Monday, 20 June 2011

Exciting Birding - well maybe!

Well, not all that exciting really, its my BTO breeding bird survey in Deal, in this square, not your first choice for birding, I think. I have been doing this survey since 1994, twice each spring, usually about 6am, prowling the streets with bins and mini tape recorder, not been arrested yet!
The BTO website explains more -

The route is divided into 10 transects, as you can see, and here's a quick guided tour
Transect1 starts at the beach and castle

Then into Deal Castle Road, those bushes on the left often "busy" with blackbirds and blue tits

Next is Gilford Road - fewer House Sparrows these days now the houses (roofs especially) been repaired

The railway bank is often busy, Blackcaps like it apparently

Victoria Park is a dead loss except for Mistle Thrushes, and Herring Gulls on the sports centre roof

Park Avenue next, a few gardens and allotments but usually quiet 

Clocked this fox this time, what with Phil Smith and the Dumpton Nonconformist, Foxes are in fashion - DO see Phil's blog, its brilliant - - 18 June

Round to Southwall Road now

Birds few and far between here, tho the railway line is a haven - Whitethroat and Blackcap again
St Davids and St Patricks Road next, again always quiet, but suprisingly, relatively new houses on the right home to House Sparrows, thank goodness

St Georges Road and the churchyard always busy, best for birds in the whole square

Then its across the High Street and out to sea again

Boring and not many birds to see maybe, but its just as important to survey this area as one in a "better" site for birds. Over the years I have recorded 46 species altogether - today it was 19

Herring Gull 50
Starling 44
Jackdaw 5
Blackbird 16
Wren 4
Blue Tit 9
House Sparrow 41 (yippee!)
Woodpigeon 32
Collared Dove 19
Swift 14
Greenfinch 4
Chaffinch 4
Robin 1
Carrion Crow 4
Mistle Thrush 1
Blackcap 1
Magpie 3
Whitethroat 2
Dunnock 1 

Mothing been slow, too, but of interest have been -
Fern, lovely delicate moth

A new one for my Garden, Triple Spotted Clay - (who thought these names up?) 
  and, hold on to your hat, this spectacular and not uncommon beauty -
Privet Hawkmoth

Saturday, 4 June 2011

More moths

Now the weather is warming up a few more moths come to the trap, especially last night when it was not only warm (relatively) and still (relatively) but also cloudy - what a differnce (well it would be if this keyboard could spell) that made - 39 moths of 12 species good for my little garden and  humble trap at this time of the year

First up from Friday night was this immaculate Silver Y - they are not supposed to overwinter in the UK and with last winter's cold it is even more unlikely, although I can't believe it would arrive across the channel from "somewhere in Europe" in such good condition. However also in the trap, leaving before I could photograph it, was a Pale Mottled Willow, also said to be a migrant

Heart and Club made its first appearance of the year during Friday night too

So too did this little (and I mean little - its about the size of my thumbnail) Barred Yellow, most definitely a UK moth, and waht a beauty it is

This morning, among the 39 were 4 Dark Arches, which vary in colour, this one being unusually bright

Also in the trap was this Grey Dagger, very subtle and at first difficult to see in the egg-box I use in the trap to harbour the moths I catch

And finally, very spectacular, was this Elephant Hawkmoth, which is just as Chinery says in the Collins Insects Field Guide, a beautiful insect and not at all rare.

This one was very docile and allowed itself to be carefully and gently placed on my grand-daughters friends chest for a few moments as a living badge before being carefully released into some shrubs out of harm's way
Trap going out again tonight, wonder what will be in it tomorrow
And finally, in the pond today was this discarded Dragonfly nymph case - the blobs on the blue line each represent one inche