Thursday, April 25, 2013

A couple more migrants have joined the slowly growing Howick list this week.

Day before yesterday a singing Grasshopper Warbler greeted me as I went out to feed the garden birds before work. It rattled away for a good while, but there was no sign in the evening or since. A passage bird probably.

Tonight a slow stroll around our village, in the evening sunshine and a call rang out over head. 2 male Yellow Wagtails chasing each other overhead then off towards the coast. Nice bright birds lit up by the low sun. 7 Wheatears were together near the fallen wall in the coast field too.

Who needs a Rock Thrush...

For the patch challenge 105 species (120 points).

The biggies...

At this time of year moth trapping can get a bit samey with day after day producing the same half dozen similar species in varying quantities. This year has been even worse with a poor, cold, spring greatly reducing garden catches, so when I inspected last nights catch, this morning I was very pleased to find two quite sought after spring species.

The pick of the bunch were only my second garden record of Red Sword-grass and, also hoped for each year, a Pale Pinion.

Pale Pinion
Red Sword-grass
Other new species for the year this morning were Early Grey, Double Striped Pug, Red green Carpet and Diurnea fagella.

Double striped Pug

Red green Carpet
Early Grey
Diurnea fagella

Monday, April 22, 2013

A new moth...

Above Top - Early Tooth Striped
Above bottom - Mottled Grey

I find these two quite tricky to tell apart. Easy when photos are side by side like this, but one, in the trap is a different proposition. I have had a good few Mottled Greys in the garden but until last night the only Early Tooth Striped I have seen were on Speyside last year. The easy way to tell them apart I think is the wing point shape. The ETS is much more rounded than the MG. Also the pairs of stripes either side of the body on ETS are quite obvious on this one...

Saturday, April 20, 2013


A nice sunny mild day makes Jack a happy boy...

A couple of walks around the patch revealed 12 Sand Martins down at the Haven, and 2 or 3 Willow Warblers at the pond. Both patch year ticks. Also 3 Blackcap, 5 Swallow and many singing Chiffchaffs made migrant watching worthwhile. 2 Canada Geese and a Greylag flew south, and single Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell around the garden were my first butterflies of the year.

A nice Brown Hare has spent a day or two just over our drive wall, while 6 in the back field and 2 in Village wood made for a veritable Hare fest!

My phone has recovered and picks up emails, but no luck on the PC so I have enlisted professional help for next week.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Damn and blast!

PC is back.

Looks like it was repaired by a blind 12 yr old wearing boxing gloves using a fucking hammer. Now I have shagged my email passwords so not only do I not get them on my computer I cant get them on my phone either!


If anyone needs to contact me please text.

What a load of Bollocks.

And while I'm raging....

Patch Challenge is slowly coming along with a Swallow two days earlier than expected on 13th making my list a neat 100 and 113 points.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

PC world...

This is tricky. Phone blogging. My PC has had a fit and is going for repair this weekend. Normal service will be resumed when I get it back. I can still get emails on my phone...

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Its all happening now...

Well its not really, but there has been an improvement since the start of April. Although its cold, days have been quite dry and sometimes sunny, without snow so its got to be a bonus.

On the 1st of the month a flock of 6 Canada Geese flew N low over the Village and today 2 Chiffchaffs  singing in Village Wood and the Pond Field plus a pair of Tufted Ducks on the pond itself were all new additions to the Patch Challenge list.

This takes me up to 96 species at 107 points. Hopefully there will be a few more additions before this month is out...

I had a report of a Ruddy Shelduck at Boulmer on Thursday so I called in before work yesterday but there was no sign...

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Spring Marches on.....

Last night was a balmy 3 degrees at dusk, with a nice cloud covering and no wind, so out came the Robinson...

March was an absolutely dreadful month for lepidopterists with no butterflies and very few moths, so I was very pleased this morning to find millions in the trap. Well, 10 anyway.

1663 March Moth (Alsophila aescularia) 2 NFY
1926 Pale Brindled Beauty (Phigalia pilosaria) 2
2190 Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) 5
2258 Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii) 1

10 Moths of 4 sp

March Moth