Monday, 5 September 2011

Moths at the Mere - 31/08/11

On Wednesday night me and my Dad went on a moth and bat walk around Marton Mere with Ash and Aaron and a few of the rangers. Before we started me and dad went down to the edge of the mere and although it was almost dark I was able to pick out the Barn Owl sitting on top of the box on the island before flying off towards the fields at the back. We met at the ranger base at 9pm and then headed off towards the western end where the moth traps were set up. There were a few Pipistrelle Bats flying around but it wasn't till we reached the moth traps that things started to liven up. There were already plenty of Common Rustics in the trap when we arrived arrived and these provided the main bulk of what we saw during the night. We spent about 3 hours around the area of the traps sometimes searching the neighbouring fields for moths with the nets and in total we caught 16 species.

1 Angle Shades (NFM and one of my favourite species, pic 1)

2 Brown China Mark (NFM)

1 Lychnis (NFM, spent ages trying to find it in the book!)

14 Sallow (pic 2)

1 Old Lady

1 Mother of Pearl

1 Shaded Broad Bar

1 Copper Underwing

1 Smokey Wainscot

1 Straw Dot

80+ Common Rustic agg

6 Lesser Broad Bordered Yellow Underwing

5 Large Yellow Underwing

2 Lesser Yellow Underwing

1 Common Carpet

1 Common White Wave

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Waders Galore - 29/08/11

With hordes of Curlew Sandpipers flooding into the country over the past week I thought it was about time I went out and got one in the Fylde so decided to check Skippool and then Glasson which are the 2 best wader areas. The tide was dropping when I arrived at Skippool so the waders were starting to come back to feed and I had the resident Spotted Redshank along with a Greenshank, 18 Ringed Plover (most I've had here), 29 Golden Plover, 21 Black Tailed Godwit, 7 (yes only 7!) Dunlin, 80+ Curlew and loads of Redshanks and Lapwing. I also noted the adult Yellow Legged Gull which I've seen a few times here over the past month. However no Curlew Sands so I headed off to Glasson in the hope of locating one there.

A brief stop on the way at the Conder Pool saw another Spotted Redshank and a Greenshank on the river before getting to Glasson where I spotted Paul Slade already set up looking out over the river. He informed me that he had seen a Curlew Sand with the Dunlin flock at Cockersands so it was back in the car and down there where we were greeted with a strong wind blowing straight into our faces coming from the river which meant it was very difficult to view the mixed Dunlin and Ringed Plover flock on the short in front of us. I decided to view from the car as it offered some shelter and after several scans which revealed a few Sanderling and a couple of Turnstone I eventually found the Curlew Sandpiper (yeartick) feeding in the centre of the flock. A small flock of Oystercatchers that flew downriver were the final waders of the day and brought the total to a respectable 13 species.

Leighton Moss - 28/08/11

Sorry for a lack of posts this week, a couple of late night moth walks have taken it out of me and with college starting on Tuesday I've been pretty busy. Last week a Great White Egret turned up in the egret roost at Leighton Moss so me and Ash went up there the next day with his dad in the hope of seeing it and for me making it the fourth year in a row I've seen the species at Leighton. We had a great day all round with Marsh Tit (yeartick) and Nuthatch around the feeders, lots of birds of prey including an Osprey which caught a fish near Public hide then flew off north and a juvenile Marsh Harrier quartering the reeds opposite Lilian's hide. Plenty of Little Egrets around however the Great White never showed and hasn't been seen since so has obviously cleared off somewhere, other birds seen include at least 12 Greenshank, Raven and 7 Pochard. The best sight of the day however has to be the fawn Red Deer that appeared right in front of us from the Grisedale hide and showed brilliantly for half an hour or more.