Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Pennington Marsh - 20th August

On a beautiful still mid-August morning, after a Friday and Saturday at the Birdfair followed by Warwick Castle, I needed a wander on the marshes before a lunchtime social event. It was warm and still and there were good numbers of birds around. I first wandered out past Efford Lagoon where a few Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler and Whitethroat called from the scrub while Yellow Wagtail and Tree Pipit called overhead - the latter two species being my first of the autumn at the site. Wandering out past Shoveler Pools I disturbed a Green Sandpiper which flew high to the east calling not giving me a chance to see it on the deck. At the seawall there were large numbers of Meadow Pipit feeding on the track and seawall and I picked out a single crisp Tree Pipit amongst them. A scan of Oxey Island into the sun produced a tern which even in the poor light and at considerable distance I was convinced was an adult Roseate Tern so after a brisk walk along the seawall I set-up my scope again in time to see it fly off to the west but I had sufficient views to confirm the identification. Fortunately the bird was seen by others for the nest our or so until it was pushed off the island at hightide. As I turned to walk back west a Great White Egret pitched into Jetty Lagoon to be quickly chased off by a Grey Heron.

Walking back west along the seawall I stopped for a while and watched the Swallow and Sand Martin skimming the marshes and I searched hopefully for a Red-rumped Swallow but no such luck. Four Swift joined the hirundine and showed well as they filled their gapes with some of the thousands of male mosquito that had emerged and had gathered in their courtship dances - this is often a feature of Pennington Marsh at this time of the year. I pondered that these may be the last I will see this year. As I wandered westwards I flushed a Grasshopper Warbler from the scrub on the seawall and had fairly breif views while good numbers of Sedge Warbler were still evident.

Scanning from the seawall at Butts Lagoon produced good numbers of Grey Plover, Dunlin and Turnstone and a handful of Sandwich Tern. The water levels at Fishtail Lagoon are now almost perfect and there were around 150 Dunlin, two Snipe, 25 Ringed Plover, a single Little Ringed Plover and two Greenshank but despite extensive scanning I could not locate a Little Stint or Curlew Sandpiper both of which are expected at the site at this time of year - maybe we simply have not had enough easterly winds to date. A quick scan of Keyhaven Lagoon and surronds produced a single Whinchat, my first of the year but little else. It was time to head for home and get ready to meet friends for lunch after what had been a very enjoyable morning.

Great White Egret and Grey Heron - Pennington Marsh

Great White Egret - Pennington Marsh

Dunlin - Pennington Marsh

Swift - Pennington Marsh

Swift - Pennington Marsh

Dunlin, Grey Plover and Turnstone - Pennington Marsh

The Mornings Totals
Teal - 3
Red-breasted Merganser -1
Swift - 4
Water Rail - 5
Great White Egret -1
Gannet -1
Grey Plover - 85
Ringed Plover - 65
Little Ringed Plover - 1
Lapwing - 30
Curlew - 45
Whimbrel -3
Black-tailed Godwit - 35
Turnstone - 120
Dunlin - 250
Snipe -5
Common Sandpiper -2
Greenshank - 6
Common Gull - 1
Roseate Tern - 1
Common Tern - 45
Sandwich Tern - 10
Peregrine -1
Sedge Warbler - 15
Reed Warbler - 5
Grasshopper Warbler -1
Swallow - 45
Sand Martin - 55
Chiffchaff - 12
Willow Warbler - 5
Whitethroat - 15
Whinchat -1
Wheatear - 2
Tree Pipit - 6
Meadow Pipit - 120
Yellow Wagtail - 11

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Pennington Marsh - 6th August

It was a beautiful sunny morning for a change, August has been a very unsettled month to date with long spells of often heavy rain and low temperatures. I was up early and decided on a walk around Pennington Marshes for a few hours. Arriving at 06:30 I first walked along the Ancient Highway for a few hundred metres and then to the coast via Shoveler Pools, Jetty Lagoon, Butts Lagoon then to Keyhaven Lagoon and back to the car. It was high tide at 08:55 and I expected good numbers of waders on the pools but due to the high water levels these were rather devoid of bird activity. There were many warblers in the bushes and much of my time was spent with these. Totals for the morning were as follows:


Sedge Warbler (juvenile) - Pennington Marsh

Sedge Warbler (juvenile) - Pennington Marsh

Sedge Warbler (juvenile) - Pennington Marsh

Sedge Warbler (juvenile) - Pennington Marsh

Sedge Warbler (juvenile) - Pennington Marsh

Sedge Warbler (juvenile) - Pennington Marsh

Reed Bunting (female) - Pennington Marsh

Reed Warbler (juvenile) - Pennington Marsh

Reed Warbler (juvenile) - Pennington Marsh

Whitethroat (juvenile) - Pennington Marsh

Wheatear (juvenile) - Pennington Marsh

Wheatear (juvenile) - Pennington Marsh

Black-tailed Godwit - Pennington Marsh

Reed Bunting, a worn adult male - Pennington Marsh

Red-breasted Merganser - Pennington Marsh

Red-breasted Merganser - Pennington Marsh

Avocet (adult) - Pennington Marsh

Avocet (juvenile) - Pennington Marsh

Avocet - Pennington Marsh

Willow Warbler (juvenile) - Pennington Marsh

Little Egret - Pennington Marsh

The Mornings Totals
Teal - 2
Red-breasted Merganser - 1
Water Rail - 2
Avocet - 3
Black-tailed Godwit - 12
Whimbrel - 1
Greenshank - 2
Turnstone - 66
Dunlin - 260
Common Sandpiper - 2
Grey Plover - 72
Snipe - 7
Common Tern - 51
Sandwich Tern - 4
Sand Martin - 15
Swift - 4
Bearded Reedling - 4
Wheatear - 5
Whitethroat - 9
Sedge Warbler - 7
Reed Warbler - 8
Chiffchaff - 4
Willow Warbler - 6

