Tuesday November 10
Full group attendance at moths this morning, apart from DN who is usually a regular. There were 19 of us clustered around the table at Natural Surroundings. Greg nearly always opens the four traps, 3 and 1 Heath, Giles was scribing this morning. The egg boxes are passed around the group, anything 'good' is potted before being passed around, in case it flies away before all have seen it. A very late Orange Sallow was the worst for wear. Best for us was our first Sprawler.
The females are flightless, staying in their larva food plants, the males come to light but never feed during their entire adult life.
The other highlight was a very attractive bug which our beetle expert Andy, took home and later sent us the following information :
. Rhododendron Leafhopper Graphocephala fennahi (Cicadellidae), introduced from the USA and now widespread in southern Britain
Richard sent me this photograph.
Apart from the bug, all to-day's photos are Pam's, I didn't carry a camera.
On to CleySpy. During my clear-out I decided to sell two of my tripods, a lightweight Velbon and my heavier Manfrotto carbon fivbre. I also included a hardly used Opticron mini scope. It's lightness did not make up for the superior optical quality of my Swarovski 82mm which I still carry about. All are now on commission sale at the showrooms.
Pam's elderly Zeiss binocs are not up to the required standard any more. Scratched eye lenses, dented rubber and a very loose focusing ring = expensive repair. She came away with a beautiful pair of Swarovski 10x32 - small, light and optically superb. Much better for her shoulders and neck.
Time to give them an outing. We parked at Iron Road and walked to the newly opened Babcock hide - at last. The path is known as the Attenborough Way as he opened it. What path? It's rough, uneven and undulating tussocky pasture bordering the dyke and fenced off field. Clumps of Willow and Hawthorn, in their plastic sheaths, have been planted along the fence at irregular intervals.
This small fungus was showing above the grass.
The very strong and gusting wind was blowing from the west so the hide was sheltered - except when the door was opened.
We sat for more than an hour, overlooking a very large pool, I didn't expect such an open expanse with several islands, some covered in reed, others low mud. Looks like good habitat but very few birds to-day. Black-headed Gulls and Lapwing sheltered in the far corner, two Little Grebes were very active indeed, spending more time beneath the water than above. One came near enough for a photo.
Two men entertained us - unwittingly - by trying to make one of the grebes a Slavonian . We found later that one had been reported here this morning. Probably this paler one with a dark cap !!
After a short and rather unsatisfactory view of a Water Pipit, rising from an island, calling and flying away, we trudged back to the car.
A most enjoyable way to spend a day.