Saturday, 2 July 2011

Owls, tigers and magpies

I got an email from Kevin who lives nearby saying, last Tuesday he saw a Short-eared Owl whilst out jogging. Now this got me excited. I could not go and check the site, which is by the A167 until last night, but check it I did and got a surprise. To be honest I'm not 100% certain I ended up at the right place but within a few metres of where I though I should be I saw an owl. However it was not a Short-eared Owl but a Long-eared. After watching it for a while two young started calling from nearby and the adult bird I was watching flew over to feed them with some small rodent I could not identify. Unfortunately something spooked them and they all flew out of site but what an excellent sighting.  Now have I gone to the right place or is there a 'Shortie' out there still waiting to be seen by me? Time will tell .....

Everyone's favourite - the Garden Tiger - 1 of 15 that were new for the year
The overnight temperature dropped to 8.2C but I put the trap out last night as it was the night for the National Garden Moth scheme. Despite the dip in temperature it was a very good night with 207 moths of 47 species counted (it took me a fair while to sort them all out I can tell you).  No less than 15 were new for the year. The first micros of the year - Bird Cherry Ermine, Helcystogramma rufescens, Blastodacna hellerella, Dark Fruit-tree Tortrix, Spruce bud Moth, Agriphila inquinatella and Eudonia pallida were all present. The Helcystogramma was my earliest by a month and it was only my 2nd Spruce bud Moth and possibly only the 4th for the county.  The last and the earliest of either were on the same day - 1st August 2008, how's that for a coincidence?  Eudonia pallida was also my earliest ever.

Spruce Bud Moth - Uncommon but plenty of Spruces in the nearby woods

The macro moths appearing for the first time this year were Buff Arches, July Highflyer, Magpie Moth, Light Emerald, Garden Tiger, Purple Clay, Slender Brindle and Straw Dot.

Light Emerald - the dark red tip at wing tip is diagnostic
Buff Arches - One of the  species expanding here in the north-east
The Magpie Moth - particularly fond of currant bushes 
Slender Brindle - not a common moth but another species
that occurs with regularity in the garden
The moth list for the year is now 170

1 comment:

  1. Well done with the Long-eared, Keith.
    Very very envious of the Garden Tiger, i`ve yet to see one. Do you a swap with a Gatekeeper ;-)