Friday, 29 July 2011

July 29th 2011

Coming home from the pub last night its was obvious from the amount of moths caught in the headlights we were in for a good catch and woke to find 54 species in my trap and 85 in Dave’s from a combined total of 594 moths. This brings the total caught over the last five nights to 128 species from 2200 moths with at least 10 new moths for Dave’s garden.


Rosy Rustic

Sallow Kitten

Unfortunately the cloudy conditions and a cool wind kept a lot of insects down when we walked around the Bridge Nursery gardens this afternoon and only found a Small Copper while Napton Reservoir could only produce Green Woodpecker and Common Sandpiper along with Yellow Shell and Common Blue.

The space shed has been over the horizon the last few days so not been showing well but viewing will improve over the next few weeks with the pass at 4:35am on 31st July classed as good, 5:13am on 1st August classed as excellent , 4:15am on 2nd August classed as good and 4:53am on the 3rd August classed as excellent.

Meanwhile next week 6th August 60163 Tornado is due to pull THE CATHEDRALS EXPRESS London Euston-Worcester via Nuneaton so will be going through Rugby. No times published yet so stayed tuned.


July 28th 2011

A day at home with a Green Woodpecker heard calling and Holly Blue the only highlights from my garden.


July 27th 2011

Having cleared down Dave’s trap and finding a few micros for Bob to photograph we spent the morning at the pond but we were wasting our time with only 4 Yellow-legged Gull, 4 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Little Grebe and a pair of Pochard for our efforts.
A late afternoon visit to the Grandborough valley was a lot more productive with Quail still calling along the Flecknoe Road and also 3 Tree Sparrow, 6 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Whitethroat and 6 Yellowhammer.
A Raven was over Broadwell being mobbed by a Sparrowhawk and between Calcutt and Napton reservoir a male Redstart appeared briefly in the roadside hedge along side a juvenile Lesser Whitethroat. Napton Reservoir had Common Sandpiper, 5 Bullfinch, Raven, Green Woodpecker and Buzzard.
Other sightings included Stoat, 2 Fox, 6 Hare, 2 Small Copper, Common Blue, 2 Marbled White, Comma, Gatekeeper, 4 Speckled Wood, 3 Banded Demoiselle, 2 Brown Hawker, Migrant Hawker, Common Blue Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly and Black-tailed Skimmer.


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

July 26th 2011

Today's visit in comparison to yesterdays was a disappointment and though we had 10 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Common Tern and 6 Yellow-legged Gulls we could only find one wader a Little Ringed Plover and the only warbler showing was a Lesser Whitethroat. On the plus side there was increase of Great-crested Grebe with 87 present today compared to 55 last week.
Despite the cloud cover the humidity was high and we managed a few butterfly's and moths with Common Blue, displaying Peacock and Small Blood-vein being the best.


Monday, 25 July 2011

July 25th 2011

Draycote Water had 2 Little Ringed Plover, Dunlin, 2 Common Sandpiper, Ruff (flew in to toft mid-day), Common Tern, 5 adult, 3 third years and a second year Yellow-legged Gull among 30 odd Lesser Black-backed Gulls, female Goosander still present off dunns bay, 2 Teal and adult Little Egret on or around the reservoir .
Around the sewage farm area there were 4 Raven perch in an Old Scots Pine on toft hill, 2 Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Whitethroat, 7 Blackcap, 2 Chiffchaff, Sedge Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher and Green Woodpecker.
A Red Kite appeared over the valve tower and other birds seen included 7 Buzzard, 4 juvenile Yellow Wagtail, 5 Stock Dove, 42 Mute Swan and House Sparrow.
Because it was sunny butterflies included Comma, 3 Meadow Brown, 4 Ringlet, 60+ Gatekeeper, 4 Peacock, Common Blue, 4 Large White, 2 Small White, 8 Green-veined White, Marbled White, 2 Small Skipper and 2 Large Skipper.
Moths and Dragonflies seen were Vapourer, 3 Yellow Shell, 9 Mother of Pearl, Shaded Broad Bar, Silver Y, 10 Udea lutalis, Southern Hawker, Migrant Hawker and Common Blue Damselfly.


