Tuesday, 29 June 2010

June 29th 2010

A very warm blustery day but Draycote Water was still quiet with 20+ first year Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 5 Buzzards worth mentioning when Bob and I visited this morning.
Luckily the butterflies made up for it with Draycote’s first Marbled White and Small Skipper of the year with 36 and 6 respectively among 10 Large Skipper, 5 Small Tortoiseshell, 15 Meadow Brown, 150+ Ringlet and 4 Speckled Wood in the top field of the country park. Also present were 2 White-plumed Moth, many Udea lutealis, Straw Dot and plenty of Common Blue Damselfly plus hundreds of Crickets/Grasshoppers sp.


Sunday, 27 June 2010

June 27th 2010

It was another cracking night for moths which meant I took two hours to clear down Dave’s trap and the ones in his allotment before returning home to clear mine down. Between the three locations I trapped 869 moths of 118 species with this Tawny-barred Angle being a new garden moth for Dave. I had given Bob the day off so grabbed a record shot.

Tawny-barred Angle
By mid morning it was 25c and rising so not much around accept for a Chiffchaff in full song when I checked on Cock Robin Wood N.R. which is just up the road from me, also 2 Emperor Dragonfly and 3 Speckled Woods. I tried Ashlawn Cutting as well but little change from my last visit.


Saturday, 26 June 2010

June 26th 2010

I was bored with local birding so went to Norfolk mid afternoon yesterday for a bag of seaside Fish & Chips. A brief look at the Titchwell RSPB reserve produced Little Egret, Bearded Tit, Marsh Harrier, Avocet and Spotted Redshank then found a good location to set up the moth trap up in before moving on to one of the coastal heaths to look for Nightjars via the chip shop. They always seem to taste better with sea air even if the fish had been frozen longer than it lived. As we waited for dusk a Barn Owl and young Tree Pipits were seen before 2 Nightjars started flying over the heath then it was back to the trap which did better than I expected with nine species that were new for me before packing up for the journey home. I did not have much chance to rest as both mine and Dave’s traps were heaving with over 600 moths of 90 species between us. I grabbed a couple of hours sleep before Bob came round with the magic lens.
Back out again this afternoon with pheromones searching for clearwings eventually finding 27 Currant and 3 Red-belted from 2 orchards and 3 allotments searched and a look at the pond produced a Little Egret flying over towards biggen bay so a decent bird at last but far too tired to go chasing after it to see if it landed. Also seen or heard were Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Whitethroat, 2 Green Woodpecker and 2 Hobby trawling the sky’s for insects. This evening 150+ gulls flew over the estate as I set up a number of traps in the allotment behind Dave’s house.


Wednesday, 23 June 2010

June 23rd 2010

I was out just after 2:30am taking advantage of this current spell of warm nights looking for owls along the Southam Road and though both Tawny and Barn Owl could be heard it was not till dawn broke that a Barn Owl was spotted in the distance hunting around the country park, Draycote Water also Fox and Badger seen. On arrival at the pond there were 2 Barn Owls between the country park and farborough spit and a search around the visitor centre for moths produced Riband Wave, 2 Light Emerald, Pebble Prominent, Mottled Rustic, 3 Cinnabar and a Silver Y. Even at this time of morning the bird life was pretty quiet so only birds of note were Sedge Warbler, 3 Yellow Wagtail, Common Tern and 2 Whitethroat before meeting up with Bob at my house.
Dave and I have between us caught over nearly 700 moths over the last two nights of 70+ species so not surprisingly Bob and I spent 5 hours photographing some of them – well Bob did the clicking and I fed him.


Tuesday, 22 June 2010

July 22nd 2010

Bob and I went to Ashlawn Cutting, Rugby late morning looking for butterflies. The warm weather brought out 60 Ringlet, Meadow Brown, 20 Common Blue, 6 Orange-tip, 6 Large White, Red Admiral, 30 Speckled Wood, Painted Lady, Marbled White and 30 Large Skipper. Moths included 6 Burnet Companion, Straw Dot, 5 Chimney Sweeper and 3 Latticed Heath including one that Bob managed to digi-scope while it rested and the only birds of note was Green Woodpecker, Buzzard and Jay. Also present were Four-spotted Chaser and 10 Banded Demoiselle.

Latticed Heath by Bob Hazell
After dropping me off at home a distant Red Kite flew west before it returned being seen by Mark's sister heading north east. Earlier in the morning a Stock Dove went over while at least 10 young Swifts fed overhead.


