Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Two more

Finally, a couple of Angle Shades, such a nice distinctive moth and three Rusty-dot Pearls were NfG (145).
Three Willow Beauties were resting on the brickwork above the trap, one shown here.

Later, very pleasant conditions on Butser, warm, blue skies and a nice breeze.
About 200+ hirundines over an hour with just a handful of Sand Martin.
A few Whitethroats and Chiffchaffs plus five Bullfinch and a flyover Tree Pipit.
A very brief flash of a red tail presumably belonged to a Redstart!!

My usual re-check of the trap just to ensure I've not missed anything was worthwhile today as a Turnip Moth was tucked up inside an egg box and was also NfG, not for the first time negating the post title!

Monday, 29 August 2016


A brief walk at Southmoors on the way home produced a  Common Seal close in to the carpark. Along the fenceline a single Wheatear and a Kingfisher on the brick culvert; a couple of heard only Yellow Wagtails.
Over the mill-pond-still harbour a couple of hundred Swallows. Probably 40+ Little Egrets, twenty Great-crested Grebes, 75+ Turnstones roosting up on boats and hundreds of very distant roosting Curlews. An adult and a juvenile Peregrine perched on fenceposts out on the islands and finally three Common Sandpipers near the carpark.

Sunday, 28 August 2016


With plenty of rain spells at least 550 hirundines, Sand Martin and Swallow predominating, hawking low. Singles of  Common Sandpiper and Redshank but sadly no quality waders nor terns. A couple of Roe Deer on the far shore and the single juvenile Little Grebe with one parent plus a perched up Kingfisher.

On reception feeders a couple of Siskin and Nuthatch.

Didn't bother to go through the moth trap but Canary-shouldered Thorn visible, Willow Beauty and a couple of Light Emerald on the building.

Juvenile Lapwing

Juvenile Little Grebe

Saturday, 27 August 2016


A nice cool morning with a light breeze was such a relief after the last few scorching days. One elusive Little Stint flew out from South Scrape and returned later with two friends but were always distant as below; sadly none of the bumper crop of east coast Curlew Sandpipers have made it this far. Probably a total of 100+ hirundines equally split between Swallow and House Martin with just a small number of Sand and eight or so Snipe plus usual suspects.
One distant Marsh Harrier, two Buzzard and a juvenile Sprawk zipping across South Scrape so low and fast that nothing flushed!!
The Turnstone flock was over 50 strong with a few smart 'tortoiseshells' amongst them.

Friday, 26 August 2016

No change today

Nothing different in the trap today, a mere 17 moths, plenty of wasps which departed immediately the lamp was switched off and no beetles nor caddisflies today. A smart Flounced Rustic was the best of the bunch, in so much better condition than the previous few.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

140 up

Dark/Grey Dagger and Brown China Mark were NfG taking eleven week total to 140 with a couple of micros to be looked at. Moths outnumbered by wasps although they are pretty docile once the lamp is switched off. Only one moth casualty surprisingly; a few ladybirds and caddisflies.
Just Common Redstart at Northney Paddocks a couple of flyovet Yellow Wagtails at the Oysterbeds. No Ospreys perched up from here nor Broadmarsh.
Back home a couple more moths on the greenhouse were both NfG and invalidating the post title!!

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Very hot by 7am!

Last night the trap started to fill immediately with wasps, ladybirds, beetles, weevils, caddisflies and so on plus the usual moth suspects. Very hot and humid but still massively lit by street lights (lots of moth activity) and the moon.

Up early and Bullfinch calling although not a peep from the usual Great Spot.

First casualty due to wasps since I started looks to have been a Willow Beauty.

Flame Carpet, Cabbage Moth and Caloptila spp were new so 138 the latter needing gen dets to split the two species

If I was a pan-lister then this morning's Phasia hemiptera at QECP would have been an additional species.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Long time NOT watching Osprey

Two NfGs in trap, Sallow Kitten and Yellow-barred Brindle, total now 135.