Sunday, 24 July 2011

July 24th 2011

Having arrived home from France the previous evening Dave and I took a look at the grassy field down the Southam Road where we had 2 Raven, 17 Greylag and 4 Hare before attempting to visit the pond but the gates were closed.
Intended to do a brief look at the Hill and Flecknoe Road in the Grandborough valley before returning to the pond but after seeing Red-legged Partridge and 3 Tree Sparrow we heard a Quail calling so not surprisingly we spent some time hoping to locate it as this is Dave’s bogey bird but alas it stayed hidden.
Moved on to Stockton Locks where despite the coolness of the morning we had Jay, Southern Hawker, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown then after breakfast we called in on Napton on the Hill. where the south east area was he best place to look being more sheltered and warmer and found Holly Blue, Small Tortoiseshell, Large White, Green-veined White, Gatekeeper, Peacock, Brimstone and a possible Purple Hairstreak but it did not show well enough as we were looking directly in to sunlight. Birds included 2 Raven, 3 Buzzard, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Chiffchaff, 2 Mistle Thrush and 7 Spotted Flycatchers.
The Just So café and Bridge Nursery had Brown Hawker, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Marbled White, Large White, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Yellow Shell and Whitethroat then our final port of call was at Broadwell to identify some of the micros Richard had in his trap which also gave us a chance to see our first Least Yellow Underwing of the year.
Still playing catch up with local news but Dave added Small Scallop to his list and Steve had Hummingbird Hawk-moth in his garden which is a just up the road from me.

Small Scallop

Hummingbird Hawk-moth


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

19th July 2011

Draycote Water had at least 7 Yellow-legged Gulls present with 3 adult, 3 third summer types and a second summer individual dotted around the reservoir along with female Shoveler, 44 Mute Swan, Dunlin, Common Sandpiper and Oystercatcher.
A tit flock along the side of the sewage farm contained at least 4 Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, 2 Garden Warbler and 2 Blackcap juveniles while toft shallows had a family party of 5 Wrens.
Other sightings included Green-veined White, Large White, Small White, Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral and Holly Blue butterflies while dragonflies were represented by sightings of Southern Hawker and a Demoiselle species.

female demoiselle species



Sunday, 17 July 2011

17th July 2011

Most of the weekend taken up with following the La Tour and trying to identify the 32 micros Dave dropped on me lap after his stunning catch on Friday night but managed a few hours out with Dave this morning.
There were Buzzard, Bullfinch and 6 Hares down the Southam Rd before we had a quick walk out to farborough spit at the pond which produced third summer Yellow-legged Gull, adult Dunlin, Little Ringed Plover, Yellow Wagtail and 40 Mute Swan.
Seemed like half of Warwickshires Police Force was in the Long Itch Diner having there breakfast then it was on to Napton on the Hill where there were family parties of Willow Warbler and Spotted Fly, Raven, Green woodpecker and Mistle Thrush while a chat to the Reverend put us on to a few more churchyards worth visiting.
Just So had Whitethroat and Raven and our walk around the garden produced Shaded Broad-bar, Yellow Shell and Beautiful China-marc and at nearby Napton Reservoir we had 2 Yellow Wagtail, Common Tern and many young Sedge and Reed Warblers while chatting to Dave L.


Friday, 15 July 2011

July 15th 2011

Ruff in Rainbow Corner this morning otherwise quiet with only Little Ringed Plover, Teal and Whitethroat noted while this afternoon there was a Common Sandpiper, Water Rail and 2 Yellow Wagtail at Napton Reservoir. Other sightings included Shaded Broad-bar at Just So and Black-tailed Skimmer, Brown Hawker, Common Blue, Blue-tailed and Red-eyed Damselfly at Napton along with a Silver Y, Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Small Copper and 2 Marbled White.


