Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Nothing of great interest to report

Still all quiet on the Waldridge front. A Common Marbled Carpet moth found it's way into the house yesterday and the trap this morning had only 11 moths of 5 species. Nothing new or exciting and 7 of the moths were the very common Heart and Dart.

Yesterday I had a short walk in the early afternoon rain where a Small White was the only butterfly around. The fell had two calling Cuckoos and a singing Sedge Warbler, only the second of the year. False Fox Sedge and Hemlock Water Dropwort made it to the year's Waldridge plants in flower list, now on 232.

Another Small White butterfly this afternoon in the garden, otherwise nothing of great interest to report.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Where are my House Martins?

The weather was very similar overnight to the previous nights but there was no rain and the temperature was fractionally higher. That little difference made a big difference to the moth count with 24 moths of 16 species present this morning. The best was yet another Pale Tussock but there were three new species for the year, a Silver Y, a Common Swift (the moth not the bird)

Common Swift
and a Marbled Minor.

Marbled Minor
Birds are generally quiet now they are all getting on with their breeding and overall it seems quite a good year. The summer warblers, particularly Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Grasshopper Warbler and Chiffchaff are all present in good numbers but Willow Warblers may be very slightly down. Common Swifts (the birds not the moths) were on the late side but are present in very good numbers, especially on their main breeding ground, the Avenues. My biggest concern is House Martin, which were early and started breeding early but overall the numbers are down considerably, possibly as much as 50%.

A short walk around was spoilt by the wind but the Yellow Iris is at it's peak at the moment and looking good. Also managed to add both Silverweed, Creeping Cinquefoil and Foxglove to the expanding flora list.

Yellow Iris 

Flowering plants - 229
Birds - 104
Butterflies - 13
Moths - 82

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Quiet again

Windy again overnight and wet, the minimum temperature was 10.7C and this morning it seemed the trap was empty. It almost was, with only 4 Heart and Dart and 2 Clouded-bordered Brindle braving the weather overnight. Still very blustery during the day and all I managed to see on the insect front was a single Green-veined White butterfly and a Scorpion fly.

A few more species of flowering plant were added by checking around the big field for 20 minutes mainly because at least they can't hide from the weather to much of a degree. These were Creeping Thistle, Spear Thistle, Common Couch, Yorkshire-fog , Perennial Rye-grass, Common Lime and Common Nettle. Bird-wise it was really quiet with nothing particularly of note but the Starlings seem to have had a good breeding season so far with a flock of 60 birds consisting mainly of juveniles flying around.

Weather for the next two days - the same - Oh joy!

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Wind, rain, frost then a good night's catch

I'm back. Actually I haven't been away but with the strong wind on Monday & Tuesday followed by heavy rain made the last few days a write-off when it comes to seeing anything of interest.  The little weather station in thegarden that has been running since Christmas has been blasting out new records, left,  right and centre, All time high daily rain, all time high hourly rain, All time high wind gust etc.  A decent sized White Willow tree got blown over and some quite large branches off other trees were also snapped with smaller branches and leaves everywhere. To cap it off there was even a ground frost on Wednesday morning.

The air pressure over the last few days
.By last night, all was calm, the temperature strayed to just 8.6C and the rain held off.

This morning there were 43 moths of 27 species and no less than 11 were new for the year, including at last a few micros.
The micros included Epinotia rubiginosana, Argyresthia trifasciata and two Coleophora albicosta, plus other new ones for the year, a Peppered moth,  

Peppered Moth

Freyer's Pug, several Green Carpet,

Green Carpet

 Common Wave, Least Black ArchesRustic Shoulder-knot,

Rustic Shoulder-knor

and two good ones for the garden, Seraphim and Welsh Wave.

Seraphim - a good 'un, the other good 'un did a runner before I took his photo

A good night's catch all round.

I don't know if some water somewhere had just been disturbed but a pair of Mallard and a flock of 30+ Canada Geese flew over as I was checking the trap.

More flowers are beginning to appear and at least I saw some new ones, despite the weather - False Oat-grass, Trailing Bellflower, Broad-leaved Willowherb both Common and Common Ramping-fumatories, Cleavers (aka Goosegrass), Oxeye Daisy,  Weld, Common Sorrel, Curled Dock, Elder, Feverfew, Goat's-beard and Bread Wheat.

