Rye the Red-necked Grebe and a Little Egret were on the pool just west of Camber. A good day.

Iceland Gull

 Goldeneye

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

The first moth of the year appeared next to the trap on Sunday morning-it's a start. On Sunday I had a fairly distant view of a Short-eared Owl behind the Oyster Farm at Reculver and the Barn Owl showed well at Reculver late afternoon the same day.

Mottled Umber

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

I had very good day in the Dungeness/E. Sussex border area today. At the ARC there was a Bittern in front of the Hanson Hide glimpsed from behind the only glass window but unfortunately it flew when the I gingerly opened the first hatch. A Great White Egret was also there. The Ring-necked Duck was in the usual place. We failed with the Stonechat, and there was little at the Patch, but a 2nd Winter Caspian Gull showed well near the Fish Hut. Two Slavonian Grebes were on the New Diggings and after lunch at the back of Scotney Farm there was a Black-necked Grebe on the pit east of the track. Further along a Buzzard was noted and to the west of the pits a Ringtail Hen Harrier showed well. Finally, we headed off to Pett Level via Camber. The Red-necked Grebe showed well on the pool just past the village, but seemed not to be there when I returned on the way back. At Pett Level the 5 Taiga Bean Geese and 4 Pink-footed Geese where with numerous Greylags, Canadas, and 5 (presumably feral?) Barnacle Geese. With Little Grebes and Great Crested Grebes at Scotney and elsewhere that meant we'd manged to see 5 species of Grebe in a day.

Red-necked Grebe

Friday, 30 December 2016

Looking back over the year the following were the highlights:

1.The best of my garden moths wete 5 Convolvulus Hawk-moths recorded in September. Finally getting round to palnting the free packet of Nicotiana seeds from Atropos magazine paid off spectacularly.

2. The Great Grey Owl I photographed near Calgary was the bird of the year. I'd been trying to get good pictures of this species for a few years. This one seemed oblivious to a few photographers and caught 3 voles while we watched.

3. My Kent bird of the year was the Hobby which gave very close views on the ARC pit track at Dungeness on a miserable spring day.

 Great Grey Owl
 Hobby
 Convolvulus Hawk-moth

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

With -3c in the garden last night I think the mothtrapping year is over now. 2016 has been my best year in terms of the number of species recorded by a fair distance and the first time I've recorded over 300 species in the year. The 318 total included 6 new macro and 16 new micro species for the garden list.  The 2 most obvious factors involved here are probably: 1. Using a 40W actinic trap instead of the 6W model I've used for the past 16 years. 2. The fine weather this summer from mid July until well into September. The table below summarises my moth numbers from 2010 and although not strictly comparable it still reveals somthing interesting. Despite a record number of species the total moths trapped still didn't reach the numbers achieved in the smaller actinic trap in 2010 and 2011.



2010
2010
2011
2011
2012
2012
2013
2013
2014
2014
2015
2015
2016
2016

No.
Spec.
No.
Spec.
No.
Spec.
No.
Spec.
No.
Spec.
No.
Spec.
No.
Spec.
Macro Moths
5090
180
4833
187
2972
160
2719
160
2273
164
3515
186
4469
201
Micro Moths
1310
86
1215
96
1348
97
945
96
929
106
1006
108
1494
117
Total
6400
266
6048
283
4320
257
3664
256
3202
270
4521
294
5963
318