Monday, 29 August 2011

August 29th 2011

Not been out so had to be content with watching the sky - one Swift over garden at 12:30pm. Moth trap went crazy last night with highest count of the month which included 67 Large Yellow Underwing, 36 Flounced Rustics, 15 Orange Swift, 14 Lesser Yellow Underwing plus Centre-barred Sallow and September Thorn.


Sunday, 28 August 2011

August 28th 2011

Despite the warning signs that I wasn’t a 100% I was out with Dave early managing a walk out to toft shallows, Draycote Water where we had 5 Greenshank, 4 Dunlin, 3 Ringed Plover, 5 Common Sandpiper, 2 Common Tern, 20+ Yellow Wagtail, 15 Swift and Wheatear before moving on to Napton on the Hill after breakfast.
All the bird activity on the hill was virtually confined to the south east side especially around the remains the old orchard and goat pen with at least 15 Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, Whitethroat, 10 Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Treecreeper and 4 Spotted Flycatcher seen here.
One of last weeks male Redstarts was still present and joined by a juvenile and accompanied by another Spotted Flycatcher. Unfortunately our visit to the Just So and Napton Reservoir produced nothing of interest.
Many thanks to Dave H & JJ for contacting us regarding the Little Stint at the pond and our day finally ended with my temperature going up and ending up in a sorry heap on my death bed – man flu. As per usual Dave's field craft paid off and he captured some great images - well done.

Little Ringed Plover

Little Stint


Saturday, 27 August 2011

August 27th 2011

Gave the patch a rest and had a very successful day out along the north Norfolk coast though it took us two attempts to see the Greenish and Western Bonellis Warbler near Cromer.
In between we visited Titchwell. Holkham Freshmarsh, Walsey Hills, Cley and Holme though the bladder drop between Stiffkey and Blakney brought the best sighting of the day – Otter – only my third sighting away from Scotland and first in Norfolk.
Additional birding highlights for landlocked me were Red-necked Phalarope, Red-backed Shrike and 28 Spoonbill with a supporting cast of 17 Little Egret, 4 Marsh Harrier, 6 Little Stint, 17 Curlew Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, 8 Spotted Redshank, 2 Barn Owl, Sandwich Tern, Little Tern, Peregrine, Redstart, Pied Flycatcher and 3 Whinchat making for a cracking day.


Friday, 26 August 2011

August 26th 2011

With a toss between a look at the pond or staying in and trying and sort out blogger which has not allowed me access for three days then the pond won and I was in biggen bay long before first light hoping for Wednesday’s owl but I had forgotten about the heavy rain forecasted.
As dawn broke 8 medium sized waders were on daisy island but the viewing condition were poor so carried on to draycote bank where a juvenile Garganey was with 9 Shoveler near the valve tower and female Ruff, female Goosander, 2 Greenshank and 4 Common Sandpiper between inlet and valve tower.
By the time I reached rainbow corner I was drenched and while watching another 8 Shoveler the wader flock from the island had moved to dunn’s bay so doubled back but they flew past me heading towards rainbow corner. At least one Knot among them while the others remained unidentified as they turned and headed back to the island.
After 4 hours it had not stopped raining and despite adding Kingfisher, Wigeon, Gadwall and adult Yellow-legged Gull to the day list I was fed up with sheltering under trees so headed for home but not before I had long distant views of Sanderling and a few Little and Ringed Plover species while the island had the Knot, 3 Dunlin and a Common Sandpiper. A Little Tern appeared from no where resting on P buoy while 2 Black Tern and a Common Tern were between lin croft point and toft bay.
With the rain getting heavier I spent some time sheltering in toft shallows near the M45 motorway bridge managing 2 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap, 3 Willow Warbler and Great-spotted Woodpecker in the hedgerow.
I had hoped to go back out in the afternoon but after appearing to lift at mid-day the rain returned for the rest of the afternoon.
Draycote may get a lot of disturbance tomorrow, Sunday and Monday due to the tank fest going on in the adjacent fields – last year they were firing blanks and flushed of a few birds so go early.


