Sunday, 2 September 2012

Emeralds in the sun

A nice sunny day and a previous mild night with the minimum temperature of 12.4C.
The moth trap produced just the early autumn species but with the largest counts of the year for both Large Yellow Underwing and Lesser Yellow Underwing. Both these species are very common but the numbers have been way down this year until the last couple of days. A White Plume moth was my first in the garden for some time and a Tortix either Acleris laterana or salicifolia, was probably the former due to the date and their liking for Spiraea which I have in the garden. Both species have occurred here before however. The single Angle Shades trapped spent a lot of it time with it's wings raised despite it not being threatened, unlike their normal position with it's wings flat and exhibiting it's cryptic camouflage.

Angle Shades - Wings up and wings down
My walk started off well with a Greenshank, the second this autumn flying over calling.
The sun brought out the butterflies with Red Admiral and Comma joining the Peacocks on the Buddleja in the garden and good numbers of Walls and Small Heaths and a few Speckled Wood,  along with the other species I saw yesterday, on the wing.

Wall and Small Heath on the Fell

I walked over to the back end of the fell today after getting the Sunday paper from the petrol station via the footpath between there and the hostel at Plawsworth and flushed a party of 5 Grey Partridge at the end and watched a Siskin fly over. The small pools further on at the Scroggs had a number of Common Darter, a buzzing Southern Hawker and best of all, at least 25 Emerald Damselflies.

Emerald Damselfly - 1 of 25_ today

Though in the past they have suffered from both pollution and litter, these acidic ponds are looking good these days with a marsh vegetation establishing itself including Marsh Ragwort, Water Mint, Jointed Rush and Bog Pondweed.

Jointed Rush

Marsh Ragwort

Sitting down photographing the Damselflies I heard a Common Buzzard calling for quite a while before it appeared over the trees in the distance. 3 juvenile Kestrels, probably young from the local pair were playfully screeching and playing overhead. A constant stream of Swallows were going overhead, southbound and a single Sand Martin flew with them. The finch flock is building up nicely again, at the moment it's in the stubble by Beany Lane and contains 80+ Linnet and 34 Chaffinch.

2 of the Kestrels

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