Moth trap numbers have fallen sharply but I was pleased to see my first Feathered Gothic for 4 years. Today I had another day at Dungeness in challenging weather-namely gale force winds all day. There were around 6 Great White Egrets on the ARC pit and we again managed a fairly distant view of the Osprey from the reserve but not much else. So a message that there were Grey Phalaropes at the Fishing Boats had to be followed up and we enjoyed a prolonged close view of one-my first for 2 years.
Friday at Dungeness was a wet and blustery day. Osprey was the target species and we did get a distant view of one from the Hanson Hide on the ARC pit. Other birds of prey seen in that area were Hobby, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk and Marsh Harrier. Three Little Stints were also present plus a couple of Garganey in eclipse plumage. Yesterday afternoon at Oare there were 6+ Curlew Sandpipers amongst the 100s of birds on the East Flood at high tide. Moth trap numbers have fallen further with the cold nights (7c last night). This morning second records for the year of Centre-barred Sallow and L-album Wainscot continued the autumnal feel.
I feel autumn has arrived now with the first Centre-barred Sallow of the year in the trap this morning. With a couple of micros recently, the year total has now reached 352 species. Also at Seasalter this morning along the sea wall west of the Sportsman there were 2 Whinchats and 3 Wheatears plus a Clouded Yellow Butterfly.
Since the rain on Wednesday and cooler nights, moth numbers are down, but earlier this week I added another new micro to the garden list: Stenolechia gemmella. We've reached the end of another month and it's been an exceptional year with the moth trap. Previously last year had been my best year with 318 species, the first year in 17 that I'd passed 300. This year I'm already on 348, with 4 months still to go. Birdwatching has picked up over the last couple of days. On thursday at Dunge the highlights were the Pectoral Sandpiper on the ARC pit, which could be elusive at times, and the 5 Cattle Egrets with cows near Boulderwall Farm. Other birds noted were Greenshanks, Common & Green Sandpipers, 6 Great White Egrets, 2 Garganey, and a Hobby. Yesterday afternoon at Oare in perfect light the Red-necked Phalarope, Long-billed Dowitcher and Bonaparte's Gull all showed well. Also noted were 2 Spotted Redshank, Ruff, Knot, Peregrine and Buzzard.
At Dunge today no
really exiting birds. The best were behind Scotney Farm where we saw: Med.
Gulls, Tree Sparrows, Corn Buntings, Wheatears, Yellow Wagtails, Little
Owl and a Buzzard. Elsewhere there was a Hobby and a couple of Green Sandpipers
and Common Sandpipers. Highlight of the day was at the Bird Observatory
where I was permitted to photograph a Clifden Nonpareil-I had to stand on a chair
to use the telephoto lens I had on the camera.
A Brown Hawker also posed on the ARC pit.
After a couple of cooler nights, last night's milder conditions produced 129 moths of 34 species this morning including a Scarce Bordered Straw-my 3rd garden record after 2 in the hot summer of 2006. Also new for the year were Clay Triple Lines, Mullein Wave, and A. tristella. Year list now 342.
The moth trap remains interesting with my 2nd ever record of the migrant Small Mottled Willow. Also new for the year over the last couple for days were: Buff-tip and Brown China-mark plus 2 micros which were both 1st garden records.
A couple of good nights, despite last night's rain, have produced the following species new for the year: Orange Swift, Lesser Swallow Prominent, Bactra robustana, and another new species for the garden list: Agriphila selasella. I feel I may have overlooked the latter species in the past. Year list now 327.
Since my last post cooler nights have reduced moth numbers but a Broad-barred White and Flounced Rustic have been new for the year, and, after more than 17 years I finally recorded a Scorched Wing in the trap. This is a fairly common species I'd always hoped to see. Year list now 316.
Yesterday at Dunge the rain arrived at lunchtime, which limited the day somewhat. However, there were a few waders with Little Ringed Plovers, and Common Sandpipers on the ARC pit, and on the main part of the reserve Black-tailed Godwits, Common Sandpipers, Ringed Plovers and a Wood Sandpiper showed well in front of the Firth Hide. A Hobby also flew past over Burrowes Pit. On Dengemarsh 3 Great White Egrets, several Little Egrets, and a few Ruff were noted. Today I had the opportunity to photograph a Ground Lackey moth. Not from my trap, but a scarce species I've not seen before. It is specialist of coastal saltmarsh mainly in Kent, Essex and Suffolk.
Well we have reached the end of another month. Since my last post Dog's Tooth and Peacock have both been new for the year, and this morning a rather worn Cyclamen Tortrix was new for the garden. The Garden list now stands at 592. However, the year list 312 is fast catching last year's total of 318, which was my best ever year.
Since my last post the weather has changed dramatically and numbers have been much smaller. However, I have had a new micro species for the garden since my last post: Eucosma campoliliana. Elsewhere the Bonaparte's Gull has retuned to Oare Marshes for its 5th late summer residence, and at Dunge yesterday, we noted a juvenile Cuckoo, 2 Little Stints, Wood Sandpiper, Swifts heading south and large numbers of Sand Martins preparing to do the same? My firend was lucky enought to get a bried view of a Whinchat on the power station wall.
Back from a week away the moth trap yesterday morning had 102 moths of 42 species with 2 new ones for the garden: The Olive and Morophaga choragella. Also there was my 3rd ever Sallow Kitten, (unfortunately a bit damaged), Hoary Footman and a Yew-tree Beauty. This morning only 30 moths after a cooler night but White-point brought the year total to 299. Garden total now 589.
I've had a few computer problems bit it's been another good week for the moth trap with over 50 species on more than one morning. Best records were my first ever Oak Eggar in the garden, my second Scalloped Hook-tip, Canary-shouldered Thorn and a couple of new micro moths.
Good moth numbers continue with lots of species new for the year; Including several Privet Hawk-moths, and the V-pug. A rather worn Marbled White-spot was the 2nd garden record and the first since 2000. At the end of June I reached 240 species for the first half of the year which compares well with 128 at this stage last year. As 2016 was my best year for the number of species, this is quite amazing and shows what some warm weather can do. New for the garden was a micro: Eucosma conterminana-see picture. A Humming-bird Hawk-moth in the garden was my second of the year.
to find many birds at Dunge today but, not for the first time, we found aninteresting insect inside one of the RSPB's hides. I think this is a Short-winged Conehead. The moth trap continues to be interesting with new species for the year including Barred Yellow, Dark Sword-grass, Dot Moth and Brown-tail. A few days ago Sandy Carpet was new for the garden and a 2nd one appeared this morning. A new micro for the garden this week was Ypsolopha ustella.
Good numbers of moths continue with species new for the year including: Privet Hawk-moth, Ruby Tiger, Lesser Broad-bordered Underwing, Rush Veneer, Smoky Wainscot, Large Twin-spot Carpet Pine Carpet and Large Tabby. Best was a new micro for the garden: Lozotaeniodes formosana. In addition I heard about a site near Faversham where Hornet Moths had been seen. I had a look there Sunday afternoon and was lucky enough to see one-unfortunately I somehow forgot the camera so had to photograph it with the phone.