This morning, heading out to empty the trap, I heard a Spotted Flycatcher calling and was surprised to see one perched on our TV aerial. In the trap there were 13 moths of 10 species with Silver-ground Carpet andmy 2nd ever Nematopogon metaxella new for the year. The latter species is interesting in that it's antenna are 3 times the length of its wings.
Before the heavy rain at the start of this week I recorded a couple of Small Waved Umbers which were new for the year. The morning there were 17 moths of 11 species. New for the year were Brown Rustic and my 3rd ever Eudonia pallida. This afternoon I visited Westbere where I failed to see any Scarce Chasers.There were quite a few newly emerged Small Tortoiseshells and many Banded Demoiselles.
Only 9 moths yesterday but Garden Pebble and Agonopterix arenella were new for the year. This morning despite the heavy rain in the 2nd part of the night there were 20 moths of 14 species with Common White Wave and The Uncertain new for the year. Also there was a Fox Moth (f) which is a first for the garden list and brings the total to 506.
Heavy rain overnight resulted in 9 moths of 5 species this morning, with Pale Tussock being new for the year. Spent today at Dunge where we struggled to find anything new. There were 6 Hobbies over the reserve and another was seen flying low over the sea at the patch where we noted a Med Gull and 150 Common Scoter. From the Dennis Hide we saw 1 Black Tern and at Scotney 2 Corn Buntings were seen and an Avocet chick. I managed a shot of a Stock Dove-not an easy bird to photograph. We also saw a Stoat on the reserve.
Species "new for the year" continued this morning with 5: Blastobasis lacticolella, Mottled Rustic, Eudonia (Dipleurina) lacustrata, The Lychnis and my 2nd ever Light Brocade following last year's 1st record.(21 moths of 11 species overall).
Another warm night meant 30 moths of 19 species this morning with the first Heart & Dart of the year. Also year firsts were:Monopis obviella,Argyresthia trifasciata, Oegoconia quadripuncta, andEpiblema cynosbatella.
The warmer weather produced 12 moths of 10 species this morning including my 2nd ever garden record of Buttoned Snout-the first was in 2006. Also new for the year were: Common Marbled Carpet, Common Swift, Garden Carpet, and C. atricapitana.
This morning I was pleased to find an Oak Hook-tip on the outside of the trap-only my 3rd Garden record, which flew off immediatly of course. Also new for the year were Treble Lines and Mottled Pug. Visited Bonsai Bank-Dengewood, yesterday to see the Duke of Burgundy butterflies, which were the only butterfly species I saw. There were a few moths including Speckled Yellows and Anania funebris, which I managed to get a photo of. Unfortunately it was a fairly worn individual. One Turtle Dove heard too.
The moth trapping has been pretty dire lately with just 2 or 3 moths each night, mostly LBAMs too. New for the year this week were a Waved Umber and a Brimstone Moth. A trip to Dunge yesterday proved more productive. Having been away I was very pleased to catch up with 2 Black-winged Stilts at the East end of the Scotney Pit, and on returning to the ARC car park, a Swallowtail Butterfly shot past towards the Hanson Hide. The first time I've seen one in Kent. I also ticked off my first Swifts of the year, and 5 species of Dragonfly/Damselfly: Hairy, Fourspotted Chaser, Azure, Common Blue and Large Red. A young Dabchick posed for a photograph near the visitor's centre.
Only 3 moths in the trap this morning: LBAM, Flame Shoulder and Light Emerald, which was new for the year. Later, whilst doing some garden re-arrangement, I came across the first Stag Beetle of 2014. I think this is quite early as I normally associate these with June.
Just back from a few days in the Highlands of Scotland. I didn't get that many photographic opportunities. However, I did manage to see my first Black Grouse in the UK for 21 years when, quite by chance, there was one feeding in a small tree as we came back down from a walk up to the Ryvoan Bothy from Glen More. Crested Tits now seem to be absent from the Loch Garten area. They're not even listed on the "What's About" board at the Osprey Hide. I did see 5 in the Culbin Forest but found them difficult to photograph. I caught up with 5 Dippers at various locations and 1 Red Squirrel at Loch an Eilein.