Sunday, 20 July 2014

Today I went to Gateshead

Popped over into Gateshead this morning for a quick look around after checking the moth trap. My MV lamp popped the other night so I had to use my 'black' bulb which always gives poorer results. Bee Moth, Barred Yellow and Coxcomb Prominent were the best of a small catcher with the commonest species being Common Footman .

Bee Moth

Barred Yellow

Coxcomb Prominent
 Common Footman

At Shibdon Pond, a moulting Ruff was present, this is the bird that had previously been at Lamesley water meadows.  A single Shoveler was on the pond but left soon after I arrived and a single Common Sandpiper was amongst 60 Redshank. 100 Lapwing and 2 Oystercatcher. There had been 9 Common Sandpiper here yesterday. In the break in the clouds a single Green-veined White appeared in front of the hide so we thought we could get some butterflies and dragonflies today.

The Ruff at Shibdon

Next stop was the water meadows at Lamesley but despite yesterday's rain there is very little water in them. A brood of Shelduck and about 50 feral Grey Lag was all they could muster. However the sun was trying to get out and a few Meadow Brown and Large White butterflies started to make an appearance, mainly feeding on the Meadow Cranesbill by the side of Greenford Road. Checked the Oak trees there and after a little wait, a few Purple Hairstreaks were seen flipping amongst the tree tops but not coming down any lower.

The final stop of the morning was at Kibblesworth brickworks pools. The sky clouded over again so it was always going to be poor. A few Small Heath, Ringlet, Small Skipper and Peacock joined the days butterfly list but despite much searching no Graylings were seen. Walking through the vegetation flushed 50+ grass moths (Agriphila straminella) and a handful of Shaded Broad-bar and 4+ Small Yellow Wave were put out of the adjacent Alders. Some Blue-tailed and a Common Blue Damselfly and 2 Common Darter (one recently emerged but with a damaged wing) were on the Caravan pools with more on the main pool but the only addition was a single Four-spotted Chaser flushed from the grass. A pair of Little Grebe feeding 5 young and a brood of 4+ Tufted Ducks were also present.
 Common Darter - note the damaged wing

Little Grebe family

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