August 25th 2011

Bob and I had high hopes for something new at pond this morning after last nights rain but it was disappointing with only a few waders dotted around the reservoir and nothing obviously new.
One Sanderling remained on the spit while other waders seen were 6 Little Ringed Plover, 8 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin (on daisy island), 4 Common Sandpiper, Ruff and 2 Greenshank.
Other birds of note included 8 Raven, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Swift (Bob managed 15), 400 Swallow, 200 House Martin, 25 Yellow Wagtail, 8 Shoveler, 2 Wigeon, 31 Teal, female Goosander, 36 Graylag, 611 Canada Geese and 2 Common Tern. A few butterflies were seen including 4 Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Small Tortoiseshell and Small white.
Back out in the afternoon to Napton on the Hill and one of yesterdays Redstart was still present and joined by a juvenile Whinchat while overhead there were 4 Raven, Hobby and 5 Buzzard. Other sightings included 4 Goldcrest, Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, 11 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Blackcap, 8 Willow Warbler and 2 Chiffchaff.
Heavy storms building up north of Rugby may have been the cause of 7 Black Tern arriving at the pond at 5pm along with 3 Redshank and adult Shelduck.
A Muntjac was on the side of the road near Princethorpe on our way to the pub tonight and I soon had it cleared to watch the “space shed” go over despite a thin layer of cloud spoiling the view. A look at Lawford Heath on the way home produced 2 Foxes.


August 24th 2011

After a clear night Draycote had a “ your wasting your time” feel about it as Bob and I walked out to the farborough spit where surprisingly we could only find a single Ringed Plover along the bank and none on the spit with a Greenshank and 2 Common Sandpiper. The spit had one of yesterdays Sanderling while the other was probably in biggen bay but to far away to be certain where there were 2 more Greenshank plus another Greenshank in toft.
Three Black Terns were out in the centre with 3 Common Tern including an adult still feeding a juvenile and the only other birds of note were a Little Ringed Plover, Wheatear, 4 Yellow Wagtail, Whitethroat, Dunlin, 3 Gadwall, Shelduck and 3 Raven.
In the afternoon it was another visit to Napton on the Hill but visitors wandering off the designated footpaths had upset the locals so stayed clear of some the arguments breaking out (note – all footpaths run north to south, none east to west apart from the lane past the church to windmill)
Once I had seen 2 male Redstart, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 11 Spotted Flycatchers and Little Owl I cleared off sharpish to Beacon Hill where it was a lot more tranquil with 2 Wheatear, Redstart, 3 Yellow Wagtails and a distant flight view of a presumed Lesser-spotted Woodpecker. Also in the area were Hobby, 3 Buzzard, 3 Raven, 3 Spotted Flycatcher, Whitethroat and 24 Stock Dove.
Arrived back at the pond for the roost just as the weather deteriated and ended up getting soaked but the sun came back out and I managed 2 Ruff, Redshank, 6 Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail and female Goosander along with 8 adult, 3 third year, 3 second year and 2 first year Yellow-legged Gulls (16) and adult winter Med Gull. One unidentified owl hunting along the grassy bank of biggen bay long after dusk but I could not get any detail of size or jizz.


Tuesday, 23 August 2011

August 23rd 2011

With a light north easterly wind and rain at first light I was pounding the hill at dawn eventually finding 8 Willow Warbler, 6 Chiffchaff, 3 Whitethroat, 3 Blackcap and the highlight of a Tree Pipit perched just west of the Leys before it disappeared with at least 12 Spotted Flycatcher, 7 Goldcrest and juvenile Wheatear.
Soon as I arrived home the gear was put in to the tumble drier then it was out again with Bob mid-morning to see what the pond had to offer.
Because of the conditions we had a cracking 3 and half hour visit with juvenile Black-necked Grebe found off biggen bay though mobile due to the amount of sailing activity going on, juvenile Sanderling joined by an adult on farborough spit , 12 Ringed Plover on farborough spit with another 3 in picnic area and 5 flew in over outlet, 4 Little Ringed Plover on farborough spit plus 3 more in picnic area, 4 Oystercatcher, 4 Common Sandpiper, Ruff on inlet, 5 Greenshank and 2 Green Sandpiper flying out of toft bay.
Other sightings included adult and juvenile Common Tern, juvenile Black Tern, 3 adult and 3rd year Yellow-legged Gull, female Goosander, 25 Teal, Gadwall, Wigeon, Wheatear, 2 Grey Wagtail, 15 Yellow Wagtail, Garden Warbler, 6 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 3 Blackcap, Raven, 4 Buzzard and 2 Red-legged Partridge.
A Hummingbird Hawk-moth was reported feeding on valerian on Napton on the Hill while the late afternoon sunshine produced both Hobby and Peregrine over my garden with Whitethroat and Coal Tit seen and while setting up tonight’s traps and I found a Rusty Dot Pearl – a common migrant though I don’t get many being so far inland.

Gerry and Sandy who I met yesterday on farborough bank traveling back to Buckinghamshire kindly sent me this pic of a Wheatear that was on farborough bank.

The shed made a good pass tonight just a few minutes ago as flew towards eastern Germany


Monday, 22 August 2011

August 22nd 2011

The five minutes I spent in the garden waiting for the “space shed” to show last night was very productive with a cracking meteorite, unknown satellite and a Whimbrel heard calling. The shed showed well and seen by many blog followers around the country and Pa Phillips captured these images over Rugby.

the bottom streak is a plane

Draycote Water was hard work this morning with the sun bringing out the grockles so a high amount of disturbance but we managed 11 Ringed Plover, 4 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Greenshank, 3 Common Sandpiper and an Oystercatcher. A juvenile Peregrine was over toft bay, 2 Black and 2 Common Tern arrived mid-morning and 6 Raven appeared south of the country park. Other sightings included Shoveler, Wigeon, female Goosander, at least 6 adult Yellow-legged Gull, 450 Canada Geese, 15 Graylag, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 3 Whitethroat, Willow Warbler Blackcap and a Vapourer moth. We missed White Wagtail and 2 Curlew.


Sunday, 21 August 2011

August 21st 2011

A cracking day started with a smidgen of rain while having coffee watching the grassy field down the Southam road where Dave had a possible Merlin dash through.
Our walk out to farborough spit, Draycote Water with Colin produced a Hobby over the country park car park followed by a Sparrowhawk that flushed a female Ruff off farborough bank near the fishing pontoon while the spit held Greenshank, 2 Dunlin, 9 adult and 2 juvenile Ringed Plover and 2 Common Sandpiper. Adult Yellow-legged Gull was on the now named “daisy” island with 20 Swift low over Thurlaston village, 5 Yellow Wagtail on farborough bank, Common Tern flew past and the perimeter hedge held 4 Whitethroat and a Lesser Whitethroat.
Once finished chatting with Bumbling Bears it was breakfast at the Long Itch Diner then on to Napton on the Hill where we were lucky enough in a 15 minutes spell to see Sparrowhawk, Hobby, Peregrine, 4 Raven and 4 Buzzard over the windmill. The Spotted Flycatchers took some finding but eventually located 2 flocks with a total of 15 seen (3rd visit in a row none in churchyard). The highlight today was our third Redstart of the year and a very rare sighting for the hill of a Reed Warbler. They are occasionally seen near the canal or in the bottom of the quarry mainly in spring and of course good numbers breed at nearby Napton Reservoir but I only have 2 other records of Reed Warbler for the hill it self in 35 years. Plenty of other birds around and we finished with 2 Whitethroat, 2 Nuthatch, 2 Treecreeper, Green Woodpecker, 3 Blackcap, 6 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff and 4 Goldcrest.
Moved on to the Just So where the Bridge Nursery gardens held a number of insects and we managed 4 Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Green-veined White, Blue-tailed Damselfly Common Darter and Brown Hawker.
Napton Reservoir was our final stop though on the birding front we could only find Common Sandpiper, Shoveler and Bullfinch but the damsel and dragonflies made up for it with Common Blue, Azure, Red-eyed, Blue-tailed and Large Red Damselfly while also present were Southern, Migrant and Brown Hawkers plus 2 Small Copper and a few Common Blue butterflies also present.

So far August has been disappointing on the mothing front with to many cool nights this month so took the opportunity to play catch up with our garden lists this afternoon. Scores on the doors to the end of July has Dave on 548 with 73 new species so far this year and little old me light years behind on 505 with 40 new. One of the Dark Arches trapped on the 27th July became my 100000th moth trapped in Warwickshire and my county list is on 677

The space station passes at 21:49 so hoping for clear skies. Richard

August 20th 2011

Redshank and Sanderling arrived at the pond overnight otherwise similar wader numbers to yesterday with 12 Ringed Plover, 7 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 6 Common Sandpiper and 2 Greenshank.
Three Spotted Flycatchers, 4 Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap and 4 Willow Warbler in the country park with another Spotted Flycatcher and 2 Blackcap by the picnic area and Lesser Whitethroat and Wheatear between inlet and purification works. Other sightings include female Wigeon, female Goosander, 9 Teal, 4 adult Yellow-legged Gull, Jay, 2 Green Woodpecker, 7 Bullfinch and 7 Buzzard.