 OFFH List

Flowering plants - 219
Birds - 104
Butterflies - 13
Moths - 79

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Another wet & windy weekend

A little wander around today but not a lot about which isn't surprising considering the weather with it's heavy showers, strong SW wind and rather cold. Rather typical of May these days.
The best of the birds were a pair of  Grey Partridge and a singing Lesser Whitethroat which was elusive whenever I approached and even did some song-flighting as soon as I walked away. Just before one heavy squall, about 75 Common Swift arrived from nowhere and fed for about 5 minutes then disappeared again just before the rain arrived.

A pair  of Grey Partridges

I managed to flush a single Small Heath in the damp grass else the invertebrate count would have been zero. Picked up a few more plants for the list with Common Spike-rush, Ragged Robin, Northern Marsh Orchid, Guelder-rose, Smooth Hawksbeard, Hard Rush and Orange Hawkweed. At least this managed to push the list of plants I have had in flower around Waldridge past the 200 species mark for the year.

Ragged Robin

 OFFH List

Flowering plants - 201
Birds - 104
Butterflies - 13
Moths - 68

In search of the native Black Poplar

An hour's circular walk through Fell Edge wood was called for today to look for the native Black Poplar. The rain held off, as it did generally overnight thought it went down to 5.8C and the moth trap this morning only held 12 moths, the usual Shuttle-shaped Dart, Heart & Dart, Spruce Carpet,  Common Marbled Carpet  and yet another Pale Tussock.

Another Pale Tussock
So off we went, I dragged my poor wife with me for a change for a walk in the woods.  Time was not really with us and though I spent a fair bit looking I couldn't relocate the Royal Fern especially with the understory in the woods being  very dense now, having changed dramatically since last month. I need to spend more time here looking properly. At the south end a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling.  This is quite a different spot from the birds I have seen elsewhere here early this year.
 Apart from that it and the Jays in the wood being particularly conspicuous,  the birds were mainly the usual common warblers singing, though there appeared to be a slight movement of Common Swift passing through. There were quite a few butterflies on the wing despite the strong breeze with still good numbers of Orange-tips (including some still mating), Peacocks, and Walls with smaller numbers of Large White and Small Tortoiseshell and my first Common Blue of the year.

My first Common Blue of the year

Also flitting about, though disturbed by our walking through the grass were several Silver-ground Carpet moths, a year tick. I added both White Campion and the Pink Campion (the hybrid with Red Campion)  to the year list. I had a six figure grid reference for the  Poplar given to me by the county recorder earlier this week and to be honest I had virtually given up. Then there it was, the native Black Poplar (Populus nigra betulifolia) I must have walked past it well over half a dozen times in the past. I had not misidentified it but completed ignored it, but there it was. A very old tree though they can live to 250 years old. It's bark a grey-brown, with lots of burrs, fissures and knobbly bits, the lower branches arching down, upper branches and twigs sweeping up  and the faint balm smell.  This is the rarest native tree in the UK with the current  British population being around 7,000 and  are 95% elderly. Because they are so scattered, natural reproduction is rare.

Black Poplar

Black Poplar bark
As rain was forecast and I have already had the moth trap out two nights running I put it away tonight. As I was in the garden I heard a Tawny Owl calling but also heard something else. Listening carefully and probably because of the wind direction I head  the classic 'squeaky-gate' call of one (though probably more)  young Long-eared Owl.  They do breed close by and have on a couple of occasions visited the garden with their young in the past so here's hoping. I heard them calling several times and it was a fine end to the day.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Common terns, poppies and cat's-ears

The moth catch overnight had not improved much with just 6 moths but included another Pale Tussock, my third of the year. Nothing else but presumably one of the nearby male Blackcaps was flicking around in the Plum tree in the garden and sang briefly before flying off.
In the town centre this afternoon I had a little bit of time to spare so checked some of the back streets for the odd pavement weed or whatever I could find. I managed to add Common Red Poppy, Common Cats-ear, Lesser Trefoil, Tall Fescue and Snow-in-summer, together with the colony of  Greater Burnet-Saxifrage near the train station to the year's flora list.. A family party of Goldfinch hopping around a bit of grass in one of the car parks. The best thing of the day was when I heard a screeching, repeated 'kyeer-kyeer' and I looked up to see three Common Terns flying over, heading north. Though not unusual inland I have seen very few around here and always along the river.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

It hasn't really got any better

Cold overnight with the temperature dropping to 7.2C and it was rather breezy too. It felt more like March than May and the trap held what you would normally get in March, minus the Orthosia moths, that is nothing, the big zero!
The garden is looking good despite the cold and lifting with Bumblebees with all six species I have already seen this year, and 3 species of Hoverfly present this tea-time. I think the Bee-flies and Tawny Mining-bees are now over and my count of Oil Beetles was also the big zero this year. A little Cucumber Spider (Araniella cucurbitina) was waiting patiently .......

