Tuesday, 26 May 2020

The Old Vicarage

Haven't really left the Old Vicarage for the last four days, Saturday was gale force winds, Sunday just disappeared somewhere, I managed a couple of hours at Otmoor on Monday and today has been a work day. Despite the gale force winds on Saturday it didn't stop Jaffa (college mate and birding buddy) finding a Blyth's Reed Warbler. He has been winding me up recently as he is on a murderous lockdown roll having found 13 Bee-eaters, Blyth's Reed Warbler and Golden Oriole on his local patch in the last few days and on his noc-mig he has had Nightjar, Stone Curlew and a good selection of waders and terns. For more grippage see HERE. He has also made our other college mate Lee, give up birding altogether (especially after Lee missed a White-tailed Eagle over his garden- and not one of the plastic ones either, one of the real deals) and Holly has been informed today that we are moving to the bloody coast! Being a landlocked naturalist is like being a fish in a field! No matter how often landlocked local patchers try to convince ourselves that its all relative and patch gold (like a Dunlin in your garden) is just as good as e.g. a Yellow-throated Vireo in a Cornish valley or Atlantic island, or a lifer in a rainforest, mountain range, desert or open ocean,  well that's just basically delusional bollocks and quite frankly I am completely sick of lockdown and can't wait to get travelling again. 

The stand out event of the last few days was finding a Great Tit in the moth trap! After I let it go and I checked the trap, the scene inside looked like a terrorist attack with bits of moths everywhere including the head of a Poplar Hawkmoth, still alive dragging itself along the egg cartons. It was actually pretty grim- the Great Tit had gone only for the big juicy moths- Buff-tips, the Hawkmoths and Pale Tussocks.  

Killer Great Tit 
Highlight of a visit to Otmoor was the singing Curlews, two Willow Warblers singing and looks like the Lapwings are starting their post breeding flock. Ebird list HERE 
 Lesser Treble Bar at the Old Vicarage. Been a very large increase in the number of moths this week, mainly Treble Bars, Common Wainscots and Heart and Darts, making up the bulk of the numbers with a nice diversity of other moths too. 
 Dark Alder Midget (?) - The Bucks moth recorder has replied probably it's not this species, more likely either tristrigella associated with Elm or nicelli associated with Hazel. Thanks Dave! 
 Larch-bud Moth (waiting for confirmation) 
 Been doing lots in the garden over the last few days, including keeping everything watered in the hot conditions 
We've had our first significant harvest from the garden- the radishes, which Holly pickled

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