Sunday 27 May 2018

Weekend at the Old Vic

Spent this weekend at the Old Vic working on the bioblitz and carrying on with the wildflower meadow development. After preparing the area a couple of weeks ago today I prepared the seed bed and sowed two mixes of seed- a traditional hay meadow mix and also a pictorial mix. Now waiting to see what pops up. 

Now 550 species on the bioblitz garden list- added a few moths and also Banded Demoiselle this weekend. 

Popped into Otmoor to do the butterfly survey- not that many butterflies but good numbers of Broad-bodied Chasers and a few Black-tailed Skimmers on the Oddington track. Also displaying Curlew, Redshanks, singing Willow, Garden and Sedge Warblers, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs and male Marsh Harrier, Buzzards and Red Kites. 

 Spotted Flycatcher in the garden. Lots of Spot fly migrants being recorded at southern observatories at the moment but presumably this is one of the local birds. 

 Cock fighting garden Robins
 Yellow-barred Longhorn Nemophora degeerella
 Small Purple and Gold
Gold-fringed Mason Bee (re-identified by irecord)  on Perennial Corn Flower
 Black and Red Froghopper Cercopsis vulnerata
 Dwarf Pug? Waiting for verification on irecord 
 Middle-barred Minor 
 Common Swift 
 Silver-ground Carpet
 Ringed China Mark
 Common Marble
 Marbled Orchard Tortrix
 Diamond-backed Moth
Cork Moth 
 Not got my books on me- the closest I could get to this on the internet is Psychoides filicivora
 One for the books when I get back to the obs. UK Micromoth FB group suggest Epermenia falciformis...
The rarest sighting this weekend was me grafting- had to rake over this whole area and then seed. One of my current goals is to have more time to do physical work. 

Saturday 26 May 2018

Moth action

It's finally kicked off on the moth front at the Beddington obs with many new for years and some local scarcities.

 Nutmeg (thanks to id from Surrey moths)- a local scarcity
 Cypress Tip Moth (I think)- if so another local rarity- need to check the status of this but might be a first for site 
 Cabbage Moth- the first for year
 Burnished Brass- another first for the year 
 Presumed Marbled Minor/ Minor agg- showing a bit of the extensive variation
 Green Pug 

Action stations 

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.