Sunday, 21 July 2013

Dumping on the butters

The Safari was eager to empty the moth trap this morning. Could have waited, everyone else is getting huge numbers we struggled to see any within until we started lifting the egg boxes. In the end we found 10 moths not the 100+ we would have liked :-( However a couple of them were new for the garden. 
Notocelia cynosbatella
Dorsal view
Single Dotted Wave
 But what's this in the pot?

Oegoconia sp (probably quadripuncta due to our NW location)
Later in the day we found this Narrow Winged Pug sitting comfortably on the laundry hanging on the washing line.
Still none the wiser with this Ermine, they are ever so tricky
Also in the trap were a number of front swimming Water Boatmen and half a dozen Mystacides longicornis caddisflies. And another, a stunner but what is it?
This Mayfly was a somewhat bizarre inhabitant of the trap although deceased - did we squish it by accident? From our pond, and if not whose?
Other beauts in the garden this morning were a Meadow Brown and a juvenile House Sparrow, very nice to see both at Base Camp as neither are regular visitors.
We took Frank to the beach as the tide dropped unfortunately we didn't take our bins due the the fact we knew we'd be paddling. Conditions were perfect for looking for cetaceans.
Frank enjoyed his swim and we were seriously tempted too!
Mid afternoon we were able to get to Patch 1 to look for butterflies for a couple of hours but it wasn't really sunny enough for the White Letter Hairstreaks. Bit windy too at tree-top height.
We did two quarter hour Big Butterfly Counts getting 47 and 42 individuals including a possible WLH on the second.
1st Gatekeeper of the year
Small Skippers were easily the most numerous species today
And most of them had only one thing on their minds - making more Small Skippers.
Sadly all this butterfly joy was tempered by the fact that the path strimming gang had been down - hurray access is easier and in shorts nettle free - but they dumped all their cuttings on the best butterfly patch in the town! The sad fact is that those told to tidy don't see habuitat they see long grass as 'waste-ground' and essential butterfly wildflowers as 'weeds'...something seriously needs to be done about basic wildlife and habitat ID and ecological interactions, probably starting in Primary School. The standard of general ignorance is overwhelming. Another crew did something similar a couple of years ago burying most of the Birds Foot Trefoil on site under mountains of prunings which despite our repeated asking never got removed and now we have so very few Common Blues although last summer wont have helped matters.
One of several piles
 We spent a fair amount of time getting sweaty in the process and so becoming Clegg bait - jeez those things are the epitome of evil!

We managed to get the worst of the offending material out of harm's way. Email to someone in the morning!
There's a lot of dying Elms too, this young sucker looked fit an well two weeks ago.
It wasn't all butterflies as this nice hoverfly shows...anyone know what it is? Must put hand in pocket and get the hovers book - ohhh no not another book!!!
On the way back to Base Camp we saw that the peregrine was on the tower and as we were looking a car pulled up to ask what we were looking at. It was a friend and former colleague so we gave him a few minutes with our bins while Large and Small Whites fluttered around the now recovered White Clover field.

All in all a mixed day but some good stuff was found - isn't it always!
Where to next? The Big Butterfly Count website to enter our results.
In the meantime let us know who's dumping the wrong thing in the wrong place for no good reason in your outback.

1 comment:

cliff said...

Cracking Skipper photos Dave, the Gatekeeper's a good find too. I may nip up there later as I haven't seen one yet this year. Your Hover, as you probably already know, looks like one of the Eristalis, but even using 'the' book I don't know which one. Have you got any head on shots?