Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Rannoch Loopers! and a few birds

It was a nice early start, I arrived at the castle at 4.20am, Pete the warden was already there checking the moths on the barn doors, what was obvious straight away was the amount of Rannoch Loopers that were on the doors and around the trap, I was up to about 15 individuals before we looked in the rap or checked the second trap! Rannoch Loopers are described as locally numerous where they breed but where they breed is Scotland! We ended up with a total of 57 of these rare moths, from what I could see all males. This is part of an influx into, mainly the south east side of Britain, that started over the weekend after some north east winds. To date Kent has recorded the highest numbers and it's great that we have managed to record good numbers here. There were other good moths today, we had our first White Satin as well as a couple new for the year which were Beautiful Golden Y and Green Silver Lines, both attractive moths we also had a couple of the 'big boys', a Privet Hawkmoth and Eyed Hawkmoth, overall a really successful night 344 moths of 58 species.
A small group of Rannoch Loopers

Rannoch Looper

Eyed Hawkmoth

Privet Hawkmoth

By 6.05 I was back to looking for birds, I found both pairs of SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS but have  so far failed to find any more pairs in the woods, a CUCKOO bubbled near the moth traps and a PIED WAGTAIL kept a close eye on proceedings. A BLACKCAP was being harassed by a youngster and a BLACKBIRD gave an alarm call as it crashed into the bush next to me, I looked up to find a SPARROWHAWK drifting over the car park. Again the numbers of BLUE TITS was high. I watched a family party near the moat which was joined in part by at least 3 young CHIFFCHAFFS.
Young Chiffchaff

Young Chiffchaff

6 LINNETS flew over the wheat field before I headed to the lake, a GARDEN WARBLER sang for most of the time I was there but there was no sign of the weekends Reed Buntings.
As I walked through the wood I heard a KINGFISHER on at least 3 occasions, I eventually saw it streaking across the fields ten minutes later. I found another GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS nest which was given away by some incessant begging calls! In the fields there were several SKYLARKS, a REED BUNTING was singing in the hedgerow close to a YELLOWHAMMER and that was probably about it, 43 species was average on a very pleasant morning.
More Honeysuckle



Greenie said...

Alan ,
You certainly seem to be doing very well with your moths , especially the Scottish ones .
I think I might have found one too , whilst out yesterday afternoon , will post photo tonight .

ShySongbird said...

Well done on the Rannoch Looper Alan. The Privet Hawkmoth is one I did recognise ;) although only from books.

Lovely photos of the young Chiffchaffs.

Warren Baker said...

I once found one of those Privet Hawk moths Alan - very nice looking it was too :-)

Alan Pavey said...

Hi Greenie, I think the position of the trap helps it shines out towards Digdog Lane, which is a pretty good vista :-)

Hi ShySongbird, Thank you, I must admit I like the Hawkmoths they are pretty impressive, the amount of those Rannoch Loopers was a real surprise.

Hi Warren, The Privet Hawkmoth is the largest one we get here, it's always exciting to find one ;-)