Nothing new in the moth trap yesterday but there was a nice Pebble Hook-tip, and in the afternoon I returned to the wood at Dunkirk which I referred to in the last post. I was leaving when I noticed another micro that I'd not seen before and just managed a photograph before it legged it. It was the very local Commophila aeneanea.
Yesterday 16 moths of 9 species with Common Marbled Carpet, Garden Carpet and Light Emerald new for the year. This morning only 8 moths of 5 species. However, yesterday, on the edge of a Dunkirk wood I photographed my first Broad-bodied Chaser of the year and a nice Micro that was completely new to me: Alabonia geoffrella.
After a bit of research it appears that my Downy Emerald at Dunge was the 2nd record for the Dunge area following 1 photographed the previous day by DW in the Observatory trapping area. However, mine would seem to be the first for the RSPB Reserve. Yesterday morning, after the mildest night of the year (12c), the moth trapping suddenly improved with 22 moths of 18 species, of which 10 were new for the year. In no particular order: Buttoned Snout, Clouded Border, Pale Tussock, Brindled
Pug, Grey Pine Carpet, Mottled Pug, Currant Pug, Turnip, Light Brocade,
Shuttle-shaped Dart, Flame Shoulder, Pale Mottled Willow, Treble Lines, Bee,
Rusty-dot Pearl, Tinea trinotella, A. arenella, and Celypha lacunana. My 2nd Buttoned Snout of the year was a much better specimen than the first. This morning, after a low of 4.5c overnight, just 2 moths: Treble Lines and Common Swift.
Yesterday there were 5 species new for the year in the moth trap. Poplar Hawk-moth, White Ermine, Bee Moth, Garden Pebble, and Lime-speck Pug. I then spent the day at Dunge where, apart from a lot of Hobbies, Dragonflies provided the most interest. There were good numbers of Common Blue, Azure, Blue-tailed and Red-eyed Damselflies plus Hairy Dragonflies and Four-spotted Chasers. However, the best was a Downy Emerald which I photographed near the lakes on the left past the screen hide on the ARC pit. I was unaware that they occurred at this site and I understand this may well be a good record. I shall be checking to see if it's first for the site.
Made a trip to Dunge today. With heavy rain forecast this was more in hope than expectation. At the ARC Pit I saw a Great White Egret in flight and a Hobby flashed past. We thought we'd try the patch before the deluge but as we got out of the car it was starting to rain a bit and I made the bad decision to leave the camera behind. We sheltered on the right of the first hide and scanned the patch. We saw a couple of Arctic Terns among the Common before my eagle-eyed companion managed to pick out a Roseate Tern, which then proceeded to fly towards us along the shore edge right past the hide. I ran for the camera and managed a record shot after chasing it along the shingle. I was reflecting on the pictures that might have been, when the message came of 2 White-winged Black Terns on Burrows Pit. We hurried to the reserve where we had good but fairly distant views of these stunning birds in pouring rain, which sent us home earlier than usual.
Despite a cold night, the moth trap held 9 different macro species this morning. New for the year were Treble Lines, Pale Mottled Willow, The Spectacle and Least Black Arches. The latter was only my second ever record and the first since 2001. Made a visit to Stodmarsh today where 20+ Hobbies were on view.
Since returning from Cornwall the moth trap numbers have continued low. New for the year have been: Pebble Hook-tip, Brimstone, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Spruce Carpet and Lesser Swallow Prominent. I also had the first Cockchafer in the trap this morning so maybe normal service is about to resume. On Sunday I visited Bonsai Bank in Denge Wood where the Duke of Burgundy Butterflies were showing well, along with a Green Hairstreak.
My recent visit to Cornwall did produce a few bird sightings. The bird of the trip was the Ring-billed Gull on the RSPB Hayle Estuary Reserve. I noticed that in the Collins Bird Guide it mentions that this species likes to walk about a lot, which was true of this one, which started off on the far side of the pool and within about 10 minutes had conveniently walked right in front of the hide. Botallack seems to be good for Cornish Choughs with about 8 seen on one day and 3 on the next. You can also see the "Poldark " mine there too and a stream of Manx Shearwaters passing by.
We've reached the end of another month and the garden moth trap continues to disappoint with only 16 species recorded so far this year, which compares to 34 by this time last year. I've just returned from a week in Cornwall where I ran the trap on a few nights in the garden of a cottage near Praze-an-Beeble. Here I was successful on the first night with 2 Shoulder Stripes, a species I don't get in the garden and was therefore new for me. Later in the week there was a Water Carpet, only the 2nd one I've trapped, with the previous also being in Cornwall. However, the mothing highlight of the week was using a pheromone lure on a gorse covered headland near Godrevy Lighthouse where I saw a total of around 10 Emperor Moths, which I'd never seen before.