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Slimbridge WWT - 3rd August

With another free morning during our week long stay at our cottage in Cowley in the Cotwolds, but with a bad weather forecast, I decided to head for Slimbridge and the shelter of the hides. It was a pretty foul day with strong-westerly winds and some very heavy showers accompanied by strong winds. I started at the South Lake Discovery Hide where the highlights were around 300 Black-tailed Godwit, three Snipe, 14 Ruff and two Green Sandpiper. There were large numbers of Black-headed Gull but few large gull and over the course of the hour or so that I was there I only noted six Lesser black-backed Gull and similar numbers of Herring Gull. Dodging the showers I headed to the Rushy Hide which was very slow, approximately 30 Sand Martin, six Green Sandpiper and two Black-tailed Godwit. One of the Green Sandpiper was very close to the hide but unfortunately in rather poor light.

Green Sandpiper - Rushy Hide, Slimbridge

Green Sandpiper - Rushy Hide, Slimbridge

Green Sandpiper - Rushy Hide, Slimbridge

I then headed to the Robbie Garnett hide which was equally as slow with nine Black-tailed Godwit, 11 Green Sandpiper and 12 Sand Martin. On to the Holden Tower which was as good as dead, a heard only Yellow Wagtail and two Teal. I decided that I would push the time a little for getting home as the Zeiss Hide was bound to have a few birds but once again it was very slow with six Ruff, three Green Sandpiper, 25 Teal and six Black-tailed Godwit. It was time to head home and do the moth trap.

Tufted Duck (female and chick) - Robbie Garnett Hide, Slimbridge

Green Sandpiper - Robbie Garnett Hide, Slimbridge

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Cowley Moths - 29th July to 5th August

During our week at our cottage in Cowley in the Cotswolds I ran my Robinson MV moth trap every night. The weather was far from ideal with some very wet and windy conditions, more like October than August. During these seven nights I recorded 78 species of macro-moth and 30 species of micro-moth. For me the highlights were Barred Rivulet, Blomer's Rivulet, Bulrush Wainscot, Dotted Clay and Large Twin-spot Carpet, all species I record on an irregular basis. These are the species recorded with a few images below:

Macro-moths
August Thorn
Barred Rivulet
Blomer's Rivulet
Bright-line Brown-eye
Brimstone Moth
Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
Brown-line Bright-eye
Buff Ermine
Buff Footman
Bulrush Wainscot
Chinese Character
Clay
Common Carpet
Common Footman
Common Marbled Carpet
Common Rustic agg.
Coronet
Coxcomb Prominent
Dark Arches
Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet
Dingy Footman
Dotted Clay
Double-square Spot
Dun-bar
Dusky Thorn
Early Thorn
Flame Shoulder
Flounced Rustic
Gold Swift
Grey/Dark Dagger
July Highflyer
Knot Grass
Large Twin-spot Carpet
Least Yellow Underwing
Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing
Lesser Swallow Prominent
Lesser Yellow Underwing
Light Emerald
Lime-speck Pug
Mouse Moth
Muslin Footman
Scarce Footman
Nut-tree Tussock
Orange Footman
Orange Swift
Pale Prominent
Pebble Hook-tip
Pebble Prominent
Peppered Moth
Phoenix
Poplar Hawk-moth
Purple Bar
Purple Thorn
Red Twin-spot Carpet
Riband Wave
Rosy Rustic
Ruby Tiger
Rustic
Scalloped Oak
Setaceous Hebrew Character
Shuttle-shaped Dart
Silver Y
Single-dotted Wave
Six-striped Rustic
Slender Brindle
Small Fan-footed Wave
Small Phoenix
Small Square-spot
Smoky Wainscot
Snout
Spectacle
Straw Dot
Straw Underwing
Swallow Prominent
Tawny Speckled Pug
Uncertain
V-pug
White-spotted Pug

Micro-moths
Acleris forsskaleana
Acleris laterana
Agapeta hamana
Agriphila straminella
Agriphila tristella
Agrotis segetum
Archips podana
Blastobasis adustella
Catoptria falsella
Celypha striana
Chrysoteuchia culmella
Crambus lathoniellus
Crambus perlella
Depressaria radiella
Epinotia tenerana
Epiphyas postvittana
Eucosma cana
Eudonia angustea
Eudonia mercurella
Hofmannophila pseudospretella
Nomophila noctuella
Peribatodes rhomboidaria
Pleuroptya ruralis
Pseudargyrotoza conwagana
Pyrausta purpuralis
Thera obeliscata
Udea ferrugalis
Udea lutealis
Udea prunalis
Ypsolopha dentella

Pale Prominent

Coxcomb Prominent

Pebble Prominent

Lesser Swallow Prominent

Pebble Hooktip

Barred Rivulet

August Thorn

Scalloped Oak

Poplar Hawk

Ruby Tiger

Black Arches

Large Twin-spot Carpet

Large Yellow Underwing

Bulrush Wainscot

Dotted Clay

Least Yellow Underwing

Straw Underwing

Pyrausta purpuralis

Crambus lathoniellus