Cucumber Spider  Araniella cucurbitina

and I found a moth, a Brimstone.


Bird-wise not much better with a family party of Great spotted Woodpeckers seen in the paddock being the best. A little wander after work today and I thought I might have the bird of the year when I saw a large bird of prey, very slowly flapping low over the hedgerow. I got a glimpse of a white rump and I really thought I had got a harrier. There have been 1-2 Montagu's Harriers seen in the NE recently and I got rather excited. But as my luck goes I got a good view and it was just a large, and I mean really large,  female Sparrowhawk, trying to flush small birds out of the hedge, albeit harrier-style. It has not the female of the pair nesting nearby, but neither was it a Goshawk or Harrier. 

Added a few more flowering plants to my list today - Pendulous Sedge, Mugwort, Alsike Clover, Hop Trefoil, Wood Avens, Broad Dock and Hogweed.

Wood Avens or Herb-Bennet
Last month I mentioned I could not find the native Black Poplar which I thought used to be on the fell. The county flora recorder had kindly got in touch to tell me it is still there. I'm looking in the wrong place, in fact I think I'm walking past it on occasion. Fortunately he has kindly given me a grid reference. So that's my task for the weekend.


Flowering plants - 185
Birds - 102
Butterflies - 13
Moths - 67
Hoverflies - 8
Mammals - 8

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Not much to report for 5 days

With me very busy at work and the weather being absolutely horrid for May I have seen very little in the  way of natural history. Though Blogger being down due to Google's  redesign  failure didn't help. You get what you pay for, and Blogger is free.

The moth trap has had only the odd moth in the last few days, mainly Heart & Dart  and Shuttle-shaped Dart with  a sole micro moth Syndemis musculata being the best and at least it was new for the year. Even Friday's GMS trapping only had a single 'Shuttle'.  I put the trap out last night and it was slightly better, with two new moths for the year - Flame Carpet and and another early one - Brown Rustic.

Brown Rustic - a bit battered from the wind

Birding has also been very poor, a walk on the fell on Sunday had nothing new. Plenty of the summer warblers still around singing and at least 2 Cuckoos but generally disappointing. It just didn't feel like the middle of May walking around. Only the odd butterfly was about and in fact I did not see any over the weekend or yesterday because of the wind and rain. A Weasel that ran across the road at Chester Moor was probably the best thing I saw the last few days.

Flowers are continuing to appear and I added a few more to my OFFH list of plants in flower the past couple of days.

Harsh Downy Rose (Rosa tormentosa) - this is the very dark pink rose that occurs all the way along Waldridge Lane, Common Mallow, Bay Willow, White Willow, Pineappleweed, Smooth Sow-thistle, Procumbent Pearlwort and a vivid red Common Snapdragon, growing quite wild in a gutter in the town centre among a mass of yellow Oxford Ragwort. Also a couple of grasses, Wall Barley, Soft-brome and Rough-stalked Meadow-grass.

11th May Kitten training

Put the trap out last night as I promised myself, a minimum temperature of 8.2C  but it had clouded over during the night so things weren't too bad. There was an unusual mix of moths in the trap  last night consisting of of 11 moths of 10 species, 4 being new for the year,  plus 2 White-tailed Bumblebee. No micros, only 3 Noctuids and 1 Geometrid.

The moths were

Scalloped Hazel (Odontopera bidentata) 1
Sallow Kitten (Furcula furcula) 1
Iron Prominent (Notodonta dromedarius) 1
Lesser Swallow Prominent (Pheosia gnoma) 2
Pale Tussock (Calliteara pudibunda) 1
Ruby Tiger (Phragmatobia fuliginosa) 1
Heart & Dart (Agrotis exclamationis) 1
Shuttle-shaped Dart (Agrotis puta) 1
Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta) 1
Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) 1

With the 
Scalloped Hazel

Flame Shoulder

Ruby Tiger

and Sallow Kitten being the first of the year for me.

Who said you can't train a kitten?

