Saturday, June 23, 2007

Flamin' June my A*SE!

There appears to be no let up in the wet weather at the moment with even more forecast! I did manage to run the moth trap last night, albeit covered over in case of any cloud bursts!
Riband Wave 4 MYL 84
Small Elephant Hawkmoth 2 MYL85
Elephant Hawkmoth 1 MYL86
Poplar Hawkmoth 2
Flame Shoulder 2
The Flame 3
Lrge Yellow Udrwg 15
Heart and Dart 4
Light Emerald 3
Scalloped Hazel 1
Scorched Wing 1 MYL87
Common Swift 8
Small Bloodvein 1 MYL88
Brimstone 3
Garden Carpet 1
Straw Dot 7
Snout 3
Brown China Mark 3
Buff Ermine 3
Small Magpie 5
White Ermine 2
Spectacle 1 MYL89
Clouded Border 1
Dark Arches 1 MYL90
Burnished Brass 2 MYL91
Diamond-backed Moth 5
Plain Golden Y 2
Mottled Rustic 3 MYL92
Brown Rustic 3
Common Wainscot 1
Middle-barred Minor 8
Tawny-barred Minor 2 MYL93
Bright Line Brown-eye 1
Small Fan-footed Wave 2 MYL94
Common Footman 1 MYL95
Maple Prominent 1 MYL96
Green Pug 1
Udea olivalis

Elephant Hawkmoth

Maple Prominent

Tawny Marbled Minor

Mottled Rustic

Dark Arches

Monday, June 18, 2007

Dear, Dear Monty

A miserable day here in Norfolk, and I nearly didn't go somewhere but in the end was glad that I did! Work today took me past a relatively well known nesting site for Montagu's Harrier, and though it had been raining most of the morning, as I arrived it briefly stopped. With the site to myself I soon focused in on a male Montagu's Harrier flying in from the west fairly high heading over the road. With the bird going away at distance I didn't bother with the digi-scope but just then the female broke cover, flew up to the male and executed a perfect food drop form the male to the female-a fantastic sight that I'd never witnessed before! I set the scope up and with fast shutter speeds and rapid frames set up I waited for a repeat performance. I hadn't seen the male after the food pass, until 6-7 mins later when he flew back heading west, but this time alot closer! With camera all set and ready to shoot off frame after frame... disaster! The auto power save kicked in and turned the bloody camera off!!! I quickly turned it back on (my current camera does not memorise the settings so it goes back to standard!) and managed to get the bird in the view finder and clicked off ONE frame! One bloody frame, I know when I pushed the shutter there were little red icons in the veiwfinder everywhere (which generally means-Warning, crap picture on the way!) BUT the actually result of one frame I think was, well... see what you think...

Montagu's Harrier (a male, and gorgous!)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

More Moths

Ran the moth trap again last night (I generally try not to run consecutive nights but at the moment opportunities are few and far between!) and the catch reflected the reasoning - smaller and more of the same with a few additions, including 2 Poplar Hawkmoths and a year in the form of a Grey Pine Carpet MYL 80

Grey Pine Carpet

The moths that I count at the moment for a year list are known as Macro moths and are all thankfully included in a single field guide. Another group of moths are known commonly as Micro moths (which can then be split into even more groups!) and although they are true moths, I don't count them because there is not one complete identification guide to help you ..erm.. identify them! But as I become a little more confident with the macros I find I'm showing an interest in the Micro's! So the best way of ensuring an attempt at ID-ing them I think is to start counting them in the totals, well a moth is a moth!

Thistle Ermine MYL 81

Diamond-backed Moth MYL 82

Cherry-fruit Moth MYL 83

Oh these last two little fella's are about 3-4mm long, if you fancy looking for them!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Mothing - at last!

Finally managed a nights mothing in the garden last night, with neither wind nor rain thwarting an attempt, a healthy catch this morning, plenty of year ticks and another lifer!

Snout 4 MYL65
Brimstone Moth 3
Flame Shoulder 8
Smokey Wainscote 1 MYL66
Large Yellow Underwing 13
Common Wainscote 1
Bloodvein 4
Buff Ermine 10
White Ermine 5
Bufftip 1 MYL68
Eyed Hawkmoth 1 MYL69
Silver Y 2 MYL70
Green Pug MYL71
Clouded Silver MYL72
Heart and Dart 7
Plain Golden Y MYL73
Clouded Border 1 MYL74
Brown Rustic 3 MYL 75
Small Square Spot 3
Setaceous Hebrew Character 1
Light Emerald 1 MYL76
The Flame 1 MYL77
Straw Dot 6
Common Swift 1 MYL78
Willow Beauty 3 MYL79
Small Magpie3
Brown China-mark1
Udea Olivalis1
Diamond-backed Moth 1

Common Swift

Pale-shouldered Brocade

Green Pug

Plain Golden Y

Clouded Border

Eyed Hawkmoth

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


No! not U's!, O's...Ping-go's!

