Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Wrens are go

Two summers ago I was stood outside my office window when a fledgling Great Tit landed on my head. Looking up I saw three more tumbling out from under by guttering.

Juvvy Wren | Leica Digilux 1 | © Steve Dudley

This year, a pairs of Wrens are using the same cavity and I've been watching them toing and froing with beakfuls of insects (too many moths for my liking which possibly indicates they are collecting moths from around where I trap in the back garden). Anyway, just after 2 o'clock this affy, I heard one of the Wrens going bullistic outside my office window - just a few feet from where I'm sat. I was watching him/her when I small bundle dropped vertically downwards. Standing up I could see a young Wren in my (unplanted) window box. It hopped up on to the edge of the box and started calling excitedly (now, if a human baby had just fallen the equivalent height it would be crying its bloody head off! And would have broken my window box). I quickly grabbed the camera and got this record snap of the occasion. Over the next two hours I counted at least seven descents, and all are now tucked up safely in the Leylandii hedge (and making a racket).

You big mother

Privet Hawkmoth

A small catch of only 57 moths of 14 species overnight. I had emptied the trap and began my inspection of the outside (moths regulalry sit in the outside of the trap in the nooks and crannies, and on the surrounding wall and fence). I turned it round to be greeted by my first Privet Hawkmoth of the year. What a cracking insect this is - a monster!

Privet Hawkmoth | Leica Digilux 1 | © Steve Dudley

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Garden mothers

Despite yesterday being a cold day, overnight I got my second best catch of the year with 100 moths of 21 species including two new moths for the garden.

Sandy Carpet - first for the garden

Green Pug - first for the garden

Pebble Prominent

Middle-barred Minor

Pale Prominent

All photos | Nikon Coolpix 995 | © Steve Dudley

One of the great things about trapping out here is that no one else is, has done in the recent past or is likely to in the future! So I feel I'm really contributing to our knowledge of not only moths, but everything else I record on Farcet Fen.

Friday, June 10, 2005

More garden moths

Putting out the trap last night I had one of those 'is it worth bothering with' moments. But boy was it ever! Up at 0500h to find 189 moths (of 24 species) in the trap! My best night for the year todate (best previous night being 3 June with 82 moths of 16 species). The pick of the bunch were -

Brown Rustic first for the garden

Burnished Brass Always a looker!

Dog's Tooth

Small Clouded Brindle

Straw Dot first for the garden

Back Garden
Looking pretty good and site of moth trap

Front garden

All photos | Leica Digilux 1 | © Steve Dudley

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Farcet Fen

A reasonable moth catch overnight resulting in few year ticks including -

Poplar Hawkmoth

Angle Shades
Moths | Leica Digilux 1 | © Steve Dudley

And who says arable farmland is completely dead for birds. I remember when I first moved out here and somethoughtt I was nuts. Well, with 106 species on the garden list, a newly established breeding Tree Sparrow colony and regular goodies such as Barn Owl, Hobby and Marsh Harrier from the house - I rest my case!

Even the little irrigation reservoir is starting to come in to its own, with a reedy margin now establishing which issufficientt enough for Coot to breed. Great Crested and Little Grebes are visiting regularly (Little Grebe attempted to breed), and the local Barn Owl spends part of each evening hoovering up the voles from the ressy banks!

Coot Now breeding on the local irrigation reservoir

Great Crested Grebe I can even see this form the house!
Birds | Leica APO Televid 77 with 20xWA & Nikon Coolpix 995
© Steve Dudley

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Garden mothing

A reasonable moth catch overnight with 76 individuals of 22 species, including

Lime Hawkmoth First record for the garden

Elephant Hawkmoth First record for the garden

Dog's Tooth Second record for the garden

Swallow Prominent

All moths | Leica Digilux 1 | © Steve Dudley

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Hel-leo, leo, leo

Long-eared Owl chick

Another evening wander around the fens found me at Woodwalton Fen in search of all things crepuscular and nocturnal. A good warm evening provided great views of Hobby, Woodcock and one young of a brood of four Long-eared Owls. Grasshopper Warblers were vocal and my second sighting within a week of Badger here.

Hobby record shot at dusk. This bird was slighlty brown on the uppers and the red trousers very washed out indicating it isn't yet a full adult.

Photos | Leica APO Televid 77 with 20xWA & Nikon Coolpix 995
© Steve Dudley

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

A mothing spectacle

A cold night, so predictably the moth trap was hardly bustling with moths with only 17 insects caught.

Spectacle - its Biggles!

Pale-shouldered Brocade

All moths | Nikon Coolpix 995 | © Steve Dudley