June 21st 2010

A glorious sunny day spent doing bugger all so no bird news apart from a Buzzard soaring overhead and my attempt to top up my Israel tan was going well till Terry rang to invite us over to see the Orange-tailed Clearwing he had attracted to his garden in Cubbington (the only person to do this in Warwickshire)(and for the second year in a row) so once Bob had completed his domestic duties we popped over to see this elusive gem (2 of them in fact).

Orange-tailed Clearwing by Terry Southgate


Sunday, 20 June 2010

June 20th 2010

Dave and I spent a relaxing morning walking along the dowles brook, Wyre Forest, Worcestershire enjoying the tranquility of the area and though we did not see as much as we hoped we came away with our first Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Beautiful Demoiselle of the year. Birds were more elusive due to the time of year but we managed family parties of Grey Wagtail, Coal Tit, Nuthatch and many Willow Warbler and Chiffchaffs but the calling Tree Pipit and Tawny Owl eluded us as did the back end of a possible Redstart as it disappeared quicker than we could re-act.
As we made our way back to the car the atmospheric sound of a distant steam whistle persuaded us to visit the nearby Severn Valley Railway in Bewdley which operates steam-hauled passenger trains between Bridgnorth and Kidderminster for a cup of tea and ended up staying for a couple of hours.

Back home and the late afternoon sunshine brought Large White, Red Admiral and Painted Lady Butterfly’s in to the garden.
Mothing has not been that good recently due to clear nights but Dave added Treble Brown Spot to his garden list last week and caught his 5th Golden Plusia the other night.

Golden Plusia by Bob Hazell

Treble Brown Spot by Bob Hazell


Friday, 18 June 2010

June 18th 2010

Weather wise it been a dull day so the planned attempt to look for Clearwings at Brandon Marsh this afternoon with Dave and Colin was a waste of time as the temperature dropped when the rain arrived. Birds noted from east marsh hide were Cuckoo, Sparrowhawk, 10 Common Tern, 2 male Teal, 9 Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, 5 Redshank, 3 Sand Martin and 40 Swift.


Thursday, 17 June 2010

June 17th 2010

Luckily there was something to see on my monthly walk at Draycote Water this morning with this Great-crested Grebe captured by Bob Hazell doing its parental taxi service off farborough bank. Also present were a single Common Tern which went straight through, Egyptian Goose with the 140+ Canada Geese, Buzzard, Grey Wagtail, 2 juvenile Herring Gull and single Yellow Wagtail. Despite the sunny weather there were no butterflies so had to rely on the garden this afternoon to produce Common Blue and Painted Lady.


June 16th 2010

Although a brighter day than yesterday the cold north easterly wind soon dropped the temperature in the shade or the open meadows of Swift Valley, Rugby so not as many insects on the wing as we had hoped although there was still plenty to look at.
Birds seen were 2 Red-legged Partridge, Jay, family parties of Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Reed Bunting, Reed and Sedge Warbler, Great-spotted Woodpecker and 2 Buzzard.
Dragonflies included 5 Emperor Dragonfly, 6 Four-spotted Chaser, 10 Large Red, 200 Common Blue and 30 Blue-tailed Damselfly and 20 Banded Demoiselle.
Butterflies and moths were represented by Straw Dot, Silver-ground Carpet, 600 Chimney Sweeper, Large Skipper, 20 Speckled Wood, Red Admiral, 5 Small Tortishell, Peacock, Large White and 40 Common Blue.


June 15th 2010

Despite being sunny the cold northerly wind did not make for a pleasant visit to the pond with Bob this morning and the only birds of note were a Great-crested Grebe carrying its young and the Egyptian Goose still around the sailing club. More interestingly were the 22 Common Spotted Orchids at a new site location along with a report of 11 and 1 plants at 2 know sites making this a record year for this species here. Also a Bee Orchid at new site location recently emerged making 3 known sites this year all though we have lost two other site. Two Pale Prominent, Cinnabar and Pale Tussock on the visitors centre.


