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


  1. Keith, sorry to do this mate, but your Silver Y is a Beautiful Golden Y.

  2. Cheers Dean, no problem whatsoever. In fact I cocked it up in 2005 and again now. I have loads of photos of Silver Y so I just took one, quickly with it being new for the year. The moth I caught was a certain Silver Y but the photo was crap. I pulled a photo I had labeled Silver Y from May 2005 and popped that in, hence the non-black background. Having said that I still didn't notice until you mentioned it. The majority of the BGY I get here have the full formed Y (forma percontatrix or even species level on the continent in the past).