Right Kitty

Stand up on your toes

Now roll over

Sallow Kittens have done this before when I've trapped them, Poplar Kittens never have. Could this be a good identification feature?
As I was in the garden sorting them out, a Cuckoo was calling continuously and started to get louder, eventually flying over the garden with three Meadow Pipit in hot pursuit. No sign of last night's Grasshopper Warbler unfortunately.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Working hampers blogging

Back to work yesterday, so the amount of time I can spend the next few days on site will be severely hampered. In fact I was so knackered yesterday  I knew I couldn't face getting up early this morning to check the trap so I didn't put it out last night! Shame on me, I'm becoming a wimp.

The grass verge around the corner had a dozen Speckled Woods along a 100 yard stretch yesterday teatime, flitting around in the last of the sun and the Common Swifts have now arrived big style with 30 wheeling around overhead and nearly 100 in the town centre yesterday and again this morning.  As I checked everything was ok with the trap this evening, I heard a Grasshopper Warbler singing close by, in fact in the paddock about 50 metres away, though not actually in the garden, it is sort of a garden tick. Skies are clear, the moon shining and my little weather centre predicting a drop to 8C overnight, I'm not too optimistic there will be much in the trap in the morning , but we'll see.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Heavy rain but things still happening

Off site most of the day but on my return I was not back long when I heard and then saw a Greenshank flying overhead, over the house heading north. I thought that was my 100th bird this year but when I counted up I found I had missed two so I'm on 102. Doh!
It was only yesterday that the House Martins returned in their usual numbers, but 2 pairs of birds have already half built their nest on one of the houses nearby.  The heavy rain overnight and again this morning must have helped with the mud they needed.
I had ventured out this morning but not for too long and was surprised that there were a few butterflies on the wing, mainly Small White, Orange-tips and Small Tortoiseshells, but also my first Small Heath of the year, on the short turf behind the village.

Small Heath

A hedgerow at the back I hadn't checked since the winter and had a few new flowers along it, Common Dog Rose, Raspberry and both Jacob's-ladder (Polemonium caeruleum) and Columbine, though the latter two are garden outcasts here, not wild plants, even though they are not very close to any garden or indeed where they could have been dumped.
Back in the garden, I did not put the trap out last night but did take the previous nights catch away to be released on the fell earlier. But in the garden during a little tidy-up I did find a few moths hiding, presumably off the previous night but not making it into the trap and decided to stay put. Nothing new, though one of a couple of pugs that got away may have been a Currant Pug. Best though was another Alder Moth (unless it was one of the two that beat me home) and a Clouded Silver.

Clouded Silver

Flowering plants - 167
Birds - 102
Butterflies - 13
Moths - 61

Saturday, 7 May 2011

What a superb mothing night

A muggy night with a minimum temperature of 13C and quite a few moths hovering around the trap within minutes of it getting switched on last night. Quite exciting this morning to see so many moths when I checked it at dawn.
In it were my first ever White-pinion Spotted, and two of them to boot,  my first garden micromoth (and I mean micro) Micropterix calthella, a Cinnabar & 2 Alder Moth. My earliest ever Small Square-spot, Poplar Grey and several of the 9 species of Pug caught overnight. Throw in a Pale Tussock and a superb night of 68 moths of 32 species with another micro still to identify. The full list was [* were new for the year here at Waldridge]
Micropterix calthella 1 *
Parsnip Moth (Depressaria heraclei) 1
Garden Carpet (Xanthorhoe fluctuata) 2 *
Common Marbled Carpet (Chloroclysta truncata) 1 *
Spruce Carpet (Thera britannica) 2 *
May Highflyer (Hydriomena impluviata) 1 *
Foxglove Pug (Eupithecia pulchellata) 1 *
Mottled Pug (Eupithecia exiguata) 4 *
Common Pug (Eupithecia vulgata) 1
Grey Pug (Eupithecia subfuscata) 5 *
Brindled Pug (Eupithecia abbreviata) 2
Oak-tree Pug (Eupithecia dodoneata) 2
Dwarf Pug (Eupithecia tantillaria) 5 *
V-Pug (Chloroclystis v-ata) 1 *
Double-striped Pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata) 2
Brown Silver-line (Petrophora chlorosata) 1 *
Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata) 2 *
Purple Thorn (Selenia tetralunaria) 1 *
White-pinion Spotted (Lomographa bimaculata) 2 *

