Friday, 5 September 2014

Shag, Chats and Moths

September 4th
Better than expected visibility greeted us when we arrived at the pond this morning though the early morning mist that developed my home earlier lingered in the valley. Pleasant walk to toft shallows pool and M45 embankment. Could only find one Shag, again pretty tolerant of disturbance which could not be said of the 9 Little Egrets today as fishermen seemed intent on flushing them where ever they went. Farborough bank and perimeter hedge had 35+ Yellow Wagtails while most of the warblers were confined to toft shallows and the M45 embankment with 3 Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, 4 Blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff and 8 Willow Warbler. Best from the hide was 2 Kingfisher while the walk back produced 2 Common Tern and a Spotted Flycatcher. Also seen were adult Yellow-legged Gull, 4 Wigeon, 5 Teal, Grey Wagtail, Buzzard and Common Sandpiper. A few insects around with Common Darter, Migrant Hawker, 3 Small White, 2 Large White, Comma, Red Admiral, 6 Speckled Wood and 3 Vapourer Moth.

no apologies for more pics of the Shag - it swam to us and hauled out for images - top pic by me the other 2 by Bob Hazell
September 5th
Despite the appearance of 2 immature Whinchat and a possible Tre Pipit which we couldn’t nail down for certain it was a very disappointing visit with no sign of the Shag in toft bay (it was by the valve tower at mid-day), no Common Terns and very few warblers noted though there are still many finches around. A Spotted Flycatcher was at the end of the old bridle path and the same or another was on farborough bank briefly Luckily we had a chance to inspect the STWs moth trap but alas some of the construction was not quite finished so most of the moths had done a runner by the time we gained permission. At least 9 species noted with the best being Chinese Character and Lunar Underwing. A welcome surprise in my trap was my first 2nd generation Peach Blossom – a species I normally catch earlier in the year, a Frosted Orange and a couple of migrants in the shape of Diamond-back Moth and Rush Veneer. With decent night time temperatures I managed 20 species from 85 moths of which 54 were Large Yellow Underwing.

Peach Blossom and Yellow Wagtail by Bob Hazell

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