Monday, 22 May 2017

First Moth Trap Haul

On Saturday morning my nephew and I came across about a dozen Yellow Wagtails in the Sunk Island area, so everything looks healthy there.  Only one stayed long enough to be photographed.  It is one of my favourite colourful summer migrants, possibly just behind Redstarts, which I've yet to find this year.  
Male Yellow Wagtail [MJF]
 With a Male Linnet, bottom left
 My sister informed me that it would be warm enough to use the moth trap for the first time last night,  After checking it wasn't due to rain we thought we'd give it a go.  It was switched on around 9.45pm, and switched off at 4.10am, and checked about 7.30am.  Only 3 specimens were found inside.  One was a micro-moth on the perspex of the cover which I released immediately.  The most visible was a drab individual, which could be seen as I walked towards the trap.  I searched my book without success, but Pete Mella was able to let me know that it was almost certainly a Dark Sword Grass.  On checking the description of the moth in my reference guide, it gave a better idea of what to look for than the illustration.  
Poplar Hawkmoth
 I nearly missed the real beauty, but just out of the corner of my eye I spotted it, as I listen one of the egg boxes.  I was able to remove it quite easily to a more photogenic log, before placing carefully in a bush, where predatory birds hopefully wouldn't be able to find it.
 Dark Sword Green [ID by Pete Mella]
 So, only 3 specimens captured, but of sufficient interest to give it another try soon!  Watch this space...

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Week 4

On Tuesday we risked Welton Waters despite rain threatening most of the day.  One of the highlights was a very confiding pair of Yellow Wagtails, which allowed us to walk directly underneath it.  A Yellowhammer was singing nearby.  Other birds either seen or heard included: Kingfisher, Marsh Harrier, Cetti's Warbler, Linnet, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Swift, Swallow, House Martin etc. Not bad considering the threat of rain, but cameras remained in cars.
Reed Warbler [MJF]
 Reed Warbler Close-up (c) 2017 Dick Watson
 Reed Warbler [MJF]
No photos were taken on Wednesday, for some reason.  The following day was a lot brighter and we trekked out following the zigzag route to Wheldrake Ings.  Other birds we saw included:  Garden Warbler, Kingfisher, Marsh Harrier, Heron, Little Egret, Gadwall, Skylark, Lapwing, Sedge & Reed Warblers, Blackcap, Cormorant, lots of Banded Demoiselles, Mayflies, and a spectacular-looking female Broad Bodied Chaser.
Pheasant Chick [MJF]
 Reed Warbler [MJF]
 Garden Warbler [MJF]
 Garden Warbler (c) 2017 Dick Watson
 Singing Garden Warbler (c) 2017 Dick Watson
 Broad-Bodied Chaser (c) 2017 Dick Watson
 Broad-Bodied Chaser [MJF]
 Female Banded Demoiselle [MJF}
 Male Banded Demoiselle [MJF]
 Female Banded Demoiselle [MJF]
 Male Banded Demoiselle
 Nymph of Mayfly sp.?
 Mayfly Sp. [MJF]
 Female Green-veined White Rejecting Advances of Male
 Scorpion-fly [MJF]
 Green Dock Beetle [ID - Barry Warrington]
 Willow Warbler (c) 2017 Dick Watson
 Carmelite Nunnery
On Friday the forecast wasn't nice enough for Skerne, so we decamped to Tophill Low.  We saw plenty of species, 51 in fact, but the cameras remained in the vehicles.  However, on our return to the car park I managed to spot a female Tawny Owl high in a conifer.  She stayed up there the whole time, allowing everyone to obtain a decent view.     
Female Tawny Owl [MJF]

After the class concluded Jeny and Carolyn visited the north part of the site to watch the Kingfishers feeding their young.  Little did they know that they would fledge at 5.45 the following morning.
All Kingfisher photos (c) 2017 Jeny Clarkson
Female Kingfisher
 Kingfisher Entering the Tunnel
 Kingfisher Exiting the Tunnel!
Last week I forgot to include my photos from Skerne, so I'm adding them now
Canada Goose Family
 Willow Warbler
 Tufted Ducks
 Tawny Owl
 Marsh Frog
 Brown Trout