Sep 022020
 

I ran a garden Moth Trap over night on 1st September. The results are as follows, in no particular order.

Copper Underwing 3; Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing – female 1; Brimstone Moth 2; Willow Beauty 1; Large Yellow Underwing 16; Green Carpet 1; Common Marbled Carpet 4; Lesser Yellow Underwing 5; Flounced Rustic 3; Setaceous Hebrew Character 2; Square-spot Rustic 2; Uncertain 2; Silver Y 2; Common Wainscot 1; Garden Carpet 1; Grey Pine Carpet 1; Double-striped Pug 1; Dark Marbled Carpet 1; Bryotropha affinis (Dark Neb) 1; Agriphila geniculea (Elbow-stripe Grass Veneer) 9; Epiphyas postvittana (Light-brown Apple Moth) 5; Acleris variegana (Garden Rose Tortrix) 1; 

The most interesting insect was a species of Lacewing – Waxwing LacewingConwentzia psociformis. I initially thought it was a tiny moth, until checking out its ID later on. Such a tiny thing, no more than 3mm in length. No idea of its status in my county.

Conwentzia psociformis – Waxwing Lacewing
Btoad-bordered Yellow Underwing – female
Common Marbled Carpet
Acleris variegana – Garden Rose Tortrix
Square-spot Rustic
 Posted by at 12:38 pm
Sep 012020
 

A leisurely walk today around the Egleton Reserve at Rutland Water was a welcoming change from my local patch. Just a few more birds to look at here! 

Great White Egrets were everywhere and I must have had a minimum of 11 birds, along with a minimum of 20 Little Egret and a Spoonbill. A female Pintail and 2 Red-crested Pochard were best of the ducks. A Wood Sandpiper, 3 Green Sandpiper, 4 Common Sandpiper, 5 Dunlin and a Ringed Plover were best of the waders. Still 5 juvenile Shag from last weeks gales were on rocks at the Dam Wall. A female Pintail, 6 Common Tern and hundreds of Cormorant on Lagoon 1.

Lots of Migrant Hawkers  and Common Darters, with a single female Southern Hawker, on the wing in the very warm sunshine.

Not the best of weather for photography, with most birds distant, so a few record shots to remember the day.

 

Great White Egret – a regular species at Rutland Water these days
Migrant Hawker – a mature male
Southern Hawker – a mature female
Wood Sandpiper – a year tick and bird of the day for me.
Shag – juveniles – remnants from last weeks gales
Shag – one of the five that were on the rocks by the dam wall
Red-crested Pochard – an eclipse drake
Mute Swan – proudly showing off their offspring.
 Posted by at 7:01 pm
Aug 302020
 

A recent 3 day trip to North Norfolk produced 90 species and 9 year ticks. Sea birds were certainly on the move in some very windy conditions.

A number of Bonxie and Arctic Skua were on the move along with a few Manx Shearwater and many, many terns. Several Little Tern were still around. A few young Mediterranean Gull passed by Cley Coastguards along with a good selection of waders, a single Red-throated Diver and Guillemot, plenty of Fulmar and Gannet. I found a Spoonbill on Blakeney Fresh Marsh and a few migrant warblers.

Titchwell produced a few Curlew Sandpiper, 5 Spoonbill, Little Stint, Red Kite, 8 Swift, Marsh Harrier, Great White Egret and 12 other wader species.

Sunset over Blakeney Fresh Marsh
The famous Half-way House along Blakeney Point
Morston Quay looking towards Blakeney Point in the distance
RSPB Titchwell Reserve looking towards Parinder Hide
Titchwell Fresh Marsh and Teal Hide
Mullein (Verbascum)

The past few days I’ve spent local birding. At Staunton Harold Reservoir (29th) I had 7 Yellow-legged Gull and a late juvenile Common Tern. A Common Whitethroat and a single Chiffchaff. Little Egrets reduced to one single bird.

On 30th August only 3 adult Yellow-legged Gull, but an increase in Chiffchaff , with at least 10 birds in with the tit flock.

Chiffchaff at Staunton Harold Reservoir

At Willington DWT Reserve at least 10 Common Tern, a Great White Egret, a Hobby, Common Whitethroat, a calling Redshank, 2 Common Snipe, 6 Chiffchaff and a Cetti’s Warbler.

Great White Egret – rather distant at Willington Gravel Pits
Hobby hunting Dragonflies at Willington Gravel Pits
 Posted by at 4:52 pm
Aug 222020
 

I first saw the immature Lammergeier on 13th July 2020, when it was regularly roosting on Howden Edge at Crook Clough, frustratingly just over the Derbyshire border in Yorkshire. I never saw it fly during the 2 hours I was watching it and I also, more importantly, never saw it in Derbyshire.

The bird became very erratic towards the end of July and eventually seemed to settle down in the western area of the Peak District National Park around Crowden and Woodhead. A favoured site has been the valley above Crowden at Black Tor. 

On 22nd August I decided to head off to the area for the afternoon in the hope that I may be lucky and get a view of the “Lady” in flight. By the way it’s been sexed as a young female. 

After about a mile or so walk from Crowden Car Park, along the trans pennine way, I arrived at the Black Tor watch point where a small group of people had gathered. It had flown off down the valley, lost to view about half an hour before I arrived.

After about and hour or so, the bird re-appeared very distantly and settled on the ground appearing to feed on something in the heather. It could be seen clearly through the telescope and must have been about a mile and a half range. Eventually she took to the air and soared over Bareholme Moss and the valley, giving excellent but distant views. A few minutes later she settled on the cliffs at Rakes Rocks. I left around 4:15pm, making it back to the car park area just as the heavens opened. I managed a few images of a bird I never expected to see gracing the skies over Derbyshire, my home county.

 Posted by at 7:48 pm
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