 White-pinion Spotted  - A new species of moth for me

Clouded Silver (Lomographa temerata) 6 *
Iron Prominent (Notodonta dromedarius) 2
Lesser Swallow Prominent (Pheosia gnoma) 1 *
Pale Tussock (Calliteara pudibunda) 1 *

Pale Tussock - My 3rd for the  garden

Pale Tussock - Head on - Now thats cute, surely
Cinnabar (Tyria jacobaeae) 1 *

Cinnabar - New for the garden

Shuttle-shaped Dart (Agrotis puta) 7
Small Square-spot (Diarsia rubi) 1 *
Pine Beauty (Panolis flammea) 1
Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta) 2
Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) 2
Poplar Grey (Acronicta megacephala) 1 *

Poplar Grey - a ragged specimen but my earliest ever

Alder Moth (Acronicta alni) 2 *

Alder Moth - 1 of 4 species new for the garden last night

Clouded-bordered Brindle (Apamea crenata) 1 *
Clouded-bordered Brindle [melanic form] (Apamea crenata ab. combusta) 3

Clouded-bordered Brindle - the normal form which is rarer here

and 1 Cockchafer and a 2-spotted Ladybird

22 new species of moth for the year brings the list to a much more respectable 61 species. I'm a very happy chappie.

  The Cockchafer was boxed up with the rest of the moths to be released away from the garden as I usually do. This is as much as to protect them from the birds in the garden as I usually don't trap on consecutive nights to give any I don't trap a chance to feed as to stop duplicate catches. Anyhow when I was a tidied up the male Blackbird hopped right up to the patio window, dropped a second Cockchafer, and looked in, cocking it's head to one side as if to say 'What do I do with this?'. Maybe it thought it was Swap-shop and was ready to swap for a more juicy palatable moth?

Haven't had time to wander out yet but a Sedge Warbler singing from the hedge nearby is certainly new in, and the House Martins have returned in numbers now, though still very few Swifts. A Green Woodpecker yaffled from the Hermitage woods again.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

A huge antennae and proboscis day

I put the moth out on Tuesday night, knowing it was going to get cold but not as bad as it was, with a frost and the minimum temperature dropping down to minus 1.1C. So it was surprising to find a moth in it, just a Shuttle-shaped Dart, but obviously a tough lad. Spent the rest of yesterday and today mainly in the garden, often looking upwards but apart from a Sparrowhawk a couple of times nothing of interest flew over. 5 species of butterflies did visit the garden, Small & Large White, Orange tip, Peacock and a Wall Brown. I had a very brief check of the Riverside Park after walking down to the town centre on an errand and just managed to see a Common Sandpiper flying down river. The 99th species of bird I seen this year on my OFFH (On Foot from House) list.
Today was much the same, except all of it in the garden, It was a bit milder overnight but decided not to run the moth trap. On my hands and knees weeding I came face to face with a tiny longhorn moth with big white antennae and metallic bronze wings - Adela reaumurella. This was new for the garden as well as for the year. It is common enough on the fell where the caterpillar lives on leaf litter (what I was tidying up),  so I wonder if I have missed it and it actually lives in the garden? I watched it for some time as it flitted from leaf to leaf waving it huge antennae about. Then I crept away for my camera but I could never find it again.
Wandering around in the garden with the camera I now had ready but no moth, I took a few more pictures of Bee-fly that are still about all over the garden, I've never had this many before. Now this fly is well known for its very long proboscis that looks like a a scary looking spike. All the photos I've have  both taken and seen show it ending in a sharp point. However looking through today's photos, in one it looks forked. It's certainly the same species Bombylius major with the dark leading edge to the wing. I looked on web a bit more and couldn't find any that looked like that but then came across some photos of mounted specimens of several species including our common Bee-fly, and several of them show a fork. Mystery sort of solved but only sort of. More investigation required.

Bee Fly talks with forked tongue

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Riverside again

I haven't been down to the Riverside Park for a few weeks so I thought it was time I did again. As soon as I stepped out of the door an Oyster-catcher flew over, a good start.
I walked along the riverside from the Lumley bridge to the Chester New Bridge on the edge of the Lambton Estate. The riverbank is quite overgrown in places and produced a few nice plants. In fact 8 species were new for the year Horse-radish, White Poplar, Swedish Whitebeam, Russian Comfrey, Nipplewort, Crosswort, Charlock and the true, pure Spanish Bluebell.