Sunday, 13 June 2010

June 13th 2010

Tried Swift Valley for butterflies and dragonflies but the rain spoilt our chances so despite managing to see 16 Chimney Sweeper and 3 Silver-ground Carpet nothing else was moving and the only birds of note were Buzzard, Jay, Whitethroat, family parties of Long-tailed Tit and Robin, 2 Red-legged Partridge plus Sedge and Reed Warbler heard.
Moved on to Grandborough Valley but as the sun broke through it remained quiet with only good numbers of Yellowhammer and Skylark worth noting.
Brandon Marsh could only offer up a male Teal as a new arrival otherwise it was the usual, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Shelduck and Kingfisher plus family parties of Reed and Sedge Warbler.
We decided to try our luck over the road in Brandon Wood but could only manage 2 Meadow Brown and a few Common Spotted Orchids for our efforts so back to Dave’s for dinner then met up with Bob and April at my place for another bout of moth photography.
Now I am back on line I have had a chance to download some of the moths Bob has taken so far this week including:-


Pale Prominent

Eyed Hawk-moth

Foxglove Pug


June 12th 2010

Evening visit to the pond produced very few birds though surprisingly there were over 150 Lesser Black-backed, 3 Common and 6 Black-headed Gull roosting and the Egyptian Goose still present.

Egyptian Goose by Bob Hazell


June 11th 2010 Extra

The start of the world cup so I intend to avoid much of it as possible hence this evenings trip to Napton Reservoir where there were plenty of birding activity with many first broods on the wing. Highlights were Kingfisher, 5 Whitethroat, 3 Cetties Warbler, Raven, 6 Reed Warbler, Common Tern, 3 Little Owl and a Barn Owl.


Friday, 11 June 2010

June 11th 2010

Hi all
Sorry for absence but my own computer is sick due to lightening strike so just borrowing Daves to bring blog up to speed.

8th June 2010
It rained most of the morning so Bob and I went to the pond early afternoon on the off chance of something being brought down by the weather and rewarded with a female Common Scoter seen distantly from farborough bank.
Hoping to get closer views we moved towards hensborough bank and while giving it another look I spotted a Red Kite soaring in the distance over draycote hill which eventually came closer towards the inlet before drifting off over the leam valley.
Other birds of note included 14 Lesser Black-backed Gull, Common Gull, 2 Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, 9 Buzzard, male Pochard, Raven and House Sparrow plus many young Pied Wagtails.
There were 2 Bee Orchids on hensborough bank and 20 on saddle bank making this one of the best years for this species here although none have appeared in there three normal spots. Unfortunately not many were in decent condition with most showing sign of supporting the Rabbit population. There were a few Common Blues out along with single Straw Dot.
If you are from twister country then you will have to excuse my excitement but they are rare events around here so pretty chuffed that John rang to say there was one forming over Barby village which could be seen from the pond and we soon had it scoped where it could be seen twisting before it broke up.

Back home I was going through the photos that Bob took yesterday and realised that what I thought was a pale Willow Beauty when I potted it up was in fact a Pale Oak Beauty a first for my garden and one I haven’t seen in the county either so I’m a happy bunny.
Unfortunately a lightening storm wiped out my landline early evening so no blogging tonight.

9th June 2010
Another damp night and humid overcast morning with the only birds of note on a short walk at Draycote Water were Yellow Wagtail, 14 Lesser Black-backed Gull, Common Gull, 10 Buzzard and the Egyptian Goose proved how plastic it is by wandering around the shoreline of fishing lodge and sailing club.

10th June 2010
Day spent trying to get the internet to work. Male Bullfinch in the garden.

11th June 2010
Another frustrating day. Still off line.
16 Canada Geese flew over garden


Monday, 7 June 2010

June 7th 2010

Draycote Water’s 3rd record of Egyptian Goose was still present today after it was reported yesterday as being present on Saturday after the original finder failed to tell anyone of its presence on Thursday. The bird was in toft bay hiding among the shore line willows after being out in the open on the north shore resting with part of the 140 strong Canada Geese flock. The last two records were only short stayer’s so despite being plastic (and ugly) there a few out there who need it for there Draycote list. Also present were Oystercatcher, 15 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 2 House Sparrow, 2 juvenile Yellow Wagtail, adult and juvenile Grey Wagtail and a Lesser Whitethroat.


Sunday, 6 June 2010

June 6th 2010

Many thanks to Dennis and Graham for putting me right on my Damselfly identification.

At least 60 Lesser Black-backed Gulls flew over the garden last night just before a thunderstorm broke and the clammy conditions afterwards with a minimum garden temp of 15c produced a good catch of moths with 114 moths of 38 species. Dave had 166 moths and 42 species
Went to Oversley Wood in the south of the county this morning and had a frustrating time with a Turtle Dove that was calling but alas stayed hidden, Spotted Flycatcher near entrance, 5 Raven over the A46 and a recently fledged Treecreeper sun bathing on a tree stump. Plenty of Common Spotted Orchids in nearly full bloom but the Narrow-leaved Helleborine had gone over. Very few butterfly or dragonfly species noted and moths did not fare much better accept for Fan-foot with 20+ flushed out of bracken.