July 14th 2011

Draycote Water had Common Sandpiper, adult Yellow-legged Gull, 4 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Grey Wagtail, Little Egret, 4 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, male Pochard, Buzzard and Sparrowhawk along with 5 Large Skipper, 2 Small Skipper, 30 Ringlet, 2 Speckled Wood, 2 Gatekeeper, 6 Marbled White, 10 Meadow Brown, 2 Large White and 3 Green-veined White.
Draycote Village produced Spotted Flycatcher, Nuthatch, Green Woodpecker, 3 Mistle Thrush, Great-spotted Woodpecker plus 4 Speckled Wood and Red Admiral while Draycote Meadows was alive with butterflies with at least 10 Large Skipper, 5 Small Skipper, 2 Brown Argus, Small Copper, 6 Gatekeeper, 70 Marbled White, 10 Meadow Brown, 100 Ringlet, 2 Speckled Wood, 6 Green-Veined White, Large White and 3 Small White. Birds here were Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Reed Bunting, 3 Whitethroat and 5 Buzzard plus large Red Damselfly and Southern Hawker along with Small Blood-vein, 2 Shaded Broad-Bar, Cinnabar, Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet and Grass Rivulet.
Cycle Route 41 along the disused railway had similar butterflies but in much smaller numbers managing to add Holly Blue to the day list while a roosting Tawny Owl stole the show.
Blooms Garden Centre had Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselfly plus Southern Hawker while the A45 Little Chef had 4 Mistle Thrush, 2 Buzzard, Treecreeper and 4 Bullfinch along with 17 Marbled White.
Final destination of Lawford Heath gave me Corn Bunting, Shelduck, Teal, Kingfisher, Sedge Warbler, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting and Raven.


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

July 13th 2011

Not a good day - bust me phone and the 20 mile round journey to Daventry Country Park was a nice bike ride if nothing else.


July 12th 2011

After the previous nights rain had curtailed numbers last nights trap was heaving again with a record count of 3 Poplar Hawk-moths among a good selection of moths in mine while Dave did well with over 60 sixty species from 343 moths plus another 20 micros needing further identification so I’m sure there are a few ticks for him among them.

Poplar Hawk-moths

I went for a look at the 1st summer Common Rosefinch at Melbourn, Cambridgeshire which was on the way to the North Norfolk coast for birds, moths and fish & chips.
A look at Cley produced 8 Spoonbill, 5 Little Gull, Spotted Redshank, Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit and Marsh Harrier while the north east wind brought Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, and Gannet closer inshore.
Although not ideal conditions in the evening we managed 2 Nightjars while the trap produced unfamiliar moths such as Oak Eggar, Kent Black Arches and Brown-tail. Other sightings included Tree Pipit, Whinchat and poor distant views of 92203 Black Prince steaming through one of the heaths the preserved North Norfolk Railway passes.
On the way home Barn Owls were along the A605 near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire and in Clifton upon Dunsmore village, Warwickshire.

Swallow on toft bank yesterday by Bob Hazel


July 11th 2011

Draycote Water had 2 adult Yellow-legged Gull, 6 Little Ringed Plover and 5 Bullfinch this morning though the most interesting sighting was the hundreds of “white” butterflies that were all over the place. Majority were Green-veined White followed by Small White and smaller numbers of Large White. No sign of any Marbled Whites in the country park but our search was curtailed by a couple turning up with the biggest blanket you have ever seen and no Ambre Solaire so I don’t think they were intending too get a tan.
Ashlawn Cutting had Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Red Admiral, Ringlet, Speckled Wood, Gatekeeper, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Small White, Large White and Green-veined White plus Yellow Shell, Shaded Broad-bar, Uncertain and Narrow Bordered Five-spot Burnet while further south a wander between Woods and Normans bridges produce Kingfisher, Whitethroat, Raven, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Green Woodpecker and Hobby.

record image of yesterdays White-letter Hairstreak by Dave

Ruby Tiger & Leopard Moth that were in my sisters garden Saturday night by Bob Hazel


Sunday, 10 July 2011

July 10th 2011

I was out with my family for a very good Indian meal last night returning to my sisters house in Hillmorton, Rugby where I had set up two moth traps and had great fun sharing my hobby with my nearest and dearest with at least 25 species arriving including first for the year Leopard Moth and Ruby Tiger before grabbing a couple of hours sleep.

Returned bright and early with Dave to help Rose and Rod empty the traps who clearly enjoyed being involved as we identified a further 45 species so her garden has plenty of potential then it was off to the Long Itchington Diner for a well earned breakfast.
Afterwards we visited Ryton Woods which at 9:30 with clear blue sky’s was very warm and we managed 18 species of butterfly before it clouded over with 25 Purple Hairstreak, White-letter Hairstreak (new for Dave), 9 Silver-washed Fritillary and 4 White Admiral being the best. In what turned out to be a cracking morning we also found Silver Y, Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet, Udea lutealis, Small Fan-footed Wave, Bramble Shoot Moth and Light Emerald moths while birds included a stunning Red Kite soaring overhead and a hunting Hobby while other birds seen were Sparrowhawk, 6 Nuthatch, Marsh Tit, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Jay, Treecreeper, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Garden Warbler and some very large tit flocks. Also had Southern Hawker and Common Blue Damselfly but missed a Hummingbird Hawk-moth.


July 9th 2011

A look at the pond early morning with 2 adult and third summer Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Ringed Plover, 4 Little Ringed Plover, 3 Common Sandpiper, 2 Dunlin, Green Sandpiper, 5 Common Tern, female Shoveler, 2 Green Woodpecker, 2 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 7 Bullfinch, 2 Whitethroat, 3 Blackcap, Sedge Warbler, Sparrowhawk and a Fox.

Luckily I checked the train movement internet site as soon as I got home and found out they had rerouted 5029 Nunney Castle via Cheltenham at the last minute so that put paid to Dave and I going over to Fenny Compton but we still met up for brunch over at Southam.

Finally getting to grips with all the moth photos Bob has taken this week with another 10 micros identify that are new for our gardens as well as record shots of the two new moths we added to our list. Another plus was Dave’s catch last night which included a Pine Hawk-moth.

Double Lobed


Pine Hawk-moth


Thursday, 7 July 2011

July 7th 2011

GWR Castle Class 4-6-0 no 5029 Nunney Castle will be moved from Tyseley to Bristol on Saturday July 9th passing Leamington spa 13:03, Fenny Compton 13:19 and Banbury 13:30 so she wont be hanging around. The ‘Nun’ is due to take charge of Sundays THE CORNISHMAN from Bristol Temple Meads to Par and return. It’s a bit quiet for steam trains at the moment in my area with only Tornado due to make an appearance in August and September

Scarlet tigers are being reported in the county with two sightings in the last week plus this individual found in Francoise trap.

Another wet night produced only 18 species in my trap – my lowest count for some time and Dave’s was not much better so with rain threatening Bob and I wandered down to the pond where we unexpectedly did well with 3 adult and a third summer Yellow-legged Gull, 4 Common Tern, 4 Common Sandpiper, 6 Little Ringed Plover, oystercatcher, Buzzard, Grey Wagtail, 5 Sand Martin, female Shoveler, 67 Great-crested Grebe, 40 Mute swan, 240 Canada Geese, 4 Bullfinch and 200 Swift.

If the sun comes out then some of the Marbled Whites can be quite obliging - Francoise

In the afternoon I finally managed to catch up with the singing Western Bonelli’s Warbler at Arnfield Reservoir, Derbyshire though the views were not brilliant. An unexpected inland record which has been here for a few days and a surprise addition to my Midlands list


July 6th 2011

A wet night resulted in a poor catch with low numbers of species in our traps but both Dave and I still managed to add to our macro list with Dave having his first Blackneck (his 512th moth for his garden) while I managed a Double Lobed.


July 5th 2011

Draycote Water had a Little Owl in toft shallows at 6am along with 4 Common Sandpiper, 3 Little Ringed Plover, female Pochard and 2 Teal while the sewage farm had a Cuckoo and 3 Mistle Thrush. Also present were Grey Wagtail, Ringed Plover, 5 House Sparrow and Yellow Wagtail.