Where's the roast beef ?-  heres the Horse-radish

I counted some of the waterfowl etc. as I walked along
Mute Swan - 54
Canada Goose - 11
Grey Lag Goose - 2
Pink-footed Goose - 1 
Goosander - 1
Tufted Duck 4
Mallard - 13 broods of young
Sand Martin - 31
Swallow - 4
House Martin - 2
Herring Gull - 5
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 1
Black-headed Gull - 6
Dipper - 1
Blackcap - 4 singing males
Garden Warbler- 1 singing male
Common Whitethroat- 4 singing males
Willow Warbler- 1 singing male
Chiffchaff- 2 singing males

The lonely, dodgy  Pink-footed Goose

Dipper standing still for a second

A couple of species of Mining Bee were present,  which I believe to be  Andrena clarkella and Andrena scotica. The riverbank here has a mass of Hedge-Garlic which is going over now, but is still attracting many Orange-tip and Green-veined White and a single Wall butterfly.

The thirteen broods of Mallard show why there are so many in winter. It was interesting to watch the youngest brood which I suspect had just hatched. The mother had brought them up onto the Cong Burn which is much slower moving and they were under the road bridge, getting their first swimming lesson. It was all rather cute...

Baby Mallard swimming lessons in the shallow end
 Not so cute admittedly, by the sewage-works there are many Bird Cherry, which are out in full flower at the moment. At least the first few trees were. The rest are in the process of being completely defoliated by the larva of a small moth the Bird Cherry Ermine. These caterpillars build web-like nests and sometimes can be vast covering not only the trees but anything else in the surrounding area too.

Bird Cherry - well in flower

Bird Cherry food plant of Bird Cherry Ermine larvae


Flowering plants - 163
Birds - 98
Butterflies - 12
Moths - 39
Hoverflies - 6

Monday, 2 May 2011

Windy enough for a Kite

Had a quiet day today, basically the garden and a short walk. Though sunny it was rather windy and that kept much stuff out of sight. There are now probably a dozen Bee-flies in the garden though the Tawny Mining Bees have not been seen for a while. The poor inexperienced pair of Blackbird have failed and she has now deserted her nest though he was still singing this morning.
A short walk produced very little except one good bird, a Red Kite. It was seen over the trees some distance away but performing a superb ariel display in the wind. I managed to get a couple of shots before it drifted off. It was the first Red Kite I've had at Waldridge this year.

Red Kite in the wind
A nice, rather male Pied Wagtail was singing nearby as I made my way home.

Pied Wagtail
Managed to add 2 more flowering plants today, Japanese Rose that's suckering everywhere these days, and a Bay Willow, now the big one in the South Burn Woods seems to be nearly dead  and doesn't look like it's going to flower this year.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Mayday sightings

It dropped to 5.9C overnight but had been sunny yesterday so I put the moth trap out, though a little later than usual. Four moths present this morning. Singles of Shuttle-shaped Dart, Hebrew Character, Cabbage Moth and Heart & Dart. The latter two are both common summer moths but both were not only my first of the year but my earliest ever.

Heart & Dart

Cabbage Moth

 The most interesting moth was the Hebrew Character as it had me foxed for a while. It was a very small individual and the black markings were not the usual shape.

An unusual looking Hebrew Character

Today I walked through the village and along the Cong Burn exiting at Pelton Fell, checking Tribley farm ponds on the way.
Talking to a dog walker in the woods he said two people were here the other day looking for a specific bird but left unsuccessful. I wonder what (and who) that was?  The Grasshopper Warbler and a couple of Garden Warblers were singing as I passed the village but no sign of yesterday's Lesser Whitethroat. Several Swifts flew over here too and a Willow Tit called right by the nursery entrance, the first I've had for a couple of weeks.  The woods held the usual warblers but nothing out of the ordinary. I had hoped for a wader at the farm ponds but was out of luck when I checked. 2 Canada Geese, 2 Mute Swan and 3 Grey Lag were present however.

Tribley farm pond with feral Canada & Grey Lag Geese

As I got closer, 2 year ticks in very quick succession, first a Sedge Warbler was singing and then a Yellow Wagtail got up and called but unfortunately flew off.
I picked up a few more common flowering plants as I walked back through the Cong Burn woods, Red Clover, Cock's-foot grass, Wood Dock, Hedge Mustard, Petty Spurge, Scentless Mayweed and Herb-robin.

Herb-Robin one of the Cranesbill family

Then back in time for Sunday lunch.