Friday, 24 October 2014

By The Sword - Slash

It has to be my 'big mouth', as soon as I open it the complete opposite happens. It was on the last post we were berating the weather conditions but adding the caveat that "on the other hand temperatures, particularly overnight, have remained reasonable with the lowest holding double figures". That was Tuesday, and the very next morning - WHACK - 2° C raising concerns that there would be little (if anything) of note in the Moth Traps. Not seeming to learn by previous mistakes, I'd done it again but this time in the opposite direction and very much to my benefit. The very first Insect found, perched there looking every bit like a 'dead twig', was a Dorset Rarity and an addition to the PCF List
RED SWORD-GRASS
 The Web-Site tells us that fewer than 300 have ever been
recorded in the County,
 while my peers were waxing lyrical over such a 'good find'.
With so little movement it was at first thought to be dead, or at least 
comatose, so while in this torpid state we were able to photograph 
the underside as well.
 Eventually it did gather enough strength
to embark on a little 'finger-tip' balancing.
To make matters better, and not long after, this
GREY SHOULDER-KNOT,
also 'scarce' hereabouts, was taken.
It too was less than active showing this pink tinge to the
underside of the abdomen.
Another first for Parley!
Nowhere near as uncommon but a valuable addition to the
Year List
FEATHERED THORN
was perched on an egg-tray close to these
EGGS.
Whether or not they belong to this species is not know but of interest.
Back to the complex group of November/Autumnal (type) Moths
and again we cannot be sure without further invasive study which I
am most certainly not qualified to undertake.
Nice Fresh Moth though isn't it?
Another 'total baffler' for me which, on reflection, should have been obvious.
Having described it of some sort of DART, it was a great surprise
to find it is in fact a 'light form' of the very common
TURNIP MOTH
'Live and Learn'
Finally from the traps, this
SILVER Y
simply proved irresistible, so here it is.
Since the Grass Court Tennis net has been removed
Carrion Crow
have moved into this 'feeding area', and I'm sure much to Hugh's
chagrin even though dormant for the next 6 months he'd sooner
not have them here.
In the evening Hugh and Janet came over to Slight Return II for dinner,
a modest little repast of Roast (whole) Quail with a
medley of 9 Vegetables, Orange and Cranberry Xmas (style)
pudding with Rodda's Custard and as fine a Claret as you would want.

1983 Grand Vin 'Leoville Las Cases'
Saint Julien
one of the optimum vintages of Bordeaux.
Thursday could have been described as a 'lost day' except for burying myself in a long neglected project - The Memoirs. Having completed the rounds of Moth Traps, with little result and
constant company of these c7
MUTE SWANs
continuously circling overhead,
a circuit of the farm where this
fine looking
KESTREL
was found and the continuing presence of the
LITTLE GREBE
on Parley Pond
it was off to the Irrigation Pond
where the first
GREY WAGTAIL
for 2 weeks was awaiting, it was time to drive back to the van.
However, a short stop just to view a passing Fox was met by the
familiar 'zeeet' of a couple of overflying
REDWING
first for this end of the year, I buried my head in the 'Book to Be'.
Taking up the story joining my first ship, HMS KEPPEL (Blackwood Type 14 Frigate), as a 'green' 16 year old Junior Seaman I got so engrossed that dinner was overlooked completely. It was only when Janet phoned and asked if I would make up the 'trio' for the Parley Golf Club Quiz that I came back to earth. Not wishing to let too much of a Cat Out of the Bag, it can be told that the subject of all my attention and concentration was the tale of Keppel escorting the Royal Yacht 'Britannia' to Jersey in the Channel Islands for the 1963 visit by HM the Queen. In company with Biff Bayliss, Freddie Fielding, Geordie Pratt and Co Ltd we got ourselves into almighty trouble, and not just the drinking and fighting kind - but that will have to wait for another day - must get back to it now!
An overlooked photograph from about 10 days ago while driving to
Weymouth, RAINBOW over Bere Regis.
and finally, putting the Red Sword-grass well in the shade,
an image from one of our regular readers in Weymouth of a
Moth of 'Rocking Horse Droppings' proportions in this country
SLENDER BURNISHED BRASS
Caught by our dear friend Hugo Wood-Homer at Bardolf Manor Farm,
it is described by Dorset Moths as a Very Rare Migrant which has only
been encountered in the County of Dorset a dozen or so times.
I'm waiting for mine Hugo!
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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Stormy Monday - BB King

 They call it stormy Monday, yes but Tuesday's just as bad.
They call it stormy Monday, yes but Tuesday's just as bad.
Wednesday's even worse; and Thursday's awful sad.
The weather, once again, has prevented too much in the way of gallivanting but between bouts of heavy rain and high winds we have taken advantage of the bright spots. On the other hand temperatures, particularly overnight, have remained reasonable with the lowest remaining in double figures. Some of the highlights from the traps include the first
DARK CHESTNUT
of the year and another if only it could be identified by mere mortals.
 Most likely a 'type' of
NOVEMBER MOTH
 which we are reliably informed can only be certain by dissection of
the genitalia.
 Also difficult
COPPER UNDERWING
or
 SVENSSON'S COPPER UNDERWING
 Half a Dozen
 LARGE WAINSCOT
 and with
BLAIR'S SHOULDER-KNOT
of which there were also c6.
SILVER Y
 and a dark form of
 TURNIP MOTH
brought up the rest of the Moths with additionally
 FLAT-BACKED MILLIPEDE
Polydesmus augustus
and the
ICHNEUMON WASP
Pimpla insigator
a nice find on Parley Pond on Monday morning was this
GADWALL
in addition to which and over the past 3 days
GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER
CORMORANT
now back on the River Stour but not on Parley Pond YET!

The acreage turn over to attracting birds came up trumps with
c 13 REED BUNTING
probably as many as up to 50 Skylark, a couple of Common Snipe,
a Brown Hare along with quite a few of these
'black' PHEASANTs.
ROE DEER
was flushed from the Flight Pond area as a distant
RAVEN
flew overhead,
I discovered one of the 4
BEE (Insect) HOTELs
now strategically placed around the property
and this
GREEN WOODPECKER
feeding on the now 'dormant' grass tennis court.
Back at Parley Pond
the first sighting of the giant
RED-EARED TERRAPIN
since the Spring.
The hedgerows all round are now bearing masses of fruit which should
bode well for the imminent return of the Northern Thrushes
(Redwing and Fieldfare) plus others.
SLOE (Blackthorn)
HAWTHORN
ROSE HIPS
and
HOPs
There were c5
MALLARD
on the Irrigation Pond all weekend along with the returned
MUTE SWAN
as
BLACK-HEADED GULLs
continue to utilise their favoured but strange choice of perch.
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