Saturday, 5 June 2010

June 5th 2010

A very warm night resulting in a magical catch with 26 species and 74 moths for the garden but lost most of um when I kicked the trap over so had to rely on Dave’s 36 species from 150 moths for photo opportunities for Bob and April when they came round mid-morning. John rang in the afternoon reporting a Red Kite over the Bumbling Bears house in Long Lawford heading east but I could not pick it up from my place and I had very few birds in the garden till gathering storm clouds early evening produced 2 Hobby and a Sparrowhawk over the garden.

Sandy Carpet - a new garden moth for Dave putting him on 289 macros and 125 micros for his garden trap so not far behind me.

Banded Demoiselle female Brandon Marsh

Banded Demoiselle male Brandon Marsh

Red-eyed Damselfly Brandon Marsh

Again many thanks to Bob for his photographs


Friday, 4 June 2010

June 4th 2010

A mammoth photographing session with Bob and my moths lasting all morning was cut short after JJ informed us of a report of a possible Marsh Warbler at Brandon Marsh but with only one other person looking for the bird and the same record in the log book included Bearded Tit I think we were wasting our time. Plenty of damselfly’s, skimmers and emeralds on the wing and ended up with Common Blue, Large Red, Blue-tailed, Red-eyed, and Azure Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle and Black-tailed Skimmer. Bird life was quiet though one Little Ringed Plover chick noted


June 3rd 2010

Had an excellent day out with Dave, Mark and Mason to Norfolk originally to see the male Trumpeter Finch at Cley, Norfolk but it and the nearby Red-backed Shrike had gone overnight but the day was not wasted with a Barn Owl out hunting at 10am losing its prey to a male Marsh Harrier which talon grappled the owl to the ground and plenty of other birds on show including Little Tern, Gannet, Bearded Tit, Black-tailed Godwit while butterflies were thin on the ground we did manage my first Wall butterfly’s of the year.
As we were leaving Mason and I were on the wrong side of the car as Dave and Mark had a male Hen or Montagu’s Harrier over the car but by the time we found some where to safely park the bird had gone.
Mind you any disappointed we had was soon wiped out when later we came across a male Montagu’s and treated to fantastic views as it went past followed by a Red Kite.
Finally ended up at the RSPB Lakenheath Reserve where we had at least 15 Hobby, 2 Little Egret and 6 Marsh Harrier along with Variable, Common, Red-eyed, Blue-tailed and Azure Damselfly plus Black-tailed Skimmer and Four-spotted Chaser. Small Dusty Wave on the wall of the visitors centre.


June 2nd 2010

A misty start to the day so Bob was content to continue photographing my catch till the sun broke through then we went to the pond where the only birds of interest were the overnight arrival of a male Pochard in toft bay, female Grey Wagtail on toft bank and the first 2 young Yellow Wagtails of the year among the 8 seen today.
Once the sun was out then butterflies and moths became our main interest with butterflies represented by 60+ Common Blue (only 5 females), 7 Grizzled Skipper, 2 Brimstone and Large White.
Moths were Scorched Wing, Grass Rivulet, Brimstone, Brown Rustic, Marbled Minor agg and Ghost Moth around the visitors centre and Yellow Shell, 2 Common Swift, Cinnabar, Pyrausta purpupalis,
Crambus pascuella, Crambus lathoniellus and a couple of others grass veneer types that went unidentified among the vegetation.
Moved on to Draycote Meadows where we added Large Skipper, Brown Argus, Small Copper, Chimney Sweep and Burnet Companion to our day list and the 400+ Grass Rivulets were impressive as were the many Common-spotted Orchids that were just starting to bloom.


Tuesday, 1 June 2010

June 1st 2010

Had to pop into Dunchurch mid-morning so took the chance despite the rain of a quick look at the pond but not much on show unless your in to hirundines then 400 Swift, 100 House Martin, 1 Sand Martin and 100 Swallow would have rocked your boat. Only other birds of note were single Common Tern, Yellow Wagtail and Sedge Warbler. Moths on the visitors centre wall were 2 Brown Rustic, 2 Pale Tussock, White Ermine, Buff Ermine and Chocolate-tip.
Rest of day has been damp so I have been updating my moth records. Garden list is now 423 and county list 565. Next big job I have is to sort out my 1200 moth pics I have on file.