Sunday, 18 September 2011

All you need is time

Yesterday I only had time for a half hour looking from the garden and with the rain on Friday night, I decided to leave the moth trap for 24 hours. There was a little bit of visible bird migration during my stint, probably in front of the band of afternoon rain that was heading my way. In the 30 minutes or so I was there looking skywards, I counted 17 Swallow, 6 House Martin, 3 Starling, 2 Wood Pigeon, 2 Greenfinch, 1 Jay, 1 Goldfinch, 2 Yellowhammer and best of all a late Sand Martin, all of them southbound. I only get a few Sand Martin over the house, and this was my latest ever here, so that was nice. Another thing I only get occasionally at home is the 14-spot Ladybird (Propylea 14-punctata). This is the small yellow species with a variable number of black spots, merging together. There was one sitting on the car yesterday, until it flew of when I went for the camera.

I put the trap out last night and managed to get 2 new species for the year in the form of Blair's Shoulder-knot and Frosted Orange.

Blair's Shoulder-knot
Frosted Orange

The weather was variable to say the least today with sunny spells, thick cloud, light rain and heavy showers all getting a turn. However as I had some time to look properly it shows that there is always something to see at this time of the year.
A flock of 60-odd Grey Lag Geese flew south-east over the fell and may have been Icelandic birds, as opposed to a flock of the very many feral ones that are around these days.

A Skien of Grey Lag Geese flying SE

 More Swallows were also heading south today, I counted 46 during my walk, as well as 4 Siskin. Despite the lack of wind and the showers, it was good for raptors, with Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and a Red Kite all being seen and I could hear a Common Buzzard mewing from the trees in the Cong Burn but it didn't reveal itself. A Great spotted Woodpecker perched up on an isolated tree amongst the heather.

Great Spotted Woodpecker

A few Common Darters were around on the fell and on the pools at Daisy Hill, with one of these small areas of water also hosting two Southern Hawker Dragonflies.

Souther Hawker

The only butterflies seen today were single Large White and Small Tortoiseshell.

One of the adjacent fields was ploughed just a few weeks ago but already a host of arable weeds were in flower with Field Pansy, Redshank, Pale Persicaria, Long-headed Poppy, Fat-hen, Common Fumitory, Common Orache, Black Bindweed and Scentless Mayweed all being present.

Field Pansy, one of a host of arable weeds in one of the fields.
So a good day, despite the weather showing all you need is the time.

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