Friday, 17 June 2011

June 16th, A nice early start

Straight to the traps at 4.15 this morning, moth numbers were lower than in the last few days but still there were 55 species and again several that were new for the year, Buff Arches, Small Dotted Buff, Bordered White, Dunbar and Small Fanfoot. There were a couple of my favourites in today as well, we had 4 Elephant Hawkmoths and a Peach Blossom. One of the pictures below is of micro moth Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, not a particularly attractive name for really well marked little moth. I couldn't see the silver dots all over it until I looked at the photo on the computer! It's only 13mm long, apparently it's quite common and is found in woodland.
Small Dotted Buff

Beautiful Hook-Tip

Pseudargyrotoza conwagana! (micro)

What a stunner! Elephant Hawkmoth

 On the bird front, GOLDFINCHES came top with 16 in a flock around the veg garden, a party of 4 GREY HERONS flew west, I almost forgot when I started checking the moths the LITTLE OWL was calling again nearby. I managed to find both families of REED BUNTINGS today and really struggled getting any photos of anything, despite sitting quietly at various points around the estate! I was pleased to actually see TURTLE DOVE and CUCKOO, they have both been heard reasonably regularly over the passed few days without showing until today. By the lake I thought I heard the odd note from a Reed Warbler in between the BLACKCAP, GARDEN WARBLER and CHIFFCHAFFS that were drowning out everything else out not unpleasantly I might add!, I'll try again tomorrow, if the rain isn't too torrential.
Behaviour never witnessed before, 'Chiffchaff sniffs Honeysuckle'!

Common Whitethroat

The hedges were busy with young BLUE TITS, just one LESSER WHITETHROAT and a few each of COMMON WHITETHROAT and CHIFFCHAFF. The hoped for House Martins that were seen earlier in the spring seem to have disappeared and not taken up the free housing offered by the kindly Gardeners, unless I've just missed them recently. Each day at the moment seems to produce just one gull per visit most of the time, a single HERRING GULL obliged today.


Anonymous said...

Some cracking moths there, Alan. Not seen an adult Elephant Hawk for a few years now.

ShySongbird said...

4.15am? Aaarrrggghhh!... If only I could turn into an 'early bird'! The Elephant Hawkmoth really is a stunner.

Love that photo of the Chiffchaff :)

The birdsong by the lake must have been lovely!

Warren Baker said...

I could get into moths Alan, but i'm not sure about the 4:15 bit :-)

Rain lashing down outside as I write :-( (fri Pm)

Phil said...

Nice assortment of moths Alan. I too think I could get bitten by the bug. But not if early mornings were needed!!

Greenie said...

Alan ,
Like others , impressed with the number of moth species trapped .
How many traps do you run ?

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Dean, Thanks, those Elephant Hawks are unreal :-)

Hi ShySongbird, Thank you. The early mornings are great but I can't do too many!!
It's always was nice listening to the song, even if I was trying to pick out a Reed Warbler :-)

Hi Warren, I'm certainly enjoying trying to learn the moths, the early mornings are to get there before the birds get too active and start trying to take them off the barn doors and walls! We check them, then move them into various bits of undergrowth!

Still raining here! 6.45pm!

Hi Phil, Thanks, I think you could get away with not getting up early if you trap irregularly so the birds don't get used to the trap being there, I don't think all 'mothers' get up that early?? Not sure though :-)

Hi Greenie, We use 2 traps, I think the main reason for good numbers is the variety of plants at Sissinghurst and the vista, so the light can be seen from quite a long way. One morning 2 years ago we had 109 species in the 2 traps, it took a couple hours go ID them all even with Steve Broyd who is very good. We are going to run at least 3 traps in the wood and stay with them all night in July sometime, usually finishing at 2am-4am in the morning :-)