With the forecast for the weekend looking good and spending the last couple of days rooting for Wiggins, Cavendish and Froome I was in need of fresh air so down the pond by 3am lamping for moths. The previous days showers had brought the temperatures down below double figures for the first time in over a week which meant there was not a lot on the wing (had a poor catch at home) but did manage Pebble-Hook-tip, Ghost Moth, Riband Wave, Small Rivulet, and Heart and Dart. The main reason for wandering around the pond at this ungodly hour was the chance of seeing the summer’s night sky’s which have been rare as hen’s teeth recently and I was not disappointed.
Jupiter was passing north of the V-shaped Hydres open cluster while the asteroid 4 Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres were also on show. Unfortunately I dipped on the space shed as it passed over at 5:18am and could not locate Uranus.
A Whimbrel was heard calling in the night and moved in to toft shallows at 5:30 and promptly disappeared in to the thick vegetation. Not a lot else apart from scores of larger gulls leaving the roost leaving 3 x 3rd year Yellow-legged Gulls behind as the mist developed. As it started to cloud up I checked on the back gardens of Draycote village where a Spotted Flycatcher pair has raised 3 young while the lane had Nuthatch and Blackcap.
Called in on a couple of ponds on the way home looking for insects managing Banded Demoiselle Common Blue Damselfly and my first Southern Hawker of the year with butterflies on the wing included Speckled Wood, 2 Marbled White and 7 Meadow Brown while day flying moths included 2 Narrow bordered 5 spot Burnet, 2 Cinnabar and a Straw Dot.
By the time I was home at mid-day Buzzards were dominating the sky with at least six over my estate while in the garden a mouse was taking advantage of the new mothing location for my robinson trap as falling bird seed from the feeders was landing on the light sheet set up used so my neighbours don’t complain.
Had intended watching La Tour but an offer to revisit Oversley Wood and the River Avon was to good to miss in such fine weather and came away with better numbers than last week adding Purple Emperor to my year and my first Scarce Chaser dragonfly for the county. Hobby on the way home over the M40/A46 junction.