Saturday, 2 April 2011

Mating hawks and eight beauties

Overnight, and most of the day it was rather windy with some heavy rain as I emptied the moth trap this morning, but with a minimum temperature of 9.6C it was the warmest night of the year so far.
In the overnight trap there were 61 moths of 6 species. Nothing new but 8 Pine Beauties is good for me. The total count was -

Pine Beauty (Panolis flammea) 8
Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) 24
Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta) 2
Twin-spotted Quaker (Orthosia munda) 2
Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) 24
The Satellite (Eupsilia transversa) 1

The sun tried to get out and when it did a few things could be seen in the garden with 2 Small Tortoiseshell hanging onto the garden plants for dear life and a queen Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) was busy nest hunting, including in the greenhouse. The early Willow Warbler from Thursday was singing late afternoon yesterday and again this lunchtime, along with 1, probably 2 Chiffchaff.
Also yesterday I saw a pair of Sparrowhawks perched up by the entrance to South Burn Woods. I had watched the male fly into one of the Grey Poplars (Populus × canescens) and land where a female was already perched. No fancy display or calling, he was only still for a few seconds before he flew up and landed on the female and mated.Afterwards he landed next to her but she flew off into the woods. The male remained perched up and started to preen and was still there when I left..

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