One of my appointments today took me to Stow Bedon near Watton, which is right next to the Thompson Common Pingo trail, not an orange-footed curser in sight but a few of these remnants from the ice age caused by underground springs. Apparently Pingo is Inuit for 'hill', which is how they were first formed, as an ice hill. Any way cause they've been there so long they can built up fairly diverse and numerous species that depended on them, not least of all a healthy population of Scarce Emerald Damselfly which were out in good numbers the short time I was here. As the name suggests these are not a common insect at all, so we're fortunate too have them here in Norfolk. There were lots of bugs here today, an absolute haven, if you know what you are looking at!

A Pingo

Scarce Emerald Damselfly (female)

Scarce Emerald Damselfly (male)

Long-horn Beetle Agapanthia villosoviridescens

Beetle Oedemera nobilis

Nursery-web Spider

Even saw a moth, Snout

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

DIY Springwatch!

Work took me as far a field as Suffolk today (Sudbury and Shotley!) taking in such sites as historic Lavenham and the Orwell Bridge! I took my digiscoping gear with the intension of finding a meandering river at lunch break to look for dragonflies and the like... lunch break? ha !you must be kidding! I did steal a rest break at Suffolk Water Park near Needham Market where a Great-crested Grebe was being the perfect parent... altogether now ahhhhh!
(please excuse the Bill Oddie-esque comments!)

"aint no pimping of this ride needed!"

"Faster mum! Faster!

"eh? I thought we were going this way?"

"Go play with this feather , dear"

"bored now... got any more?!"

Sunday, June 10, 2007


While the rest of the country basks in sunshine we continue to keep the miserable, grey low cloud and mist putting a dampener on everything (literally!). Had the trap on last night but unsurprisingly very few caught:
MYL 62 Large Yellow Underwing 2
Small Square-spot 1
Rustic Shoulderknot 1
Flame Shoulder 4
Setaceous Hebrew Character 2
Silver-Ground Carpet 1
Heart & Dart 5
MYL 63 Ingrailed Clay 1

MYL64 Rosy Minor
Angle Shades 1

Engrailed Clay

Rosy Minor

White Campion-thing

Wild Dog Rose

Red -legged Partridge

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Botany block!

When it comes to wildflowers I have to admit that I am fairly rubbish at knowing what they are! However I do know that here in Aylmerton we are at least blessed with having wild orchids and a grotty day saw me going to see how they were doing. Plenty here, and looking variably different, I think they are all Common Spotted Orchid on different themes.
Common Spotted Orchid

Pretty sure this is Ragged Robin

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sunny Weekend

After the washout of a bank holiday last week its nice to see the sun again! With the close of May the birding takes a more leisurely pace for a couple of months now, with migrant birds few and far between, the time versus result ratio is definitely on the side of time (ie spending a lot of time looking for birds with very few results!) That said though bits and pieces may always be encountered so it's not as though we'll be walking around with our eyes closed! The next couple of months should be good for insects however, so they will probably be the main stay of most reports.
An afternoon walk down to Felbrigg Lake on Thursday looking for Dragonflies surprisingly drew a complete blank, although not all was lost, for as I got out of the car a Crossbill flew over calling strongly-nice! Also around the lake I was briefly stumped by a bird sitting on a post in the middle of the field- after getting my scope up I was surprised to see a female Mandrin!
Had the moth trap on all night last night and sure to form had an absolute hatful to go through this morning, with two that were new to the garden:
MYL54 Straw-dot 8
MYL55 Poplar Hawkmoth 5
Flame Shoulder 10
MYL56 Buff Ermine 6
White Ermine 5
Bloodvein 2
MYL57 Rustic Shoulder-knot 4
Setaceous Hebrew Character 20
Small Square Spot 23
Pebble Prominent
Bright-line Brown-eye
Marbled minor 1
Common Wainscote 3
Heart & Dart 4
Treblelines 1
MYL59 Clouded-bordered Brindle `(dark morph)
MYL60 Mottled Rustic
Poplar Hawkmoth

Sandy Carpet
Clouded-bordered Brindle

Rustic Shoulder-knot
PYL 101 Crossbill