Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mothing variety...

White spotted Pug
A mild 9 degrees with cloud improved the variety...a nice White spotted Pug the highlight.

0464 Diamond-back Moth (Plutella xylostella) 3
0648 White-shouldered House Moth (Endrosis sarcitrella) 1
1722 Flame Carpet (Xanthorhoe designata) 1 NFY
1728 Garden Carpet (Xanthorhoe fluctuata) 1 NFY
1738 Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternata) 1 NFY
1750 Water Carpet (Lampropteryx suffumata) 1
1834 Common Pug (Eupithecia vulgata) 1 NFY
1835 White-spotted Pug (Eupithecia tripunctaria) 1 NFY
1862 Double-striped Pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata) 1
2060 White Ermine (Spilosoma lubricipeda) 1
2123 Small Square-spot (Diarsia rubi) 1 NFY
2186 Powdered Quaker (Orthosia gracilis) 2
2188 Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta) 1
2190 Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) 1
2425 Nut-tree Tussock (Colocasia coryli) 1

18 moths of 15 sp.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Patch Tick

On Thursday while on holiday in Suffolk, a neighbour emailed me to say that Robert the head gardener at Howick Hall had seen a 'white heron' on the pond. There is a small heronry here so an albino is a feasible guess, but Julie, my neighbour, had been to check and she thought it was a Great Egret.

Bugger, a big patch tick considering the tiny amount of fresh water available here,but  I was sure it would soon depart as there are a good few visitors to such a small pond. It was bound to be disturbed.

So as soon as we got home on Friday, I, er, had to walk the dog and headed straight down to the pond. Sure enough, there it was, an smashing adult Great White Egret complete with aigrettes down its back, roosting with herons on an overhead branch. It did a couple of flights around the pool but stayed up in the trees as I left.

A cracking bird for the list, but surprisingly, it is Howick Pond's 6th heron species with Little Bittern, Squacco Heron, Night Heron, Grey Heron and Little Egret all recorded on an area the size of a football pitch! ( Well, in the last 150 years anyway...)

Although a GWE has been knocking around the Druridge - Hauxley area recently this bird looks different. Its beak is more yellow ( see here ) rather than the black bill of that bird...

Howick Patch List 193, 2013 List 111, Points 128.

A week in Suffolk...

We spent the last week at Westleton, Suffolk, where, of course, I did some moth trapping on suitable nights. I was hoping to get a Lime Hawkmoth, but didn't have any luck, still, its something to target next time...

Over the week there were 10 new species for me, not particularly rare ones, but moths that occur a good way south of home. Not having any idea of what I could get there, all of them were great surprises...
Pick of the bunch must be Chocolate Tip, Great Prominent and V-pug, all fantastic looking things...

Any way, here they are, more on the trip to follow...

Code Taxon Vernacular Individuals
1356 Evergestis forficalis Garden Pebble 1
1546 Gonepteryx rhamni Brimstone 1
1646 Watsonalla binaria Oak Hook-tip 1
1648 Drepana falcataria Pebble Hook-tip 2
1660 Polyploca ridens Frosted Green 2
1680 Cyclophora punctaria Maiden's Blush 4
1722 Xanthorhoe designata Flame Carpet 1
1724 Xanthorhoe spadicearia Red Twin-spot Carpet 2
1725 Xanthorhoe ferrugata Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet 1
1728 Xanthorhoe fluctuata Garden Carpet 2
1747 Anticlea derivata Streamer 1
1769 Thera britannica Spruce Carpet 2
1776 Colostygia pectinataria Green Carpet 1
1781 Horisme vitalbata Small Waved Umber 1
1832 Eupithecia assimilata Currant Pug 1
1834 Eupithecia vulgata Common Pug 2
1846 Eupithecia nanata Narrow-winged Pug 7
1858 Chloroclystis v-ata V-Pug 1
1883 Acasis viretata Yellow-barred Brindle 2
1888 Ligdia adustata Scorched Carpet 3
1906 Opisthograptis luteolata Brimstone Moth 1
1919 Selenia tetralunaria Purple Thorn 1
1931 Biston betularia Peppered Moth 4
1936 Menophra abruptaria Waved Umber 5
1955 Cabera pusaria Common White Wave 1
2000 Notodonta dromedarius Iron Prominent 1
2003 Notodonta ziczac Pebble Prominent 1
2005 Peridea anceps Great Prominent 4
2006 Pheosia gnoma Lesser Swallow Prominent 6
2007 Pheosia tremula Swallow Prominent 3
2019 Clostera curtula Chocolate-tip 3
2043 Eilema sororcula Orange Footman 1
2063 Diaphora mendica Muslin Moth 2
2078 Nola confusalis Least Black Arches 1
2092 Agrotis puta Shuttle-shaped Dart 7
2102 Ochropleura plecta Flame Shoulder 3
2147 Hada plebeja Shears 7
2157 Lacanobia w-latinum Light Brocade 1
2188 Orthosia incerta Clouded Drab 2
2190 Orthosia gothica Hebrew Character 11
2214 Cucullia chamomillae Chamomile Shark 1
2243 Xylocampa areola Early Grey 3
2284x Acronicta tridens/psi Dark Dagger / Grey Dagger 1
2450 Abrostola tripartita Spectacle 1

  Total 109

Oak Hook-tip
Frosted Green
Maiden's Blush
Small Waved Umber
Scorched Carpet
Waved Umber
Great Prominent
Orange Footman

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A shrine to a stringer...

