We've reached the end of another month in which 13 new species for the year appeared in the moth trap. So 375 species have been trapped this year. Between 50 and 100 Fieldfares were by the Sportsman Inn at Seasalter late on Monday afternoon, and at Dungeness today a Merlin showed well chasing a Goldfinch at the Fishing Boats. In the afternoon a Little Owl was at Scotney Farm along with 30 Egyptian Geese. A feral Barnacle Goose was beside the track.
At Dungeness yesterday it remained overcast but very mild and calm all day. We got off to a good start with a Dartford Warbler near the screen hide on the ARC Pit, and a Yellow-browed Warbler calling loudly for quite a while in the bushes behind this hide. Unfortunately we never actually saw it. There were Goldcrests everywhere but we failed to find a Firecrest. On the reserve the Cattle Egret showed well with cows near Cook's Pool, and around 13 Great White Egrets were seen around the reverve.In the moth trap Dark Chestnut was new for the year, while this morning a Scarce Bordered Straw was only my 4th ever record and the 2nd of the year.
Spent another fine but very windy day at Dungeness on Friday. Again it was a bit of a struggle but highlights were Pomarine and Arctic Skuas at the fishing boats, and a Cattle Egret with cattle near Boulderwall farmhouse. Around 9 Great White Egrets were seen. In the moth trap since my last post Red-line Quaker was new for the year and the tortrix Acleris schalleriana was new for the garden, bringing the all-time garden total to 599.
Since my last post the mild weather has produced a reasonable number of moths, including: Large Wainscot and Blair's Shoulder-Knot, both new for the year. A second Vestal of the Autumn was of the usual colour form.
Milder nights have still produced disappointing moth numbers. However, The Brick and Green-brindled Crescent have been new for the year, and the second Merveille du Jour was found on the shed. A lot of Honey Fungus has appeared on our Birch stump-the picture represents about 10% of it.
A very pleasant day at Dunge yesterday weatherwise but almost devoid of interesting birds. The Red-necked Grebe was still on the ARC pit, a few Black Redstarts were around the power station, and there were 11+ Great White Egrets around the RSPB reserve. The only new moth species for the autumn since my last post was a Yellow-line Quaker this morning.
Spent a bright and breezy day at Dungeness yesterday but struggled to find much new. However, on the ARC pit when I arrived there were 8 Great White Egrets, and at the end of the day I finally caught up with long-staying Red-necked Grebe there. In the trap recently a Barred Sallow and this morning my first Merveille du Jour for 2 years.
Oare Marshes NR attracted a crowd yesterday to see the Wilson's Phalarope, for what I believe is this american species 1st appearance there. A Black-necked Grebe also showed well on Faversham Creek, as did the long-staying Long-billed Dowitcher. This morning there was only 8 moths after another cold night, but Feathered Thorn was new for the year.
We've reached the end of another month which, although the weather has been very changeable, has produced a few interesting moth records. Yesterday morning there were 2 species new for the year: Frosted Orange and my 4th ever record of the Vestal. This migrant species is normally yellow but this one was bright pink, a known colour variation which may indicate local breeding. Also yesterday afternoon I went over to Bishopstone to see a very confiding Lapland Bunting.
This morning I was invited to see the very rare Fisher's Estuarine Moth, a species which turns up in a garden moth trap in Tankerton. Also I had 22 species this morning in my garden, of which The Mallow was new for the year.
It was very mild last night with heavy rain forecast but I thought I'd put out the trap, and was rewarded with my first Clifden Nonpareil in the garden. It was a rather battered individual which I have tidied up with a bit of photoshopping. Garden list now 598.
Moth numbers have picked up with a few milder nights. Best record was my 2nd ever Brindled Green, the first since 2006. Also the first Feathered Ranunculus and Acleris sparsana of the year. Today I noticed a bug on the kitchen window which proved to be a Western Conifer Seed Bug-an introduced american species. Today at Oare I counted 13 Little Stints, a Curlew Sandpiper with the Long-billed Dowitcher showing well again.
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.