Thursday, 24 May 2018

Hot chicks but not doing a tern

Spent the last couple of evenings with Kojak staking out the farmlands for a Black Tern- they seem to be everywhere apart from on our patch. Seems to be a good inland passage of shorebirds at the moment but the best we could muster up was a Ringed Plover past the obs window yesterday morning. 

However what we have noticed happening is a lot of chicks are out now, hot out the nest and best of all we've got Shelduck and Lapwing young around already. Also we've got the first ever Egyptian Geese chicks on site, the first breeding record, although not sure if that is good news or bad news. Had the first juv Robin today too. 

The first Black-tailed Skimmers are out now and the diversity in the moth trap is picking up a bit- 'new for years' recently include Maiden's Blush, Light Emerald, Common Swift, Notecelia cynosbatella, Angle shades, White Ermine, Marbled Minor, Small Dusty Wave and Tinea Trinotella, 


 Male Shelduck and hot chick 
 Another hot one recently out the nest- Juvenile Robin. Also had the first flock of Long-tailed Tits moving along the railway today- presumably the first family parties. 
 Female Black-tailed Skimmer
 Maiden's Blush- in addition to the 'new for years' also another Orange Footman, more Shuttle-shaped and Heart and Darts, Pale Mottled Willows and another Turnip Moth
A poorly marked Common Swift- presumably a male

Monday, 21 May 2018

A few bits over a few days

Picked my niece Fran up from Cardiff Uni this weekend so popped into Slimbridge on the way. Travelled back today and headed over the farm in the evening with Kojak to look for Black Terns following the influx of them across the country today- no joy unfortunately despite a massive storm that would have flushed anything out of the sky going over. 

 Common Crane- a free flying bird in one of the wild areas at Slimbridge- presumably one of the Great Crane Project birds 
 Bar-tailed Godwit and Black-tailed Godwits at Slimbridge 
 Adult and presumed first-summer Black-tailed Godwits- presumably these birds are still heading north to Iceland. There's been an influx of terns and waders over the last few days in north east winds and generally clear skies. Getting quite late in the season so maybe there have been delays in birds moving north this year considering the unseasonably late hard weather waves in March?
 The female Pintail at Beddington on Saturday- an unseasonal record
 The female Pintail with male Gadwalls 
 The Canada Geese on the Southern lake seem to be forming a collective creche already
Coot chick in its first storm today 

 Light Brocade 
 Orange Footman 
White-shouldered House Moth
Cochylis atricapitana

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Royal Wedding Day

Celebrated the Royal Wedding by doing the farmlands- had Ringed Plover, about 5 Common Buzzard, a passage of 20+ Swallow between 0900 and 1100 and surprisingly a female Pintail on the South Lake. 

Also had a fleeting view of Broad-bodied Chaser by the parkside gate which Nick later identified and also Nick had a Small Heath. 

Back at the obs decided to join in with the regal going ons by celebrating in our own way:



Thursday, 17 May 2018

A few recent moths

The moth trap at Beddington Farmlands has been fairly interesting since I got back from Bulgaria- not so much quantity but a bit of quality. 

 Chamomile Shark- only the third record for the farmlands and a first for me. Identification from Shark by the dark lines at the wing tips that extend all the way to the edge 
 Iron Prominent- only a few previous records of these 
 Rustic Shoulder Knot 
 Chocolate Tip- a local scarcity 
 Turnip Moth 
 The first Heart and Dart for the year and a Bee Moth 
and the first Shuttle-shaped Dart for the year
Went to check out Robert Walker's community orchard in the week and we found a patch of Kidney Vetch on the bank where Irrigation Bridge has been demolished. Probably introduced as Robert had thrown some wild flower seed around that area. A first for the farmlands nonetheless. 

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Bulgaria 2018 Other Wildlife

Here's the final pics from Bulgaria, a few more things that caught my eye. Ids to follow. Made a start on the butterfly ids below. 
Philaeus chrysops, a jumping spider (cheers Roger Payne) 

Broad-bodied Chaser





Broomrake sp? 
Star Fungus sp? 

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Bulgaria 2018 Butterflies and Moths

I'll stick these up here to put the pressure on to id them at some point- please feel free to step in with any proposed identifications.
Previous attempts of this subject HERE

Grizzled Skipper sp- In Bulgaria species listed are Grizzled, Large Grizzled, Olive, Oberthur's, Sandy, Yellow-banded, Safflower, Alpine and Dusky. 
Lesser Spotted Fritillary 

Queen of Spain Fritillary (thanks Roger Payne for id) 
Four-spotted, Tyta luctuosa (cheers Roger for id) 
probably Eastern Baton Blue, Pseudophilotes vicrama (thanks Roger) 
Geometrician, Grammodes stolida (cheers Roger) 


Small Heath 


Lesser-spotted Fritillary, Mellitaea trivia (cheers Roger) 
Spotted Fritillary, Melitaea didyma (cheers Roger) 

I think most of these Fritillaries are Lesser Spotted 
Queen of Spain Fritillary
Mallow Skipper ?
Speckled Yellow 


Black Hairstreak
Oecophora bractella (thanks Roger for id) 
Southern White Admiral 
Forester sp?