A long session at WWT(8 hours!!) started with missing the Osprey by a few minutes and later in the day another missed sighting, albeit brief according to others. The early walk along the river produced little although a very nice collection of hoverflies near the south-east sluice.

Probably 40+ House Martins, 25 Swallows and similar numbers of Sand Martins although only three or four tempted in briefly by playback. Precious few other migrant passerines save Willow/Chiffs and Reed Warblers. Both  Peregrines arrived, the female carrying prey, numerous Buzzards, a single distant Red Kite, two Sparrowhawks playing and a high, hawking Hobby. Two single Ravens, one circling, the other rollin' 'n tumblin over the hanger.

Few ducks on the scrapes with a handful of Teal and single Shoveler; a Common Sandpiper kept its distance. Amongst the gulls one Mediterranean and three Commons.

Plenty of Brimstones and Red Admirals.
Bird of the day was this Boultbee Spit!!

At home near dusk a flock of 20+ House Martins went south.

Massively distant Hobby

Monday, 22 August 2016


A tip run to Broadmarsh and a quick scan of the harbour from Southmoors didn't produce an Osprey sadly. Just two Buzzards at QECP and a couple of Meliscaeva cinctella. Male Southern Hawkers were too busy chasing each othet to pose. At Heath Pond about 20+ House Martins and a few Phylloscs, Treecreepers and Long-tailed Tits calling plus a couple of Common Blues and a single Small Copper which was blown away before I could get the camera on it.
Nice to see WWT had a fishing Osprey yesterday and again today, anothet juvenile so not the bird from last year passing through again.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

One of a family of four Pied Wagtails; the day's best birds, Greenshank(3), Hobby(1), Peregrine(1) and Raven(2) were miles away.
Kingfisher heard, 250+ hirundines (Sand Martins and Swallow), 300+ Greylags and a few moths, the best, Poplar Hawkmoth flying around and perching on a post early afternoon.

Thursday, 18 August 2016


A Buzzard was sat up on very thin twig on the east side of the A3 where I've seen one before; always looks odd when such a big bird is sat so still on a tiny twig. A massive cloud of gulls over Hazleton Common, so presumably another big ant hatch. Second reminder re. pin badges today; interesting to see if I get any response. If it stays dry and overcast tonight will have another trap session tonight this time with sheet out suspended from conservatory.

A Tawny Owl was keewicking nearby at 21:30 but there was still a huge moon so I'm guessing pretty few moths tomorrow morning. With rain forecast the trap was moved inside the greenhouse, which whilst it didn't trap a lot, at least what it did was dry, just a little rain speckling on the perspex.

Not pertinent to this post but pining for an opportunity to photograph something other than inverts; this Weasel was a 'blast from the past' from Holme, Norfolk.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

A few dragons etc

Emerald Damsel

Black Darter

Main reserve produced four Greenshank, probably five or more Green Sandpipers a nice Hobby and a good number of Teal. A single Lesser Whitethroat was the best passerine. An adult and juvenile Peregrine had a minor spat on the South Brooks before departing. The above odonata were joined by the usual suspects plus a fair few Migrant Hawkers and a couple of Small Red-eyed Damsels but pretty much nil birdwise. Had forgotten just how grainy the high iso shots are from the Lumix!! Unfortunately, no opportunity to borrow a bat detector to check whether those outside the house are just Common Pipistrelles. At least half a dozen up and down the close after 20:30; apparently some local new-build houses are equipped with bat boxes, so maybe thats the source.

Ran the trap until midnight when rain started and soon had a trap full of flies, probably a good indicator of what the bats were feeding on. Some moth activity but mostly resting on the fence and conservatory. The nearest street lights seemed alive with moths and oddly, a Common Sandpiper called loudly overhead. Two Yellow Shell, another Small Wainscott and Pale Willow Beauty (NfG) were the best of the bunch. A worn Flounced Rustic was NfG 132.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

An empty box

Barring a single Small Wainscott(NfG) and two micros the trap was empty  - well two wasps also - and a single Riband Wave on the fence. Felt very cool and breezy at 05:30. Sadly, it looks as if Jayne's mugs aren't magic!!

