Friday, June 30, 2006

M.V. rules!

Finally received the replacement parts for the moth trap on Wednesday so Aylmerton was once again lit up like an airport terminal that evening! Thursday morning, 0430 I was up in the cool early morning light to put the trap in the safety of the summer house, so they couldn't all gradually crawl out and away during the course of the day! An absolute hatfull were 'potted' (I think that is moth-speak for 'didn't escape before I could identify them'!) With 96 caught and 15 new ones, some absolute beauty's-

Angle Shades 2
Flame 5
Flame Shoulder 2
Setaceous Hebrew Character 4
Brown-eye White-line* 5
The Uncertain* 9
Small square-spot* 6
Heart & Dart 17
Common Wainscote 4
Burnished Brass* 3
Common Footman* 1
Light Arches* 1
Dark Arches* 2
Grey Dagger* 1
Eyed Hawkmoth* 1
Pine Hawkmoth*
Light Emerald 1
Buff Ermine 5
Buff tip 2
Peppered Moth 1
Ghost Moth 3
Common Swift 1
Plain Golden Y* 4
White Ermine2
Large Yellow Underwing* 2
Marbled Minor 3
Gothic* 1
Broad barred White* 1
Clouded bordered Brindle* 3
Silver Y 1
Riband Wave* 1
Green Silver lines* 1


Eyed Hawkmoth The 'eyes' are on the rear wing which is held under the forewing

The Gothic

Green Silver Lines It really is 'Orville' green! (It isn't?... It is!)

Light Arches

Plain Golden Y ...I've seen plainer!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Managed a mid summer garden tick this morning in the form of a singing QUAIL (YL 81). I thought I caught a snatch of song yesterday morning in the wind and rain but it was only brief and distant. With calmer conditions today the bird was clearly audible with its 'Wet me lips-wet me lips' song coming from the wheat field. This species has been a long time coming for the parish and garden list, and it may not be just a coincedence with the wide set- a-side field margins that provide weeds for insects, that Quail are reliant on.
The weekend provided a couple of good records on the insect front- the make shift moth trap plods on with much reduced numbers but still pulls in new ones with Treble Brown Spot, Buff-tip, Rustic plus probable Small square spot. The Hummingbird Hawkmoth graced us with its presence again on Sunday.

Treble Brown Spot


Just before I sat to watch the England game Sunday afternoon I thought I'ld put myself under an equal amount of pressure as the playing squad by seeing if I could get over too Felbrigg lake and back for the footie in 45 minutes! Managed it easily ( without making it look difficult- England please note!) and managed to twicht my first dragonfly, Red veined Darter

Red veined Darter

"I wasn't feeling too well just before, and after the shot it just came up, it was hot out there"...the pressures of blogging!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Garden birds..Aussie style!

Just awaiting delivery of replacement parts for the moth trap. God its frustrating, after waiting all winter and with a cold spring too, outside at night its like moth-city now and I've broken me bloody trap! Anyway not much else to report, saw a Hobby whip through low over the pond Monday morning but in the evenings I keep getting distracted by a certain international sporting event! Just thought I'ld post a couple of pics of these garden visitors we had daily (without fail!) at one of the accomadation's we stayed at, at Mission Beach, Queensland.


This was Cassie the dominant female who held a territory throughout our stay... you were safe as long as you didn't walk around with food in your hand ( or you were another Cassowary!)

This is the male, Charlie, he would be tolerated at a distance by Cassie- even though they mate every spring!
Cassie's 'casque' (head shield) and wattles are bigger and longer respectively than on Charlie.

Like any female, she had perfected her 'if looks could kill' stare!

This is poor old Colin, the two year old son of Cassie and Charlie, not particularly liked by either of his parents and seemingly dispised by his mother! He would creep down the drive and jump at the mere sound of a foot step on the shingle in case it was his evil mum. If she did see him she was after him like a shot making low, farting noises as she went! He also ran like a girl.

A rare sight out of the breeding season, Cassie and Charlie together (yes thats a full size wheelie-bin!). Usually solitary during most of the year, we were treated to such an occurance due to Cyclone Larry which devastated this area in March (much of which was still evident) and destroyed almost all the fruits that were growing in the rainforests where these birds feed. Basically they were starving.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Bits and Pieces

Although no concerted effort was made to record any observations today (mainly because I was bring home my other half from hospital after an op!) it turned out quite a good day (for obs, not my temporarily one armed wife!) After seeing a fair few Black Kites at the beginning of the month whilst on holiday it was only right and proper that we should have a Red Kite go through, just to keep 'our eye in'! 0855 a rather tatty looking single drifted east over the village but still looking more graceful and slimmer than its cousin.
Had the make-shift moth trap on last night again, frustratingly fewer than I know I would get with the MV but they didi include two year/life ticks, The Flame (2) and a Scalloped Hazel
Whilst cooking a welcome home BBQ this amazing little micro-moth, Nempophora degeerella, caught my eye on our Bay bush, its antenae are literally 3 times the length of the body!

Nempophora degeerella

Also in the garden at this time were several Silver Y , and best of all my son pointed out a fantastic, though rather brief, Hummingbird Hawkmoth as it sampled about three flower heads then motored off! This makes 80 for the year in the garden.

