Saturday, June 12, 2004

A lazy morning included emptying the moth trap. The catch included a few new garden firsts - Common Footman and Peppered Moth.

A couple of Mullein plants have popped up in the front garden - huge things with big yellow flower heads. The larger of the two plants has an impressive caterpillar infestation, with the plant slowly disappearing into the chomping little wiggly caterpillars - or not so little when they've had their fill! The insects are of course, Mullein moth caterpillars - aptly named.

Mullein moth caterpillar

Whilst photographing the caterpillars a dragonfly skimmed by my head and in to the garden - the second Black-tailed Skimmer in a week. A teneral insect with glistening bronze wings.

In the evening Katie Fuller and I joined Jonathan Taylor to help with the third in the RSPB's series of Nene Washes walks. We met about 20 people at Eldernell and wandered along the south barrier bank as far as Lord's Holt. We hadn't got more than a few yards when we were stopped in our tracks by a Barn Owl sat on top of a nearby telegraph pole. But that wasn't quite the star. The squeaking young Long-eared Owl which flopped around the wash! Fantastic! We also squeezed in a Hobby hawking over Eldernell Pit at the end. Good evening.

We left the Washes and decided to check in on Black Bush to see if last weeks Quail was still there. And it was! No sooner had we pulled up, it was calling in the same field as last week. Terrific!

Arriving home I topped upthe feeders in the dark to be startled by a Curlew calling nearby. Only the second record I've had out here in 18 months, and an unusual record for June.

No comments: