Just back from a week in Broadway in the Cotswolds where I ran the moth trap and got 4 species new to me. They were: Brown-spot Pinion, August Thorn, September Thorn and a micro Ypsolopha parenthesella.
The hot weather over the last few days has livened up the moth trap with new species for the year including: Lesser Swallow Prominent, Dark Spinach, The Vapourer, The Fern, Six-striped Rustic, Rosy Rustic, and Cypress Pug. In the garden Painted Ladies have been fairly common and the UK's largest Hoverfly, Volucella zonaria (Hornet Mimic) has also appeared on the buddleia. However, best of all this morning in the trap was a Jersey Mocha which was another new one for the site.
Highlight of my Dungeness visit on Thursday was a Red Kite over the ARC pit, which was the first I've seen in the Dungeness/Lydd area. Two Cattle Egrets and a few Great White Egrets were noted, and a reasinable selection of waders included a juv. Red Knot from the Firth hide and Wood Sandpipers on the ARC pit. Also from the Firth hide a Black Tern abd a couple of Little Terns. Moth trap has been poor this week due to cold nights and rain.
Species numbers in the moth trap are well down on last year but this week managed another first for the garden in the shape of 2 Jersey Tigers, a species that's been spreading for sometime and has finally reached here. Also of interest was a very nice example of a Tree-Lichen Beauty, a species that I first recorded in 2013 and have now had 45 records since then. It's only the 2nd year that I've recorded Pyrausta despicata.
Recently returned from a Birdwatching week in Madeira with seabirds the main interest. Pictures will be on my Flickr site over next few days. The commonest seabirds were Cory's Shearwaters and Bulwer's Petrels. Loggerhead Turtles were also quite common. With the moth trap we've reached the end of another month with species numbers well down on last year: 285 compared to 326 at the same time in 2018. However, it was nice to get my 2nd record of Black Arches.
No Dungeness visit this week, but the main birdwatching interst this week has been at Oare Marshes where the Bonaparte's Gull has returned for the 7th year, and another American species the Lesser Yellowlegs has also been showing well on occasion. A Wood Sandpiper and Spotted Redshank have also been present. Sothern Migrant (Blue-eyed) Hawker dragonflies are also on the wing now for the 2nd year at this site. In the moth trap I was pleased to get my 2nd ever record ofLozotaeniodes formosana.
Last Thursday at Dunge the Red-veined Darter was in the sameplace for the 3rd week running, and Little Ringed Plovers were posing in front of the Firth Hide. Two Little Gulls were present on the ARC Pit. The moth trap has produced a few good records in the last few mdays with Monochroa lucidella new for the site. Also Platytes alpinella, Kent Black Arches and The Festoon were nice to see.
Last week at Dungeness a Red-veined Darter was again along the track by Hayfield 2 on the RSPB Reserve-possibly the same one as a week earlier. A Peregrine was over the Firth Hide and a Bittern was glimpsed briefly from the Denge Marsh Hide. The moth trap has been mainly a case of the usual suspects turning up. Also in the trap was a Summer Chafer-a smaller version of the Cockchafer (Maybug) of the spring.
The hot weather has meant the moth trap has finally got going after a slow start to the summer. We've reached the end of another moth and I was surprised to find that I've recorded 193 species so far this year which is actually 5 better than the same stage last year. There have been a few new micros but it's always nice to get a Barred Straw and Common Emerald, neither of which are common in my garden. At Dungeness last Friday I was pleased to see a Red-veined Darter dragonfly on the track past Hayfield 2. I have only ever seen this migrant species on the Dungeness RSPB Reserve but this was the first for 19 years. We also saw a large fly on the Willow Trail which was Tachina grossa, the UK's largest Tachnid.
The moth trap finally improved somewhat this morning with 53 moths of 30 species. Best of all was The Suspected which was new for the garden. A couple of days ago I was also pleased with my second ever record of Variegated Golden Tortrix and the first for 13 years. Dungeness last week was very quiet with a few Hobbies providing the main interest.
Since my last posting the trap has been a bit disappointing but I get a new micro Cochylis nana which is only 5mm in length. Much more successful was a Buttefly Conservation Walk yesterday morning near Crundale in search of the rare Black-veined Moth. Around 10 were seen by the group. Additional intersting sightings were: Mother Shipton, Burnett Companion, Dingy Skipper, Green Hairstreak, Large Skipper, plus Red Kite, and Yellowhammer. I also saw a Hornet Moth at the usual site near Luddenham last week.
We've reached the end of another month and the moth trap has reached 82 species, which is 27 less than than the same stage last year. Not many interesting records recently, the best being a Puss Moth flushed in the garden while watering and The Miller, which was my first for 11years. Stag Beetles are regular in the garden at the moment.
Moth trap still not producing much even though the nights have warmed up a bit in the last couple of days. Last week at Dunge we struggled to find much but did get a good view of the Serin singing at nearby Littlestone.
Identified on a facebook site I have recorded another new species for the garden: Northern Drab. However, with not much else to report from home, here are another couple of pictures from my recent visit to Cape Verde.
I've not had a lot to report from the trap during the latter part of April. The Streamer and a couple of Muslin Moths were the only species new for the year. However, I recently had a week away in the Cape Verde Islands mainly to see seabirds. Some are pictured below. More will posted on my Flickr site in coming days.
Since my last post I've recorded 2 new species for the year in the moth trap: Brindled Beauty and best of all a Lead-coloured Drab which is new for the garden list. We had an interesting day at Dungeness yesterday. The Common Crane showed distantly from the entrance track to the RSPB Reserve and a number of spring migrants were noted: Willow Warbler, Wheatear, Black Redstart and Sedge Warbler. A pair of Bearded Tits showed well from the ramp on the rererve. The Grey-backed Mining Bees were present near the Visitor Centre, and around a dozen Gorse Shieldbugs were noted around the site.