Friday, 19 August 2011

August 19th 2011

Not surprisingly the waders were spread out over the reservoir this morning and difficult to count with at least male and female Ruff, 15 Ringed Plover, 5 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, 4 Common Sandpiper, 2 Greenshank and a summer plumage Golden Plover which landed in the picnic area briefly.
Warblers were also well represented with 15 Whitethroat, 5 Lesser Whitethroats, 7 Chiffchaff, 2 Garden Warblers, 20+ Willow Warbler and 5 Blackcap while other sightings included 5 adult, 2 3rd year, 2nd year and first year Yellow-legged Gull, 5 Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Sparrowhawk, 50 Sand Martin, Reed Bunting, Hobby, 19 Buzzard, Great-spotted Woodpecker and 2 Green Woodpecker.
As water levels continue to drop 2 sailing boats grounded on the new island and a new to the location fishermen came to a shuddering halt that nearly tipped him out when his boat grounded as it left the pontoon.
The stunning weather continued in to the afternoon so I spent the time searching the ridge between Shuckburgh and Napton with Turtle Dove, 2 Corn Bunting, 6 Raven, 14 Buzzards, Hobby, 2 Sparrowhawk and a trickle of Swallow, House and Sand Martins heading south. Obvious migrants after yesterday’s rain included 17 Yellow Wagtails in one field and 2 juvenile Wheatears while a tantalizing brief view of a pipit could have been tree. Many Chiffchaff and Whitethroats present though mobile.
Butterflies seen today were Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Green-Veined White, Brown Argus, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Small White, and Large White

Thursday, 18 August 2011

August 18th 2011

After seeing the “space shed” go over last night the cloud cover came in and with rain predicted by mid-morning Bob and I did the pond before emptying Dave’s trap.
We managed 11 Ringed Plover, 3 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin and 2 Common Sandpiper either on farborough bank or the spit with 3 mobile Greenshank in toft bay. Plenty of activity in toft shallows with Blackcap, Garden Warbler, family parties of Chiffchaff and Robin, Willow Warbler, Long-tailed Tit and Whitethroat.
On our return we chatted to Dave H before finding 3 Spotted Flycatchers and another family party of Robins. Also around were 50+ Swift, 30 Sand Martin, 200 House Martin, Swallow, 17 Graylag, 300+ Canada Geese, 36 Mute Swan, 2 Stock Dove and 15 Yellow Wagtail. We had already left when the rain started which brought down 2 Sanderling.
With the rain starting to clear mid-afternoon I had another go at the pond but some donkey breath of a birder was walking along the farborough bank shore line so I exchanged greetings of a an abusive nature. Some of this morning plovers were eventually found on the inlet with 4 Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover plus Redshank and presumably one of the Sanderling reported earlier but it was very jittery. Other sightings included 8 Teal, juvenile Wheatear, 6 Common Sandpiper, 2 Grey Wagtail, 17 Linnet, 6 Yellowhammer and 5 adult and 3 third year type Yellow-legged Gulls. More rain showers meant a damp end to the visit though 4 more Common Sandpiper were in toft bay with 14 Teal


Wednesday, 17 August 2011

August 17th 2011

The weather was stunning this morning with no wind which allowed a Cormorant and a few Canada Geese to become the first to stand on the “island” off lin croft point even though it’s still just under the surface
At least 11 Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, Little Ringed Plover and 5 Common Sandpiper seen on our walk out to toft bay with one flighty Greenshank suddenly deciding it wanted its photo taken and came in close for Bob despite disturbance from the many walkers out this morning.
A first winter Little Gull was off biggen bay and sightings included 3 Swift, 200 House Martin, 150 Swallow, 30+ Sand Martin, 6 adult Yellow-legged Gull, 6 Yellow Wagtail and 19 Buzzard.

Greenshank by Bob Hazel

Below are the times of the “shed” that are classed as good or excellent for viewing early evening over the next few days.


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

August 16th 2011

Early morning disturbance at the pond made for a poor visit with 15 Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin, Little Ringed Plover and 2 Common Sandpiper scattered between fishing pontoon and toft bay with another 4 Ringed Plover flying in when it rained mid-morning.
The blustery south westerly conditions made toft shallows a haven for passerines with 10+ Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Garden Warbler, 5 Long-tailed Tit, Goldcrest, 4 Bullfinch and 10+ Goldfinch. Only other birds of note were 100+ Swift and 3 adult Yellow-legged Gull.


Monday, 15 August 2011

August 15th 2011

Farborough spit, Draycote Water had 10 Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, and 4 Dunlin at 8:45am with 2 Greenshank on lin croft point and another in toft bay along with 10 Common Sandpiper. Yesterdays 2 Little Gulls still favouring either toft bay or lin croft point.
Unfortunately Joe Public were soon walking along the shore line flushing everything, Luckily I was in the right place at the right time when one twat who had sneaked in by car flush a Wood Sandpiper which left to the east. Hee Hee vengeance is sweet, he became trapped by the gates being locked behind him and it was light years before he got out.
The island will appear any day now so the waders will have somewhere safe – until the fishermen or sailors flush um.
With brilliant viewing conditions I spent two hours watching the skies over the valley from farborough bank and the country park finding at least 19 Buzzard, 4 Sparrowhawk, 7 Kestrel, 3 Hobby and 5 Raven plus a very distant immature Marsh Harrier quartering a recently harvested field behind Kites Hardwick golf range towards toft lake.
Other sightings today included 8 Teal, 2 Swift, Grey Wagtail, 4 Yellow Wagtail, 11 Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, 9 Long-tailed Tit and 6 Willow Warbler plus Banded Demoiselle, Vapourer Moth, 30+ Gatekeeper, 5 Speckled Wood, 10 Common Blue, Small White and a pristine Brimstone.