Common Emerald

Poplar Hawk-moth

Lilac Beauty

Grass Rivulet


Tuesday, 5 July 2011

July 4th 2011

Yabba dabba doo – I hit the magic centaury with 103 species in my garden traps for the first time ever due the overnight temperature not dropping below 15c. Around mid-night both Muntjac and Fox could be head calling. A grand total of 431 moths trapped while Dave managed 590 moths from 88 species with a few still to identify. Naturally Bob was in his element helping with the recording, identification and photographing of them with the possibility of at least 4 new micros for Dave’s garden list.
Still not 100% so gave the pond a miss and watched the boys flogging there guts out around the French countryside.


Monday, 4 July 2011

July 3rd 2011

Woke to a crippling headache and just about managed to clear down my trap and cancel today’s visit to Buckinghamshire with Dave before crawling back to bed. Dave had a look at the pond seeing Common Sandpiper, Common Tern and Little Ringed Plover before managing to coax me out late morning.
Devoid of any energy we had a brief look for butterflies by the Little Chef on the A45 finding 15 Marbled White and Small Skipper before taking a look at nearby Draycote Meadows.
Here the sun came out for awhile and the place just heaved with butterflies with an estimated count of 400 Marbled Whites, 200 Ringlet, 100 Meadow Brown plus easier counts of 6 Large White, Brown Argus and 2 Small Tortoiseshell. Unfortunately half way round some insect took revenge on me big time and bit me on the mouth and with in seconds I started to look like some Botox freak as my lower face swelled up.
Dave had a good count of 380 moths of 68 species with V-Pug, Gothic, Early Thorn and Toadflax Pug while I managed 46 species from 247 moths.
JJ had Vapourer caterpillar in his Long lawford garden and managed a Hummingbird Hawk-moth while walking the dog.


July 2nd 2011

With overnight temperatures again in double figures the garden trap did well with 52 species from 177 moths with both Buff Footman, Early Thorn, Engrailed and Small Rivulet new for the year while Poplar Hawk-moth, Eyed Hawk-moth, Scarce Silver Lines, Twenty Plume Moth, Scalloped Oak, Light Arches, Buff-tip and Buff Arches to mention a few made for an interesting catch.
The morning was spent at Ryton Woods with Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Coal Tit, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Buzzard Whitethroat and Blackcap on the birding front while butterflies included 3 Silver-washed Fritillary, 4 Purple Hairstreak and 3 White Admiral. Other species included Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Large Skipper, Green-Veined White, Small White and Speckled Wood while the rides were patrolled by a Southern Hawker. Moths included Straw Dot, Cinnabar, Green Oak Tortrix, Agapeta hamana, Bramble Shoot Moth, Silver-ground Carpet and Small Yellow Wave.


Friday, 1 July 2011

July 1st 2011

After coffee and cake at the Just So Dave and I had walk around the Bridge Nursery garden (well worth looking at for ideas) and found 3 Grass Snakes, Common Blue Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Black-tailed Skimmer and a few Udea lutealis.
Napton on the Hill churchyard was again quiet with only Buzzard, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit seen and Spotted Flycatcher, Chiffchaff and Raven heard. Butterflies were 2 Red Admiral, 4 Green-veined White, Large Skipper plus many Ringlet and Meadow Brown

Took advantage of the world stopping for tennis with a peaceful walk along Ashlawn Cutting late afternoon with still a few butterflies around with Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown and Ringlet while moths included Cinnabar, Carcina quercana, Bee Moth, White Plume Moth and Treble-bar Moth. Birds seen were Red-legged partridge, Buzzard, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Linnet and Green Woodpecker.

Still playing catch up with photos from bob with the latest batch containing some of our smaller moths.

Ectoedemia decentella

Argyresthia bonnetella

Phyllonorycter leucographella

the bigger ones are more obvious

Elephant Hawk-moth

Ghost Moth

Barred Yellow

Finally a record shot of yesterdays Little Egret at the pond