Saturday, 23 July 2011

Dry night = moths; sunny day = butterflies

The Safari had the moth trap out last night but before we could empty it Frank had to be taken out at the unearthly hour of 05.45! We didn't expect to see anyone else out at that time on a Saturday morning but coming up the hill, camera at the ready, was PL out and about early hoping to get some pics of the Peregrine(s). Approaching he tower we saw there were no Peregrines in view, were they round the back or had they already left or did none roost last night? While we stood on the corner of the street chatting one (looked like the male) left to the north - he'd been round the other side! B*gger! We left P to wait to see if it came back while we took Frank on the rest of his walk.

Back at Base Camp the moths were weedled out of the nooks and crannies of the trap. Not a large haul but a decent enough mix.

Lurking on the outside of the trap was one of the three Marbled Beauties and then doing a flit was the easy to identify micro Celypha striana.

In the trap we found three Dark Arches, this Buff Ermine,
a single Cabbage moth,

a (Lesser?) Common Rustic, but no Yellow Underwings of any description...some might say phewww

a couple of Dotted Clays were new for the year and not found annually

Two Scalloped Oaks were the last out.

Also in there was this rather nice looking Caddis for the iSpotters as we don't have a clue with these babies

As we were packing up the trap a frazzled Riband Wave fell out of the lamp, suppose we'd better add it to the list!
After lunch we arranged with CR to meet on Patch 1 to see if there were any White Letter Hairstreaks flying as today was the best day for them to be out for some time and it's possible they could have finished.
The sun was out things looked good and in the shelter of the Butterfly Zone there was already a couple from out of town on the prowl for them...not only that they had had success! A Great Spotted Woodpecker called from behind us, while in the long grass Meadow Browns fluttered around all over. But wait, a couple of those Meadow Browns looked bit small and bright - two Gatekeepers.
A Comma darted off it's Bramble leaf perch to chase a Holly Blue while a Large white fluttered past - there were butterflies everywhere! Not only butterflies - a Brown Hawker patrolled the lower edge of the canopy.
After a good wait one a White Letter Hairstreak was found in the usual place in the canopy of the small isolated Sycamore.

It wasn't for coming down and nectaring on the Thistles at eye level again, which is what we were all hoping for. But with several of us watching it did find a friend and for a moment there seemed as though there could even have been three. However we'll settle with the two with spun round each other as they headed off across the glade and returning individually.

Common Blues, Small Copper, a single Large Skipper with 'dozens' of Small Skippers were also seen with a few speckled woods and lastly a Red Admiral flew through and perched out well out of range...a great hour or so's lepidoptering on the first day of the national Big Butterfly Count, a dead easy for you to get involved with.

A few Frogs made it into the notebook, one of which was a whopper and sat right in the middle of the path, until we turned the camera towards him that is!

Arriving back at Base Camp we found Wifey rustling up a couple of recipes from the new TV cookery show featuring a chef we've never heard of before, Simon Hopkinson...anyway they look very appertising and the tray of peppers and tomatoes is roasting in the oven as we rite (ours are the ones with the anchovies on - Wifey doesn't like them - 'orrible little critters!) and the grilled aubergine with parsley and feta is cooling ready for us to attack with some warm garlic and tomato rubbed crusty bread...yum yum and double yum.

Makes a change from beans on toast!

Where to next? Dining room we think :) ! Mothy might well go on again tonight although the wind has picked up a bit. As for tomorrow could be anywhere really.

In the meantime let us know what's cooking in your outback.


Stephen Dunstan said...

2 porpoises yesterday Dave, and 5 seals.

Today a scoter with white secondaries went north with Common Scoters but I couldn't get a lot more on it at the range involved.


Barry said...

Hi Dave,
I'm sure your caddis is Limnephilus marmoratus. Please e-mail: with your image, the date and time, and location ( 6 figure grid reference ) where the photo was taken so he can enter it in the Caddisfly recording scheme. He will be happy to identify any further caddis flies you catch/find.