Thursday 31 December 2015

Moths are still about. On Tuesday morning I was surprised to find a pristine Common Quaker in the trap. I've only recorded this species from late Feb to start of May previously. Yesterday morning there was another Rusty-dot Pearl. Made a regular trip to Dunge yesterday, again in very windy conditions.
There was a Great White Egret on the ARC pit and a couple of Goldeneye. A Chiffchaff showed briefly along the Willow Trail. The rest of the morning was spent at the patch sheltering behind the first hide. There was a continuous procession west of Gannets, Kittiwakes, Auks, and Red-throated Divers past, plus one fairly distant Great Skua-my first this year. A GBB Gull was feeding on a dead Harbour Porpoise on the beach nearby. Back on the reserve after lunch 4 Little Gulls (another year tick) flew past the visitor centre while we drank coffee, and the Long-eared Owl was just about visible in the usual place but deeper in the bush. A Water Rail showed well but briefly in front of the Scott Hide, where 1 Smew was also seen. Two more Great White Egrets were also seen.

 Great Black-backed Gull

 Common Quaker

Thursday 24 December 2015

Nothing to report from the trap. Went over to Grove Ferry yesterday morning where a Marsh Harrier spent quite a bit of time in front of the Feast hide. In the afternoon spent an hour or so at Seasalter where a Short-eared Owl performed well, in what will probably be the only sunshine this week.

Short-eared Owl

 Short-eared Owl

 Marsh Harrier

Thursday 17 December 2015

Yesterday morning, despite overnight rain, there were 3 moths in the tap. A Winter Moth had finally arrived plus The Chestnut and a Diamond-back. This morning there was a Rusty-dot Pearl. The Diamond-back and RD Pearl were the first I've recorded in the month of December. The mild weather continues.

Winter Moth

Monday 14 December 2015

Since my last post I've added two more moth species to those I've recorded in December: Angle Shades and B. lacticolella. I was surprised to find that the Angle Shades was also the first I've recorded this year. However, despite the mild conditions, I've yet to see a Winter Moth this autumn. Went over to Grove Ferry in gloomy conditions this afternoon-the male Hen Harrier flew past the Marsh Hide just as I left it! Two Barn Owls showed well on the walk back to the car but no Short-eared this time. The latest addition to my garden bird list is pictured below.

Thursday 10 December 2015

Since my last post I've recorded 2 more species for the first time in December: Dark Sword-grass and Brown House-moth. Today I spent another very windy day at Dunge. On the ARC pit there was 1 Great White Egret, a Peregrine, and at least 3 Marsh Harriers plus about 7 Smew flew away down the pit. On the rest of the reserve 1 Caspian Gull was identified plus 2 Smew, a Kingfisher, Little Egret and the Long-eared Owl. We struggled to find much else.


 Dark Sword-grass

Friday 4 December 2015

A Yellow-line Quaker in the trap this morning was the first I've seen in December. I went over to Grove Ferry for the afternoon hoping to see the male Hen Harrier again. No luck with that but a Ringtail showed well in front of the Marsh Hide. On my walk back to the car a Short-eared Owl also showed well.
 Hen Harrier

 Hen Harrier