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Had a moth trap disaster last night in the form of snagging the power cable plug in the shed door whilst transporting it for a nights trapping. The resulting pull on the wires inside the weather proof box meant that the power went straight to the bulb instead of through the transformer! In turn this resulted in very low out put (as in zero!) and a bill for a new mercury vapour bulb and probably a choke as well! $*&£ it! I managed to string up a previous 'heath robinson' attempt but enevitably numbers were fairly low:

Heart & Dart - 5
Setaceous H.C. - 5
Common Wainscot - 3
Coxcomb Prominent* - 1
Flame Shoulder - 2
White Ermine - 3
Buff Ermine - 1
Scorched Wing - 2
Pale Prominent - 1

23/586/76 (macro moth)

Coxcomb Prominent

Common Wainscot

Along the track this morning there were several Painted Lady butterflies plus many Silver Y moths in the rank grass edges. This moth can be commonly seen during the daylight hours in almost any weedy area with tall grass during high summer months. A male Reed Bunting sings once again, like it did last year, from hedgrows bordering the Oil Seed Rape field.

Silver Y

The pond is looking particularly healthy at the moment with lovely clear water, and plenty of oxygenating aquatic plants coming on. Saw the duck Mallard again and saw she actually has 9 well grown ducklings, she has done very well to get that many to this stage. Hopefully disturbance to the 'out of bounds' side of the pond remains to a minimum so as not to push wildlife using the pond straight on to the road!

'Come said mother duck...'

Also managed a couple more Damselfly shots around the pond, and butterflies which I took advantage of during cloudier periods of the morning.

Azure Damselfly

Blue tailed Damselfly

Large Skipper

Speckled Wood

Friday, June 16, 2006

Busy Busy

Work,Home,Family and Football has meant it has been a busy week this week with little to spare for recording wildlife. Highlight of the week in bird terms was a lone Turtle Dove zooming SW over the fields on Wednesday morning. Have managed to identify two of the outstanding puzzlers from last weekends moths, one a Small Argent and Sable and the other were a pair of Rustic Shoulder Knots. (-/563/74). Its looking promising for mothing again tonight, being warm with plenty of cloud, so no doubt I'll have another hatfull to sort out tomorrow morning!

Monday, June 12, 2006


Well what a fantastic weekend it was, what with the glorious weather (up to 30 c in the garden!), and being absolutely unindated with moths on Friday and Saturday evening. Im still trying to identify a couple that I photographed but have managed to sort the majority out. Its amazing that after a period of just four weeks away how the species have changed completely with loads of new ones for me! So far the list for the weekend is :

Poplar Hawkmoth - 1
Peppered Moth* - 2
Setaceous Hebrew Character - 30
Buff Ermine* - 10
White Ermine - 12
Heart and Dart* - 10
Green Carpet* - 3
Small Angle Shades* - 1
Flame Shoulder - 3
Common Quaker - 1
Brimstone Moth* - 1
Trebles Lines* - 3
Lime speck Pug* - 4
Privet Hawkmoth* - 1
Ghost Moth* - 2
Spectacle - 1
Scorched Wing* - 2
Chinese Character - 1
Common Swift* - 5
Light Emerald* - 1
Pale Prominent* - 1
Garden Carpet* - 1
Brown Rustic* - 1
Poplar Grey* - 1
Clouded Silver* - 1
Middle barred Minor* - 1
Beautiful Golden Y* - 1
Marbled Minor* - 3


Privet Hawkmoth... well impressive, one of the largest British moths at nearly 60mm long!

Poplar Hawkmoth

Pale Prominent

Pale Emerald

Buff Ermine

The pond was teaming with life with the brown Gold Fish still plentiful, Moorhen with chicks and a duck Mallard with at least seven well grown ducklings. Also here were many 'blue' Damselflies, some emering as I watched, some flying around try to find unmated females and others ovipositing (egg laying), a complete spectrum of life.

Emerging Damselfly with its old skin just above it

Dragon and Damselflies are also new to me this year, but luckily the digiscopoing method is so versitile that it can be used to good effect , enabling a more detailed inspection of these insects without having to catch them and possibly cause them damage.

Azure Damselflies ovipositing

A Blue tailed Damselfly

The only Dragonfly present were a pair of Broad bodied Chasers, the male sitting on favored perches before zooming across the pond to meet the female whenever she put in a usually brief appearance before she departed off high again. (not stoned!)

Broad bodied Chaser

Its traditionally a quiet time of year for bird movement, with almost everthing where its meant to be, doing what its supposed to be doing. The most notable sightings this weekend were a Grey Partridge on the Sugar beet field on Saturday and unsurprisingly a Hobby soaring over the village (probably looking for Dragonflies!) on a hot Sunday afternoon.

Friday, June 09, 2006

G'Day!! Back from Down Under!

No prizes for guessing where we,ve been for the last few weeks....... !


All together now, aaahhh!....

Six banded Angel Fish ........

Salt-water Crocodile- we didn't get so close to the big ones! ...

Grasshopperus Asbigasmefingarus - or it maybe the subspecies biggerthanthumbius!

After a truly fantastic holiday (there are 100's more photos so I may periodically reminisce on quieter/ horrible rainy days!) it was back to earth with a bump, good to know that blogger hasn't changed, its taken me two days to get online!
Aylmerton didn't disappoint on my first day back with an early morning walk up the track producing a pair of Red Deer on one side ( one being a stag now growing new antler's) and a Roe Deer feeding on the other. It was also nice to see a couple of Brown Hares after being scarce for a couple of years. The other mammal seen had alas been dead for a while, a Mole. We all see what they leave behind but not many people have seen its culprit especially alive. Was taking some stone walling down in the garden, carefully as usual, with good cause because there were at least 6 baby presumed Smooth Newts tucked away in there.

Smooth Newt