Coal Tit - one of 3 seen by Bob tody

Over the last week the “space shed” has been showing very poorly in the evenings but this should change soon with 9 passes rated as good between the 17th and 24th August – will publish times in the next few days
While I’m on my other hobbies Tornado is due to go though Rugby on 10th September and in October the 8th and 15th could be good with possibly as many as 5 steam trains on those two days but waiting for more information – again will let you have details nearer the time.

Not had time to identify this colourful beauty

Six-striped Rustic



Sunday, 14 August 2011

August 14th 2011

At least 4 Jays near the grassy field this morning down Southam Road with a Med Gull in the post roost on the opposite side of the road. Also seen around here were 4 Hares and a Fox.
Draycote Water was very peaceful as we walked to toft bay with plenty of waders around with 6 Ringed Plover, Dunlin, 4 Common Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Oystercatcher, 4 Greenshank and a female Ruff plus 2 juvenile Little Gull, 80 Swift and 2 Teal.
With a light north westerly breeze insect activity was confined to the south east area of Napton on the Hill with very good numbers of tits, warblers and flycatchers found with 20+ Spotted Flycatcher, 10 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 6 Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper and Great-spotted Woodpecker though the star of the show was a male Redstart. Other birds seen in a two hour visit included 4 Raven, 5 Buzzard and Swift though the Churchyard was again birdless.
Wormleighton had very high Osprey go over heading west, 3 Tree Sparrows, Coal Tit, and Lesser Whitethroat plus 10 Common Blue butterflies and Southern, Brown and Migrant Hawker dragonflies.
Final stop was the Just So where a Grass Snake decided to show its self really well for a few minutes as it swam across the pond and back. Apart from a few Linnets the bird life was quiet though Brown Hawker, Ruddy Darter, Shaded Broad-bar, Yellow Shell and Lesser Treble-bar more than made up for it.


Saturday, 13 August 2011

August 13th 2011

Grabbed a couple of hours sleep then cycled to Napton on the Hill before dawn with Little Owl calling along Southam Rd, Dunchurch, Tawny Owl head passing Nelson Quarry and Little Owl seen on the roof of Manor Farm, Butt Hill.
By the time I had arrived it was raining and humid but again no birds in the churchyard so walked to the quarry where a good size tit flock contained Coal Tit, Goldcrest and 14 Long-tailed Tit before the breeze got up and I returned to the churchyard. Only adult and juvenile Green Woodpecker here so walked to Hillside finding the lower hedgerows productive with 3 Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 8 Bullfinch, Whitethroat, Goldcrest, 11 Spotted Flycatcher and Willow Tit among the many Blue and Great Tits in the area. Also seen before I left were Raven, 2 Buzzard, Swift, 200 House Martin, 3 Mistle Thrush and Sparrowhawk. As I was going down Butt Hill a Whinchat was on the hedgerow opposite the junction with Hillside.
Met up with Dave as he had more micros then slept most of the afternoon before an evening visit to the pond produced female Ruff in biggen bay and a juvenile Little Gull off the valve tower while the roost contained 10 adult, 2 first summer and 3 third year Yellow-legged Gulls. Also seen were 8 Common Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Ringed Plover.


August 12th 2011

Despite the increasing cloud cover I stayed up to watch the Perseid Meteor shower an all most annual way to celebrate my birthday managing 10, and being so humid there were plenty of moths around for a change.
On my way to town mid-morning 3 Raven were near Fitzjohns and 2 Sparrowhawk and 2 Buzzard over the garden mid-day.
Met up with Dave for a visit to the Just So in the afternoon (Brown Hawker and Common Blue) then moved to Napton on the Hill where we could find no birds in the churchyard due to the stone mason erecting gravestones so we tried the lower slopes on the north east side of the hill above Hillside and found 17 juvenile and one adult Spotted Flycatcher, juvenile Redstart, 4 juvenile Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Long-tailed Tit, 4 juvenile Bullfinch and Willow Warbler.
Out with Dave, Christine, Rose (she who must be obeyed and adored) and Rod now nicknamed beaver eater after his mispronunciation of Bee-Eater for a meal so by the time I arrived back home it was mothing time again and I was lucky enough to have a gap in the cloud cover to see 5 more meteorites.