Later, a trip to WWT to return polo shirt and badge and catch up with Terry, Andy, Gerry and wife plus staff. Single Red Kite harassed by gulls, one Peregrine sat up quietly in one of the dead trees and several sightings of Kingfisher plus heards. Brown Hawker and Common Darter only. By late morning the noise of families and strimmers was too much so back home via a typically appalling Chichester traffic jam  - so, so nice to live to the  west of all that. Hopefully, Pagham won't get any rarities until after the kids are back to school!!

Wasp noisily stripping old wood

Monday, 15 August 2016

The wrong turn(sic)...

Plenty of adult and juvenile Common Terns at TH today but no sign of the Roseate. Turnstone numbers up to more than forty today but just three Avocets.
Clouded Yellow was easily the best invert. Five Buzzards were enjoying playing in the thermals and thirty Sand Martin went south.

Spot the Buzzard...

...and a close Green Sandpiper

Highlight back home at dusk was two small bats, presumed Pipistrelle spp,actively hunting up and down the close; please don't eat my moths!!

Sunday, 14 August 2016

The two very pretty china mugs decorated with red and blue underwings were collected from Royal Mail this morning and very nice they are too; maybe they will act as 'good luck charms' for trapping! Thanks to Jayne Chapman of Butterfly Conservation for these.

The trap was virtually empty this morning with not a single micro. Maybe clear, moonlit skies didn't help. Hopefully some changes in the weather this week may help.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Tiger, tiger burning bright...

Four Garden Tigers in Portsmouth this morning, Dusky Thorn, LYU, Snout, S-s Dart and a few other bits. Three Swallows over westward.
Later another Meliscaeva cinctella and Chrysogaster solstitialis and a raggedy Buzzard at QECP after half-brekkie.

Another 'failure to deliver'  from Royal Mail so a jaunt into town to the collection office tomorrow for the Moth mugs.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Oohhh - a new book!!!

Typically quiet trap with just a few familiar moths and 3 NfGs namely Lesser Swallow Prominent, Dusky Thorn and Yellow Shell the latter, both before potting and after release, being determined to decorate the outside of the conservatory - not a good survival strategy. Garden Tiger again in trap but pretty sure it was yesterday's individual so no trap tonight. Now 129 +(1) in 62 days. A Green Woodpecker loped over the garden silently and a Herring Gull was having a spat with an adult Lesser Black-back, making considerably more noise.

Royal Mail tried to deliver a package yesterday which, when collected this morning, was the new Wildguide British Birds  - looking forward to perusing it; first impression was 'My! that's big'!!

QECP for coffee and brunch and a pitch to reception and restaurant staff about placing RSPB pin badge boxes; time will tell.

A tatty Silver-washed Fritillary was near the tractor barn, a few fresh male Brimstones along the dead end road and a male Chalkhill Blue was along the access road. Meliscaeva cinctella (my first new hover for ages and only the second for 2016) was the only notable hover. The lower path was too overgrown to make much progress.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Bit of a shocker

Noticeably darker now the days are getting shorter when checking the trap early on. Despite being still, it was presumably too cool last night as the trap was virtually empty, no micros at all and not a single moth perched up on adjacent brickwork or fence panels. Just four moths in total but to ensure some interest one NfG in the shape of Garden Tiger which made it worthwhile, the 125th species in 61 days. Lack of moths now doesn't bode well for the months ahead. On the bright side a Hedgehog, maybe last month's individual was snuffling about in the undergrowth close to the trap but staying hidden; maybe I should buy it a 'home'! Finally, a Willow Warbler was 'hoo-eeting' from next door's trees and a Bullfinch calling from behind no7.

Later at Pulborough a few hovers including Sericomyia silentis and two Chrysotoxums, festivum and bicinctum plus usual fare. Painted Lady was the best butterfly of the day although the Brown Hairstreaks were performing for others. Birdwise, Peregrine, juvenile Marsh Harrier and single Swift were the best although two Green Sandpipers did provide nice scope views.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016


Just a brief visit, mostly to discuss pin badge boxes. East side virtually birdless with just a single Buzzard perched distantly. South Scrape had 70+ Black 'wits nervously flashing around with a handful of Dunlin and single Common Sandpiper, presumably disturbed by a perched Sparrowhawk. About 80+ Common Terns, mostly resting or feeding offshore. Finally, a handful of Turnstones flew across the harbour as I drove past. Peacock and Common Darter were the only obvious and photogenic inverts.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Childless Blashford!!

A quiet day with no family activities and a quiet rummage through the trap with Bob and Tracy over a cuppa. Only four or five species which I have not had in the garden yet including this Poplar Hawkmoth and Pale Prominent although Archer's Dart was a new species; I should probably have made more effort to get a decent photo.

Birds were pretty thin with just Buzzard(8), Sparrowhawk and Hobby, probably 30 each of House and Sand Martin, two Swifts which could well be last of the year, 50 Egyptian Geese and 60+ Grey Herons. All Common Terns now gone.
Highlight was probably a single female type Redstart pumping its tail sat atop a fence post.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Wet start

Rather caught out this morning by early drizzle so a few slightly damp egg boxes in the trap. Three new micros and two macros, Knot Grass(3) and a single rather worn Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing. Sycamore was probably the smartest specimen, the bulk of the catch being a variety of Rustic/Uncertain/Common Rustic.
The conservatory is becoming a bit of a death-trap for insects with Large and Small White butterflies, Meadow Brown and Gatekeepers regularly bumbling around and falling foul of spiders and their webs, along with numerous flies, the odd hover and a sizeable and uncatchable cricket today.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Little flurry of NFGs

Again few moths but six NFGs out of sixteen species and twenty one individuals wasn't too bad. A big shape flashed out of the trap and between my legs but luckily pitched up on a fence panel, a surprising Red Underwing. It was far too hyper to sit for a photo and when released hammered off high towards the big trees on the A3. Garden list now on 121. A Bullfinch was  calling distantly but very quiet otherwise.

Off to the bioblitz shortly.

A nice black Adder sunning, plenty of Blue-tailed Damsels, one or two Southern Hawkers and an Emperor. Two Common Blue were the best butterflies. Bird wise four Buzzards and a few overflying Med Gulls.

The late evening bat walk was well attended and with plenty of detectirs to go round. Very close encounters with pipistrelles near the ponds but no other species. Back tomorrow morning to see which moths were caught, my trap being virtually empty, only four macros and no NfGs this time, nor photos.

Saturday morning was almost too hot for insects with the few moths in the trap at Hazleton all very fired up. Nothing particularly interesting surprisingly.
A few more hovers and the only Small Heath of the morning.

Agapeta zoegana

Chrysotoxum bicinctum

Southern Hawker

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

No trapping but still moths

Driving through Midhurst a couple of Buzzards soaring overhead plus a single Swift. At Pulborough a few more hoverflies despite the strong wind with Platycheirus rosarum being a year tick and this Sercomyia silentis the best looking.

Just distant Red Kite and five Buzzards and two Green Sandpipers, one just a dot in Carey's scope. No snakes today but two moths, Antler Moth on ragwort which I don't recall seeing before and a Red Underwing on the totem thanks to Anna.
Much quieter on the dragonfly front with a male Emperor and Brown Hawker disputing use of reception pond and just a single Southern Hawker on Black Pond. Both the Antler moth and Musca autumnalis showing how important ragwort is.