Its a boring Wednesday afternoon at 4.21pm when my phone vibrates to life on my desk at work. After a cold, slow spring for birds and moths on my patch, a glance down to see who is calling, and it suddenly looks like things were about to change.  

Gary Woodburn has been a birding friend of mine since he moved up here getting on for ten years ago (?). He used ring birds at Druridge Pools when that was my patch, but he always talked about his favourite spot - Low Newton, and had a hankering that better coverage of this quite remote Northumberland headland would produce the goods.

Since he moved up that way, the village has been nailed on to the birding map, that's for sure. Gary's patch watching has certain echoes of that other adopted Northumbrian, that raider from the north,  who turned the run down fishing village of Newbiggin into a birding mecca, Jimmy Steele.

It was with this knowledge that when I saw it was Gaz calling, it is often about a bird, and at this time on a Wednesday, it must be interesting. Previous calls from Gary have been for Greenish Warblers (the 's' isn't a typo),  Pallas's Warbler, Long eared Owl in the hand, Short toed Lark, Lesser Grey Shrike and Stilt Sandpiper ( though it can be to call in for a cuppa too... ) but I would not have guessed what this message would bring.

When I answered, a very calm voice asked if I was at work, when I confirmed this, he said, 'you might want to get up here...there's a  COLLARED FLYCATCHER'. 

Now, my office is 30 miles from Newton, on country roads too, so without time to waste I just clocked off and left. Thank God for flexi time. 

At the time, Gary was unsure that the bird would remain on public view as it was right on the edge of his ringing site on private land, so he hadn't gone public. I was sworn to secrecy until he assessed the situation, but by the time I got there an hour later, the bird was going to be viewable for the crowds and the informations services had been called.

It couldn't have picked a better feeding circuit, along an open fence line backed by gorse opposite the Tin Church where people could park cars and not disturb its routine. Excellent.

Collared Flycatcher is a new addition to the Northumberland List ( as was Gary's Stilt Sandpiper last year). In May 2005, Graeme Bowman made a request of the members of the Northumberland and Tyneside Bird Club to predict potential new additions to the county avifauna. Four people predicted Collared Fly - Eddie Slack, Les Robson, Maurice Hepple and yours truly! Easy to predict, harder to actually find...

So, in light of Gary's work in adding two new species in consecutive years to the county list, is it not time we had a statue erected on Newton Point....it could be named Stringers Shrine ;)

Cheers for the call Gaz, keep 'em coming!

What will be the next addition to the county list I wonder?

Surely a twitchable Pallid Harrier isn't too much to ask...

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

PC fixed now, so back to proper lists. A nice Nut tree Tussock was last nights highlight...

0688 Agonopterix heracliana 1
1750 Water Carpet (Lampropteryx suffumata) 2
1852 Brindled Pug (Eupithecia abbreviata) 1 NFY
1917 Early Thorn (Selenia dentaria) 2
2139 Red Chestnut (Cerastis rubricosa) 3
2186 Powdered Quaker (Orthosia gracilis) 3
2187 Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) 3
2188 Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta) 4
2190 Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) 14
2425 Nut-tree Tussock (Colocasia coryli) 1 NFY

34 Moths of 10 sp 
Nutty Tussock

A pic from last week of this nice garden combo...
Tree Sparrow and Blackcap share a feeder

Monday, May 06, 2013

Water Carpet

0663  Diurnea fagella  1
0688  Agonopterix heracliana  5
0697  Agonopterix arenella  2
1746  Shoulder Stripe (Anticlea badiata)  1
1750  Water Carpet (Lampropteryx suffumata)  8
1917  Early Thorn (Selenia dentaria)  6
2182  Small Quaker (Orthosia cruda)  3
2186  Powdered Quaker (Orthosia gracilis)  12
2187  Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi)  12
2188  Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta)  13
2190  Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica)  27

90 moths of 11 sp

Agonopterix arenella

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Another few moths last night, but this nagging breeze is becoming a bore now...

0663  Diurnea fagella  2
0672  Parsnip Moth (Depressaria heraclei)  1
0688  Agonopterix heracliana  2
1750  Water Carpet (Lampropteryx suffumata)  3
1862  Double-striped Pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata)  1
1917  Early Thorn (Selenia dentaria)  3
2139  Red Chestnut (Cerastis rubricosa)  3
2182  Small Quaker (Orthosia cruda)  2
2186  Powdered Quaker (Orthosia gracilis)  6
2187  Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi)  6
2188  Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta)  1
2190  Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica)  23

53 moths of 12 sp

Friday, May 03, 2013

I'm Back...

Well the computer has returned with a new case and seems to be working ok, though my emails are still cocked up so I'm getting a man in...

Last nights moths -

0288  Caloptilia stigmatella  1 NFY 2nd for garden 3rd VC68 record
0672  Parsnip Moth (Depressaria heraclei)  1
0688  Agonopterix heracliana  1
1746  Shoulder Stripe (Anticlea badiata)  2 NFY
1750  Water Carpet (Lampropteryx suffumata)  2 NFY
1862  Double-striped Pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata)  2
1917  Early Thorn (Selenia dentaria)  1
2139  Red Chestnut (Cerastis rubricosa)  4
2186  Powdered Quaker (Orthosia gracilis)  5
2187  Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi)  5
2188  Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta)  4
2190  Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica)  15

Total 43 moths of 11 sp.

Even though this is the best catch so far this year, it shows how bad things really are. I should have had a few catches over the ton by now...Still I was please with the little Caloptilia...I'll ad a pic tomorrow.

Shoulder Stripes ( not last nights, its an older pic)