Thursday, 11 August 2011

August 11th 2011

Another blustery day with Whitethroat and Garden Warbler in the country park, 400 Swift, 200 House Martin, 100 Swallow and 80 Sand Martin overhead before the rain arrived.
A Greenshank was in toft bay despite the disturbance from the grass cutters with another 2 Bob had in biggen bay landing on toft north shore. Luckily the rain did not last long but apart from a Common Tern, first summer Yellow-legged Gull, Hobby, 5 Buzzard and the usual Yellow Wagtail, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover and Dunlin it was a quiet visit.
Bob and I are slowly going through the hundred of moths photos taken over the last few weeks which has resulted in another 31 micros to add to Dave's list and proberbly another 12 by the time we finish with the identification.

This one has us foxed and remains unidentified

Ancylis badiana

Coxcombe Prominent

Platyptilia gonodactyla

Meanwhile the Bumbling Bears have done me proud with this image of "T" passing the end of their garden on its way south last Saturday evening.


August 10th 2011

There was an influx of Swift with at least 250 present overhead along with 100 House Martin, 200 Swallow and 40 Sand Martin.
On the wader front we had a Greenshank which circled the reservoir before landing briefly on farborough bank but flew off when some mouthy walkers approached, Little Ringed Plover, 3 Ringed Plover and Dunlin on the spit and at least 4 Common Sandpiper seen. Only other birds of note were 3 Yellow-legged Gull and 6 Yellow Wagtail.


Tuesday, 9 August 2011

August 9th 2011

A cracking day
I finally caught up with the “space shed” as she passed over the garden, the second brightest object in the night sky to Jupiter with its four moons. Had not intended star gazing but the recent blustery conditions and rain made for a clean atmosphere and ended up having an hour wandering the universe – magic.
A poor moth catch so I was ready for Bob when he came round and we managed 2 Blackcaps in the car park at the pond before we wandered down to a very blustery farborough spit where there was a partial summer plumage Sanderling showing well with 2 Dunlin, 2 Little Ringed Plover and 2 Ringed Plover for company plus 29 Swift overhead.
Decided to take a break from the windy conditions and searched the more sheltered south east corner where we came across a number of young birds ending up with 22 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Garden Warbler, 4 Willow Warbler plus 2 Common Blue, 5 Speckled Wood, 20+ Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown and Large White butterfly also Banded Demoiselle, Ribon Wave and Yellow Shell.
Bob moved on to walk his circuit so I hung around finding Reed, Sedge and a few more Willow Warbles before Bob notified me he was looking at the Wood Sandpiper in toft bay.
I managed distant views preferring to leave the bird to the photographers and concentrated on the sky finding 15 more Swift, 40+ Sand Martin, Raven, Hobby, Peregrine and 11 Buzzard, Bob came up trumps again finding the Black-tailed Godwit by the windsurfing picnic area.


Black-tailed Godwit by Bob Hazel

Others birds seen included 4 Yellow Wagtail, 5 Common Sandpiper, 8 Teal, 5 adult, 3rd year and first summer Yellow-legged Gull, 200 House Martin, 200 Swallow, 9 Graylag, Jay, Green Woodpecker, Lesser Whitethroat and Whitethroat.

August 8th 2011

Had domestics to do so once Bob had finished photographing my moths he shot off to see a Wood Sandpiper that Keith had located at the pond on farborough spit.
Later Paul rang with news of Black-tailed Godwit in rainbow corner so once me smalls were on the line and the garden looking a little tidier I managed a quick look at both birds.

Wood Sandpiper by Bob Hazell

Also present were Ringed Plover, 4 Dunlin, 3 Little Ringed Plover, 3 juvenile Yellow Wagtail, juvenile Wheatear and a Raven.

August 7th 2011

A poor birding day with only Common Sandpiper at Brandon Marsh worth noting.


Saturday, 6 August 2011

August 6th 2011

A look at the pond at first light produced a Turtle Dove on the shore line of biggen bay which had come down for a drink not far from a Little Egret. There were still a few waders around with 8 Common Sandpipers, 3 Little Ringed Plover, Dunlin plus 2 Common Tern but I could not find a single warbler in biggen bay or toft shallows.
Rushed home to meet up with Dave and on our way to Cathiron we had Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Whitethroat, Buzzard, Tree Sparrow and Raven on Lawford Heath and while walking to the railway line we saw Whitethroat and a family party of Bullfinch.
A few like minded souls were present at the Cathiron footbridge including Bob, April, and Terry while JJ & Alfie kept us informed of Tornado’s arrival and departure from Rugby Station. She was going well and sounding good as she passed us though her speed fooled me and my box brownie.

arriving at Rugby Station by John & Alfie Judge

passing the footbridge at Cathiron - me

passing Cathiron by Terry Southgate

This beauty may be common but still worth sharing Bob's photo of one that turned up in Dave's trap this morning.

