Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Farmoor and Otmoor

In my attempt to switch back to birds as the autumn unfolds I spent this morning at Farmoor Reservoir and this afternoon at Otmoor RSPB. Ebird lists HERE and HERE. It was pretty good with a nice little haul of migrants and local specialities including Wood, Green and Common Sandpipers, juv Little Ringed Plovers, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlews, Garganey, Grasshopper Warbler, Common Crane, Bitterns, Hobby and Marsh Harriers. Wood Sand was a county tick (now on 159 for Oxfordshire). 



Grasshopper Warbler at Farmoor, 2-3 birds including this singing male, presumably a breeding bird with recently fledged young 
Juvenile Little Ringed Plover at Farmoor 
Juvenile Common Tern- about 15 Common Tern at the reservoirs. Seems like locally reared birds from surrounding gravel pits etc gather at Farmoor, same as the Great Crested Grebes and Cormorants too by the looks of it. 
Adult Yellow-legged Gull
Common Sandpiper at Farmoor (above) and juvenile Wood Sandpiper and Green Sandpiper at Otmoor (below) 

Black-tailed Godwit hiding amongst the eclipse Mallards at Otmoor 
Oystercatchers- six birds at the first screen, I didn't see any on my weekend visit so not sure if these were migrants ? 
Juvenile Curlew- great to know these have successfully fledged young 
Common Crane and Bittern flying around Otmoor 

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Last couple of days

 Had a family day at Wolburn Safari Park yesterday and in between working been doing a bit of mothing. Been a few migrants since the weather turned- Diamond-backs, Rusty-dot Pearl, Silver-Y and Kent Black Arches. Four Tree-lichen Beauties were nice last night. Still getting over 80 species a night. 


Flame Crest, Chrysoesthia drurella, a smart little micro associated with goose foots (Thanks Dave for id) . A first for site and lifer. 
Kent Black Arches- been a couple of these on most nights recently 
Rusty Dot Pearl 
Scimitar Horned Oryx at Woldburn. Apparently this species is extinct in the wild and it only survives in places like Wolburn. 
Sable Antelope - if ever the climate and ecological emergency does escalate into a complete civilisation meltdown it will be interesting what happens with all these exotics across the country - they could seed some naturalised populations in the post human world? 

Sunday, 25 July 2021

After the Heat Wave

It's been a return to normal temperatures over the last couple of days/nights. The moth trap has quietened down and it all feels a bit more autumnal. With that in mind and preparing to switch back to focusing on birds from moths soon (a perilous choice considering this high summer has produced the year's best birds nationally/regionally i.e. Sulphur-bellied Warbler, Egyptian Vulture, Least Tern, Red-necked Stint, Red-winged Blackbird , Black-browed Albatross, Pacific Swift etc), I visited Otmoor yesterday in the hope of a bit of wader passage. 4 Garganey, 2 LRP, 4 Redshank, 1 Curlew, 9 Snipe, 100+ Lapwing, Bittern and Hobby were the highlights on what was a pretty quiet session HERE  . 

The quieter conditions has provided a chance to take a closer look at some of the UFOs from the heat wave. Hope the county recorder catches up with irecord soon to verify some of these- it's getting out of hand. 

Garganeys (and Gadwall) at Otmoor 
Tree-lichen Beauty- new for year 
This looks more like a Langmaid's Yellow Underwing  (above and below) with the restricted yellow in the hind-wing and sharp edge to black on fore-wing from underside? Awaiting the verdict. 

Red Birch Midget, Phyllonorycter ulmifoliella ?
White-triangle Slender, Caloptilia stigmatella
Daisy Bent-wing, Bucculatrix nigricomella 
Smoky-barred Marble, Lobesia abscisana
Burdock Neb, Metzneria lapella ?
Poplar Cosmet, Batrachedra praeangusta
 Golden Argent, Argyresthia goedartella ?
Feathered Slender, Caloptilia cucculipennella?
Orange Spotted Shoot, Rhyacionia pinicolana?
Rush Marble, Bactra lancealana ?
Plain Wave?
Orchard Ermine? According to Leonard Cooper from Moths UK flying tonight HERE :
 Cant record as adult: Orchard ermine, Apple ermine, Spindle ermine, Willow ermine
Can record as adult: Hawthorn moth, Bird cherry ermine, Yponomeuta irrorella, Yponomeuta plumbella, Yponomeuta sedella, *willow ermine can be also identified but you would need to consult you're county recorder first
Maybe Y.sedella? This ermine was very distinctive in it's overall greyish wash. 
Lesser Cream Wave (thanks Dave Wilton for id) 
Pale-streaked Grass Veneer, Agriphila selasella

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Moth wave goes on

 A few more best guesses of unusual looking moths from the heaving moth trap at the Old Vic.

Fen Wainscot 
Brown China Mark 
Buff-marked Neb Monochroa lucidella (thanks for id from county recorder Stephen Palmer) 
Popped into the farmlands today at the end of work, had this Yellow-legged looking juvenile gull. Would like to have seen some moulting coverts and also the inner primary window to rule out a pale Lesser Black-backed for sure but on this view looks pretty good. Went looking for Dave's Silver-washed Fritillary (a first for the farmlands seen recently) but best I had was a Purple Hairstreak and good numbers of Marbled Whites. 

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

More heat wave moths

The heat wave continues and it's still super busy in the moth trap. Too busy for the county recorder to keep up with validating the irecord data so still dodgy solo identifications from me. Here's the latest batch of unverified best guesses and highlights.

According to Twitter my Small Wainscot from last week is actually a Mere Wainscot See here . No doubt more corrections to come. 

Brown Hawker,  Beautiful Demoiselle and Marbled White in the garden today, presumably dispersing from the surrounding environments in this heat.  Also think I had a Thyme Plume in the trap but it got away before I got to photograph it.

222 species of moth so far this week.

Peach Blossom
Bordered Beauty 
Yellow tail - good numbers of these this week 
Honeysuckle Moth 
Closest a could get to this was Willow knot-horn, Sciota adelphella,  which is unlikely 
Bulrush Cosmet, Limnaecia phragmitella
Diamond-back Marble 
My best guess is Teasle Marble, Endothenia gentianaena
Endothenia sp