Saturday, 30 July 2016

Long Time No Action

Saturday July 30

Well, no Blog action.  We've been very busy moth-ing. As well as the regular twice weekly sessions, we have attended several extra sessions. At Holme and Strumpshaw (second time for both) arranged by David N and, at Middle Harling, Catfield Fen and Cley arranged by the Butterfly Conservation Norfolk group. All very successful, apart from Middle Harling, where only one trap out of six had actually worked after heavy overnight stormy rain.
Strumpshaw was notable for the heat (!!),  a rare micro and two new moths brought in by John G - Festoon - and a Golden Plusia  brought in by James Lowen.
James also especially lured and brought in for us a Yellow-legged Clearwing to last Monday's Yarmouth Bird Club meeting where he gave a very professional presentation promoting his latest book. The photo I took is quite embarrassingly bad, even for a record shot. The point and shoot camera I carry in my handbag, poor indoor light, an active little beast and a dirty pot. And the photographer........

At least, the yellow legs are visible.
Moths at home have increased in both species and number, still well down on previous years.  A few of the more attractive ones.

Marsh Carpet, very rare, brought to Greg's by David N.

Kent Black Arches - twitched at Steve's in Cantley. Caught our own very tatty one the same night.

Peach Blossom

Ruby Tiger

The 5-6 mm Micro Argyresthia Brockeelia

Rhyaconia Pinicolana - 6-11 mm

We made it to Titchwell yesterday (Friday the 29th) at long last. Not until mid-day as we had the moth trap to see to first. It was also a record slow journey in a quarter of a mile queue behind an enormous harvester. We turned off with relief only to find the harvester in front of us. Fortunately, it took a right turn soon afterwards.
Titchwell freshmarsh was heaving with birds, most of then waders, the most we've seen for a long time. Water levels looked good too. We ended up in Island hide as all the benches were occupied by families - school holidays. Handsome Black-tailed Godwits were in the majority - after more Avocets than I can remember seeing in one place. Good breeding season? I expect that the dastardly and unsightly fenced off enclosure will be given credit for that. Maybe with reason? A small flock of Knot amongst the Godwit, Dunlin, most with vestiges of breeding black belly, two adult Curlew Sandpipers moulting into winter plumage, 4 Spotted Redshanks, Teal. Shelduck, Lapwing, Redshank, a small flock of Ruff and 7 Spoonbills.  There were 15 of the latter reported later, we only saw 7, the others must have been behind the island.
The pathside vegetation was devoid of insect life apart from 1 small Blue Damselfly, a Gatekeeper and a Meadow Brown. Not even any Bloody-nose Beetles trundling along the path.
After a chat with a very sad and upset Sue B in the car park (wish I'd won that huge Euromillions pay out) I photographed a baby Robin near our car. Pam is convinced it was unwell......

I hope to do some butterfly searching this weekend, so few about. Several in our garden to-day gives hope, mostly Large White and 1 Red Admiral. The garden is full of flowers planted to attract insects, the Buddleias look great as does the Nicotiana and Borage. Where are the butterflies to enjoy them ? Will they recover and if so, in what numbers?

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