Thursday, 20 June 2019

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.

The Suspected

Variegated Golden Tortrix

 Hobby on Dengemarsh

Monday, 10 June 2019

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.
Black-veined Moth

Cochylis nana

 Hornet Moth

Saturday, 1 June 2019

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.

The Miller

 Puss Moth

Stag Beetle

Monday, 20 May 2019

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.

Friday, 10 May 2019

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.

 Northern Drab

Citrus Swallowtail

Portuguese Man O'War

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

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.

 Cape Verde Shearwater

Red-billed Tropicbird

Brown Booby

Saturday, 6 April 2019

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.
Lead-coloured Drab

 The Grey-backed Mining Bee

 Gorse Shieldbugs

Bearded Tit

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Today whilst doing gardening It was very hot so I tried out the Emperor Moth pheromone lure and sure enough one turned up after about 30 minutes-never stopped flapping but a first for the garden of course.Had a better day at Dunge on Thursday where there was an arrival of Garganey  I saw 7 of the 8 Garganey on the reserve. Also on the reserve were a small flock  Water Pipits. Finally from the ramp on the reserve we saw a Bittern “booming” which was a first for me and meant we had 5 species of heron in the day with Cattle, Little, and Great White Egrets plus Grey Heron.

 Emperor Moth (Cornwall)



Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Since my last post there have been 3 species new for the year in the trap: Diurnea fagella, Double-striped Pug and best of all an Oak Beauty. I recorded this latter species for the very first time last year, so I was pleased to record one again. Bird migration seems to be getting going now. A Glossy Ibis has been around at Oare and I finally caught up with the Penduline Tit that has been at Grove Ferry for a few weeks now.

Penduline Tit

Glossy Ibis

Oak Beauty

Monday, 18 March 2019

Since my last post the micro A. alstromeriana has been the only new species for the year in the trap. Struggled round Dungeness in a gale last Wednesday after which there was nothing new to report although the 4 Cattle Egrets were close to the road near the Lydd roundabout. The previous weekend I made the effort to visit Pencester gardens in Dover where the Yellow-browed Warbler has over-wintered.
 Yellow-browed Warbler

Cattle Egret

Agonopterix alstromeriana

Friday, 8 March 2019

Since my last post there have been a few more moth species recorded: Small Quaker, Early Grey, Clouded Drab and Common Plume, bringing the total to 11 for the year so far. At Dungeness I've been struggling to see anything new. Yesterday gale force winds there made life difficult. A Wheatear and a couple of Swallows were seen but not by me. The Smew and Black-necked Grebe are still present on the RSPB reserve. Two Great White Egrets were noted. Reed Buntings were common around the reserve too.

 Reed Bunting

 Small Quaker

Early Grey

Sunday, 24 February 2019

A few species ne for the year have turned up in the trap in this spell of fine weather, although cold nights haven't helped. Common Quaker, Dotted Border, The Chestnut, Agonopterix heracliana, and Acleris cristana have taken the year list to 7. Nothing new seen at Dungeness, but there was a pair of Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers in Bossenden Wood at Dunkirk this morning, and I was lucky enough to get a picture of the male. A Little Grebe also showed well at Stodmarsh yesterday.

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

 Little Grebe

 Acleris cristana


Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Since my last post a Pale Brindled Beauty was the 2nd species of the year in the moth trap. At Dungeness yesterday the Smew was again visible distantly from the Visitor Centre. A Merlin flew over Boulderwall Farmhouse, where the Tree Sparrows were back around the building and feeders. One of the 2 Whopper Swans in the area showed very well in front of the Dengemarsh Hide. Three Marsh Harriers and 3 or 4 Great White Egrets were noted. As I left 2 Cattle Egrets were near the road back to Lydd. 

Whooper Swan

 Tree Sparrow


Friday, 8 February 2019

Had the first moth of the year in the trap this morning: Hebrew Character. At the weekend I visited Mountain Street, Chilham where at the top several Bramblings were feeding on the Beech Mast along the public footpath. Yesterday I failed in a search for the Waxwings reported in Folkestone, but spending the rest of the morning at Dungeness I eventually caught up with the recently arrived drake Smew-the first of ths species to be seen at Dungeness this winter. A walk round the reserve produced a Great White Egret and a couple of Marsh Harriers, while 2 Cattle Egrets showed well in a small horse paddock nearby.

 Cattle Egret


 Hebrew Character

Monday, 28 January 2019

Struggled to find anything new at Dungeness last week. The Cattle Egrets were still around with around 3 Great White Egrets. However, I did manage to see a few Common Crossbills at Hemsted Forest near Benenden, together with a few Redpolls. A Tawny Owl called there too. This morning the previously reported Whimbrel was just west of the slipway. The Highland Cattle are back on the West Flood.
 Common Crossbill


Highland Cattle

Monday, 21 January 2019

Still no moths. Last week at Dungeness I did manage to see the Woodlark at Pigwell and 2 Goosanders on the RSPB Reserve. The 4 Cattle Egrets were still along the road between Lydd and Boulderwall and about 3 Great White Egrets were seen around the area. A couple of Goldeneye were seen. Today I went looking for Crossbills at Challock-failed to see any but 2 Marsh Tits, 20+ Siskin and a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker were nice to see. Failed with Penduline Tit at Grove Ferry but a Kingfisher was the first I've seen this year.


 Goldeneye (female)

Great White Egret

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

No moths yet despite some milder nights. Last Friday's visit to Dungeness mainly involved seeing some of this winter's regulars: Great White, Little and Cattle Egrets, 2 Whooper Swans, Corn Buntings, Marsh Harriers, and a Cetti's Warbler that showed briefly from the Hanson Hide. Yesterday I was the first car in the car park at Reculver and the 2 Snow Butings were on the path between the towers and Coldharbour Lagoon.

Snow Bunting

Cetti's Warbler

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

We've reached the end of another year. For the moth trap it's been a very good year with the warm week in April and the long hot summer producing a record total for me of 397 species recorded including 27 new species for the garden list, taking the grand total to 626. Best record of the year ws probably The Mocha, but I was also pleased to record several common species that have eluded me till now. The 13 new macro species were: Autumnal Rustic, Beautiful Hook-tip, Coxcomb Prominent, Dark Umber, Dusky Thorn, Kent Black Arches, Leopard Moth, Lunar Marbled Brown, Thye Mocha, Oak beauty, Plumed Fan-foot, Pine Beauty, and Powdered Quaker. Best bird of the year was the White-billed Diver off Thanet in early November. However, for me it was never really close enough for a decent photo. However, the 2 Bluethroats in the Dengemarsh Gully at Dungeness in March were very obliging.

The Mocha

 White-billed Diver