Friday, 2 September 2011

Rusty on the rustics

The Safari was allowed out after dark last night and the Land Rover was pointed towards the dunes just south of Patch 2.
We joined up with a group of moth enthusiasts led by the AA, the Sand Dunes Project Officer, on the hunt for something special – so special it might not actually exist; well not here at least!
Only minutes after we set off the first moth was netted and potted – a Common Rustic – not what we were after. After clambering up and over the high dunes we got to our destination, the low fore dunes right on the beach where any moth was going to be a bonus and the intended quarry a double bonus.
A moth fluttered through the torch beam and off went the netters at a gallop, maintaining a steady flight, tantalisingly only inches ahead of the net, it evaded capture when the net and netter fell headlong down a dune cliff face resulting in much mirth and merriment to the rest of the group...a sight that won’t be forgotten for many a long year! Another possible suspect also evaded capture but in a much less dramatic fashion.
So what was it we were after? The rare and endangered Sandhill Rustic of course.
We found several of the coastally distributed Archer’s Dart, a good looking moth if ever there was one, unlike the almost transparent totally worn Yellow Shell.

Two Setaceous Hebrew Characters were identified amongst the many Common Rustics and The Rustics. Breaking the rustic trend a nice fresh Rosy Rustic was seen but not photgraphed and a ‘rosy’ coloured moth flying over the Marram Grass and successfully avoiding the net had the potential to be a Ruby Tiger.
We checked many a Ragwort flower head and eventually found a Silver Y – have they been scarce this year? Don’t recall seeing all that many – and a ‘plume’ was extracted from the flower and potted for a pic back at the Visitor Centre; turned out to be Amblyptilia punctidactyla apparently a good find as it is “quite a local species in the county” according to SP our County Micro recorder– that’ll do nicely.

Did we find our quarry – dunno a few pics that need analysing by those in the know.
This one looks

quite like this one here...or is it something else entirely different?

Now for some unIDs for yu to have a go at...

Macro 1

Macro 2

Macro 3

Macro 4

Didn’t get to Patch 1 this morning and Patch 2 was a hazy, misty grey out with only a Grey Seal of note. Again thousands of gulls were on the beach and again we had no time to work through them. 131 Oystercatchers and two Dunlins tried to hide amongst the gulls.
By the time lunchtime the tide had reached the wall and it was the turn of the Common Scoters to be top of the leader board. Lots of small flocks and lots of aerial movement but in no specific direction, best estimate - 500 or so.
Where to next? A long break off work with hopefully so different safaris to keep you entertained.
In the meantime let us know what the nets are being wafted at in your outback.

No comments: