The Safari was in the garage in the pitch black last night shaking the bottle of Seasparkle very vigorously to no avail...not a hint of light came from said bottle - sooo disappointing! But as we came out of the garage we got a crackingly bright view of the ISS which is only as far away as London from here or 235 miles!
The moth trap held a small but interesting selection. Twelve species including a couple of nfys like this Copper Unerwing...but is it Svensson's Copper Underwing?
A new micro was found lurking in the deepest recesses of the trap - we think it's Phycitodes saxicola but we could once again be quite wrong.
If anyone knows any different on the above IDs don't be shy, shout out.
Mid morning we 'mowed' our new lawn, took all of five minutes even only using the old-fashioned shears. We laid it for Frank so that he didn't have to hobble all the way to the main road for a pee - but the silly dog won't use it, only rolls round like a dead fly in a window on it.
So now we need a nice selection of lawn 'weeds' to colonise; Daisies, Buttercups, White Clover, Dove's Foot Cranes-bill, Yarrow, Self-heal, Black Medick and Lesser Trefoil are all present in 'lawns' within a few yards of our tiny patch
After lunch we met up with CR and mossied on down to Patch 1 in warm, sticky but breezy conditions.
We were hoping for a White Letter Hairstreak or two.
We got straight in to the hoverflies with this nice Chrysotoxum festivum
Followed closely by a mating pair of Helophilus trivittatus
Few butterflies were about mostly tatty Meadow Browns, a couple of Large Skippers one of which was very fresh, Speckled Woods were as numerous as ever and a Holly Blue pottered about the tree tops. Closer to the ground was this battered and bruised Common Blue but no Small Tortoiseshells, Comma, Red Admirals, White Letter Hairstreaks, not even any Gatekeepers which were the most common butterfly last weekend.
Grasshoppers to have been in short supply this year but this Field Grasshopper posed nicely.
Overhead and through the trees a family of Sparrowhawks made plenty of noise and a late(ish) Swift went over.
CR shouted he'd got a small darter, we'd already failed to get a pic of a Common Darter which whizzed off over his way so we thoughtit would have been that one but no! It's very small he shouted.
Small indeed, it settled by his feet and was instantly recognised as a Black Darter - only the third we've seen in town in the last 22 years!
After tea at Base Camp a Tree Bee was seen visiting one of our tall Evening Primrose flowers...a garden first.
Where to next? Mothy is on again tonight and there's a twitchable Yank on the South-side...so there could well be a sheet thrown over the moth trap and an early start across the river.
In the meantime let us know let us know what's squeezed in to your outback almost without anyone noticing.