Friday 30 September 2011

Hardcore Micros

Eudonia angustea

agonopterix alstromeriana

blastobasis acticolella

Went out with Derek with the traps tonight. These micro moths are advanced level stuff! We also had a Platyptilia gonodactyla which is a type of plume moth.

Thursday 29 September 2011

Pintails, Sunsets and Rustics

Enjoying this Indian Summer. The moth trap has been full of ants and midges which seemed to have emerged en masse in this heat but also some nice looking moths including Black Rustic, Large Ranunculus, Large Wainscot, Blair's Shoulder-knot and we had another Dewick's Plusia by the hide yesterday during the day- they must be a colonists at Beddington, the only UK population!
I had a couple of Common Lizards under the mats a couple of days ago.

On the bird front fairly quiet- 2 Pintail today (first for the year), the 2 Ruff are still around, 5 Snipe yesterday, 5 Green Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank and 3 Buzzard overhead today.

The vis mig seems to be shifting from hirundines to more Mipits, the first Redpolls and Siskins, the odd Skylark and Chaffinch.
We had a visit from the WWT guys today- brilliant weather for enjoying the view over London.

Wednesday 28 September 2011



Pink-barred Sallow

Orange Sallow

Barred Sallow

Someone told me that this time of year I would start seeing moths that resembled autumn leaves and I guess these are what they were talking about.

Tuesday 27 September 2011


Things have started out on Corvo (The best rare bird island in Europe) .
A (nervous) two week count down until I arrive.

Beddington Farmlands Nature Reserve Update

Things are progressing steadily on this front. Met with Tom Brake (local MP) yesterday who kindly offered to help out with trying to pull things together. Plans are also underway to form a directing body for the Reserve development which will bring together Viridor, Sutton Council and various conservation bodies. In the meantime we are getting on with small scale habitat restoration, more promotion/awareness and developing the nature reserve membership.

Monday 26 September 2011

The Moth Trap

My flat mate's conclusion is 'every day you get madder and madder' and only God knows what the neighbours think but Mothing is great fun. Getting 20-30 a night in the new trap . This (pics 1 and 2) was a new one- I think it's a Blair's Shoulder Knot?

Sunday 25 September 2011

September Images


Peregrine giving it evils


Southern Hawker (?)

Common Darter (?)

Mallow- one in the trap last night with 30+ other moths

Lunar Underwing (?)

A few images from the last 24 hours at Beddington.

Saturday 24 September 2011


Highlight of today was three Curlews circling . I first heard them from the village and they were still circling when I got to the farm. Pic 2 looks quite fresh so I presume is a juvenile.

Quite a warm day today so expecting a few insects- Barred Sallows, Brimstone, Snout, Square-spot Rustic, Willow Beauty, Footman sp, Large Underwing, Vine Rustic and Pale Mottled Willow in the trap so far and its only 10pm- Saturday night fever!

Friday 23 September 2011

Big Fell

Its not often we take down big trees- only if they are dangerous. This Horse Chestnut has got canker and like many others is also infested with a leaf miner but it is the canker that is fatal- the leaf miner is just unsightly but there is a moth tick in it, see here:

For more on other stuff co-ordinated from the Obs HQ see here:

Thursday 22 September 2011

Pepper Night at the Obs

Peter picking a pepper

Home grown, scrumped and local farm produce (note flat mate's smaller pepper)

It was harvest time for the obs window farm this evening. The window farm has yielded 3 tomatoes, 1 yellow and 2 red peppers and 50+ super hot chillies. So much for my plan to farm my way through the global financial meltdown- the chillies are too hot to eat and I barely managed two home grown meals in 3 months. Therefore I'm trying to buy from the local farm to support a local food network, harvesting wild fruit and also bought a new copy of Richard Mabey's Food for Free. If that all fails than I'm looting.
Oh yeah- 2 Ruff this evening, 4 Snipe, 6 Wheatear, 20+ Mipit and 1 Greenshank.
The moth trap is on at the moment- Deep brown Dart, Barred Sallow and Straw Underwing are the highlights so far.

WTF is this? 2

Another one I can't work out.

Wednesday 21 September 2011

A few autumn birds

First-winter Wheatear


Black Arches (from July 2010)
There were at least 9 Wheatears up on the mound this evening. Its been a good spring and autumn passage for Wheatears this year. No sign of the Pec today. Teal numbers seem up (80+). A few waders around including 2 Ruff on the enclosed beds, 4 Green Sandpiper, 1 Greenshank and 30+ Lapwing.
I found this picture of a random moth I took last year before I started mothing. It is something I havent seen this year- a Black Arches so a retrospective tick. Nice.

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Dewick's Plusia Mystery

Caught two Dewick's Plusia last night in the moth trap which suggests they are not that uncommon in this area. I caught the first record for the farm only a few weeks ago. Derek has a theory that they may be colonizing locally rather than being migrants.
Also got my specimen bottles now and been catching 30+ moths a night with the new trap- which was well worth waiting for. This Barred Sallow (pic 3) was one of my favourites.

Monday 19 September 2011


Still present today with Greenshank, Ruff and Green Sandpiper.

Sunday 18 September 2011

Bird and Wildlife Walk

Small Copper on Scentless Mayweed
We had a great morning on the mid autumn Bird and Wildlife Walk. Johnny found a Pectoral Sandpiper just after our group arrived so many first timers ticked off Pec before Green Sand. Also Ringed Plover and Wigeon on the bird front, a Small Copper was insect of the day and we also had a couple of Smooth Newts under the survey matts.
Pic of the Pec here:

Gone Pro

This bad girl finally arrived. Caught about ten moths last night- mainly Vine's Rustic, Square Spot Rustic and Pale Mottled Willow- also Willow Beauty, Setaceous Hebrew Character and a Large Wainscot.

Saturday 17 September 2011

A visitor to the obs

Just found this in the obs garden. I presume some kind of escaped locust? It's about 6cm long.

Thursday 15 September 2011

Azores Birding Society

Plans are underway to set up a birding society on the Azores this coming autumn. Details can be found on the Dutch Birding website here:

Also here is a link to our Dutch Birding Article.

Also been working on this EU funded exploration project (a work in progress

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Not quite Non-Stop Birding
I've missed a few days birding doing this- the undercover operation.

Sunday 11 September 2011

Curlew Sandpiper

Just milking this shot (click on to enlarge)- still present today.

Saturday 10 September 2011

WTF is this?

The closest I can get is Orache Moth but the book says it's a rare immigrant?? Click on pic to enlarge.

Fact Finding Mission to Bucks

College Lakes reserve and visitors centre - a Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) flagship nature reserve

Juvenile Osprey flew south

Juvenile Black Tern on main lake


Comma on Sedum

Went on a nature reserve fact finding mission today with Gillian, Jennifer and Jane and got some good ideas for Beddington. Saw some good birds too including a fly over Osprey, Black Tern and Whinchats.