Gold Spot


August 5th 2011

The morning spent at Draycote Water with the Red-breasted Merganser present but no sign of the Wood Sandpiper.
Farborough spit had 4 Dunlin, adult Ringed Plover and 3 Little Ringed Plover while 4 of the 11 Common Sandpipers present today were seen in various locations. Also seen were 4 Swift, Yellow Wagtail, 2 Yellow-legged Gull and 2 Common Tern.
Tried my luck in the lower car park looking for warblers and butterflies managing 2 Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, 2 Blackcap and Willow Warbler plus 5 Common Blue, Small Copper, 12 Gatekeeper, Large White, 4 Meadow Brown and 3 Green-veined White.
Met up with Dave in the afternoon and called in on the Just So and the Bridge Nursery so once finished chatting we looked around there garden finding Small Copper, Common Blue, Peacock, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Large White, Brown Argus, Red Admiral and Green-veined White butterflies. Dragonflies around the pond included Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Common Darter and Blue-tailed Damselfly while the only moth of note was a Shaded broad-bar. Other sightings included a Grass Snake stirring in the water briefly and male Linnet. Napton Reservoir had some disturbance with workmen so only bird of note were Sedge Warbler and Common Sandpiper while the small pool held Brown, Southern and Migrant Hawker, Common Darter, Red-eyed, Common Blue, and Blue-tailed Damselfly and Emperor Dragonfly.


Thursday, 4 August 2011

August 4th 2011

Up at 5am to seal my trap because of the impending rain and did not have my thinking head on and with in seconds I had been stung 8 times so not a ideal way to wake up.
By the time Bob came round my thigh had ballooned so with it still raining we went over to the Just So cafĂ© for a slice of Naomi’s exceedingly tasty lemon meringue cake and meet up with Paul and Colin for a chat.
On the way home there was a break in the weather so called in on the pond and jammed in on Wood Sandpiper that was on farborough spit with 3 Dunlin, 3 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Common Sandpiper and a Ringed Plover. The wood suddenly let out an alarm call and flew off caused by 2 Hobby’s high overhead but returned to the spit.

Also present were 4 Yellow-legged Gull, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 11 Buzzard, 35 Mute Swan, 97 Great-crested Grebe, 35 Swift, Sand Martins, 3 Common Tern and a few warblers showed with 2 Garden Warbler, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, 2 Blackcap and a brief view of a possible Redstart but it could not be relocated before the rain returned.
On Saturday LNER A1 Class 4-6-2 no 60163 Tornado will be hauling The Cathedral Express from: Euston-Worcester-Euston. Provisional times published today and subject to change has her passing Northampton at 09:35, stopping at Rugby at 10:00 leaving at 10:12 on the Trent valley line to Nuneaton where it will take on water from 10:34 to 1055 before continuing via Water Orton, Walsall and Kidderminster. The return times are vague due to the possibilitie of it being re-routed.


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

August 3rd 2011

Another sultry night brought in good numbers of micros as well as my first Least Yellow Underwing, Rosy Minor and Dusky Thorn for the year.
The ponds water level has been dropping all summer and is now at its lowest since the early 90s which meant the fishery had to shift the fishing pontoons this morning before there boats bottom out and left high and dry. Unfortunately the disturbance meant there was very little on show along farborough bank until we picked out 4 Little Ringed Plover and 4 Common Sandpiper flying along the northern shore line and 6 Common Tern and 7 Yellow-legged Gulls out in the centre. By the time we reached toft bay the pubic were already going down to shore line with there picnics so we were lucky to find 3 more Little Ringed Plover and a Dunlin. Highlight of the morning was the Red Kite soaring over toft bay before drifting off east in to Northamptonshire, probably the same bird was reported low over rainbow corner heading towards the country park by Pete. Also seen today were 3 Buzzard, Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Teal, 2 Shoveler, 5 Whitethroat, female Goosander while the Red-breasted Merganser finally made a brief appearance after 3 hours of looking then it flew back to the north shore.
Back home and Bob’s sharp hearing picked up a calling Peregrine overhead and we enjoyed 3 together followed later by 10 Swift and a Hobby as the thunder clouds built up.
Had a meeting in Shuckburgh so once it was over I had a pleasant walk around Beacon Hill before calling in on Napton Reservoir. The hill and adjacent wood had Hobby, 4 Raven, 6 Buzzard, Swift, 7 Bullfinch, juvenile Wheatear, 3 Mistle Thrush, 5 Yellow Wagtail, 18 Stock Dove, Whitethroat, 17 Goldfinch, 3 Jay, calling Nuthatch, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Green Woodpecker and Great-spotted Woodpecker while Napton Reservoir had 2 Sand Martin, Common Tern, Common Sandpiper, 2 Grey Wagtail, 12 Goldfinch, 6 Linnet, Sedge, and Grasshopper Warbler.
Butterflies seen were Gatekeeper, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Tortoisehell Speckled Wood, Green-veined White, Large White and Small White. Dragonflies included Migrant Hawker, Common Hawker and Southern Hawker while a couple of moths flushed were Straw Dot and Clouded Silver.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

August 2nd 2011

Overnight the garden temperature did not drop below 17c so once my trap was cleared down (249 moths of 50 species) Bob and I headed to the pond before the disturbance got too much.
On our arrival there were 3 Black Tern, 6 Common Tern and a male Common Scoter out in the centre with the scoter favouring biggen bay and the “island”.
Continuing our walk in very humid conditions we picked out 4 adult Yellow-legged Gull among the many Black-headed Gulls present while 6 Little Ringed Plover and 3 Dunlin commuted between farborough spit and toft bay depending how noisy Joe public were. The Red-breasted Merganser had been flighty eventually resting on toft bank long enough for photographs before settling on the north bank.

Other sightings included a lone Swift, 5 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Shoveler, 8 Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and 5 Kestrels (family party).
On our way back home we cleared down Dave’s trap (64 species from 350 moths) then the rest of the afternoon spent trying to keep cool while watching Brown Hawker and Southern Hawker beating up the flies in my garden.


Athes rubigana

Mark and Mason had 2 Peregrine fly over Rugby just before mid-day and this evening a juvenile flew over the garden while a steady stream of Swallows and Swifts went over all heading south.


Monday, 1 August 2011

August 1st 2011

Yesterdays Red-breasted Merganser was still present early morning and also seen in a brief visit were female Goosander, 2 Little Ringed Plover, Dunlin, 2 Redshank, Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Stock Dove, 2 Green Woodpecker, Blackcap, 13 Yellow Wagtail, 4 adult and 3 3rd year Yellow-legged Gulls and a juvenile Wheatear.

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July 31st 2011

Despite the tempature dropping in the night the moths kept coming in and while those who stayed grabbed some kip I went walk about hoping to hear last weeks Quail but no luck. A Tawny Owl called at day break.
The final count from 5 traps and 2 light sheets will exceed a 1000 moths of over a hundred species and some of the unexpected ones were Double Lobed, Small Scallop, Bulrush Wainscot, Small Dotted Buff and Dark Sword Grass while the Small Rufous was only the second one I have seen.

Clouded Border

Bulrush Wainscot

Only birds of note seen while packing things away was 3 Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, 4 Yellow Wagtail and 5 Tree Sparrow.
Rest of day spent either sleeping or eating but managed to see Holly Blue in the garden and 3 Swift over.


July 30th 2011

Barn Owl hunting the entrance to Toft Farm 04:40hrs and the same or another one seen twenty minutes later over the grassy field down Southam Rd in better light. The post roost of Lesser Black-backed Gulls gathering in the fields opposite were joined by 2 adult and 2 3rd year Yellow-legged Gulls and a juvenile Med Gull with another 3adult Yellow-legged Gulls off farborough bank, Draycote Water.
Also present at the pond were 3 Little Ringed Plover, 2 Dunlin, Turnstone, 14 juvenile Yellow and single juvenile Grey Wagtail, female Goosander, 4 Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, 2 Green Woodpecker and pair of Pochard.
Moved on to Draycote Meadows where there were 3 Blackcap, 3 Buzzard and 2 Spotted Flycatcher plus a few moths and butterflies. Seen were Shaded Broad-bar, Mother of Pearl, Udea lutalis, Udea prunalis, Trachycera advenella, Common Blue, Large Skipper, Gatekeeper, Red Admiral, Comma, Green-Veined White, Meadow Brown and Speckled Wood.
The nearby disused railway line had Blackcap, 3 Whitethroat, 4 Bullfinch, 20 Goldfinch, 2 Jay and Treecreeper while other sightings included Mother of Pearl, Shaded Broad-bar and Straw Dot while overhead an Osprey flew south ignoring the pond.
In the evening I took part in one of the many moth events that were being held in the county as part of the Warwickshire Moth Blitz where once set up in the Grandborough valley I enjoyed a Fish supper with friends as the moths arrived watching meteorites and satellites. A Barn Owl was seen at dusk.