Thursday, 21 August 2014

Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft - The Carpenters

Along with alcohol induced hangovers, 'dull days' will not be tolerated in my small world. Having said that, Tuesday very nearly qualified for the latter as the Moth Traps bore little in the way of 'fruit', there was no sign of visible bird migration and overnight temperatures continued to plummet. That was until 20:30 when, full of roast lamb and a decent Claret, a text arrived from a fellow Moth'er asking if I had kept the Insect shown on my last Post under the heading of Clay Triple-lines? In my tiny mind it could only be assumed that such a question would only have been raised for two reasons, (1) I had cocked-up yet another identification, and (2) it was something 'RARE'! About to reply in that context, a second (coincidental) text arrived asking more or less the same question and stating "that ain't a Clay Triple-lines" - it's nice to be right, I had 'cocked' it! Three way communications continued for some while without the question as to what it was being resolved. It was time to bring the Big Guns into play with both of my corespondents, unaware of the others actions, sending the image to Phil Sterling the Dorset County Entomologist (among other things). He deemed it to be the far more uncommon
BLAIR'S MOCHA
which I am told is a family group which presents a great deal of difficulty
as far as identifications are concerned.
Only an addition to the Year List, as one was caught last year, but
the 300th species of Macro Moth to have been seen here in 2014.
All of this time I had been on tenterhooks awaiting the arrival of the
INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
cutting across a clear, dark sky at 21:30 but far more dramatic than this photograph portrays.
With excellent views through both binoculars and telescope
and being 'right' on both counts with the Moth, it was decided
a 'nightcap' followed by taking to my bunk.
Ticking away the moments that make up a 'dull day'
You fritter and waste the hours in an off-hand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way
Time - Pink Floyd
 
Despite the early morning temperature bottoming out at 0°C on Wednesday morning, there were a few more Insects to sort through but nothing as 'rare'. An addition to the Property List came by way of a
 BARRED SALLOW*
and joining the Year List this
 SQUARE-SPOT RUSTIC
we also caught our 'second'
 OLIVE
along with a couple of slightly contrasting
 COMMON WAINSCOT
and whatever this
LESSER BROADER-BORDERED YELLOW UNDERWING
was doing to the much smaller
STRAW DOT
we will have to leave to your own imaginations.

After the paperwork was completed, I busied myself with something of a
'mini twitch' to all corners of the farm with the highlights including both
Green Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover
which appear to be perfectly content up at the new pools,
BULLFINCH
still residing close to Merritown Heath,
lots of
HOUSE MARTIN
without a sign of having bred here this year,
One of the
'local'
COMMON BUZZARDS
SEDGE WARBLER
LITTLE EGRET
REED WARBLER
SKYLARK
and 'singing'
TREECREEPER
The weather at the moment may not be ideal for the average holiday maker, but at least the rain seems to have held off, but when you can view such interesting meteorological phenomena as this
 DOUBLE ANVIL
hovering above Harbins Farm House this afternoon,
who's counting?
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Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Space Oddity - David Bowie

Firstly the Bad News, as heading for Parley Court Farm this morning I stopped to check out a report Dave had given to me over the weekend. Unfortunately, it was accurate in every detail, they have
'back-filled' the Hurn Gravel Pit. I know, from reliable sources, that it was a pre-requisite that on completion of gravel extraction the whole site had to be transformed to it formed state. Nothing to be done about it, particularly as the die is cast, but on the up side there was still a single Little Ringed Plover and a few Lapwings remaining there.
 It will be interesting to see what returns to the area next year.
Of note from the Moth Traps this morning was
BLAIR'S MOCHA
which is the 300th Macro Species for the year on the farm.
 GARDEN CARPET
of no great value but looked so pristine it was thought worthy of inclusion.
Attached to the side of one of the traps an unknown
  SPIDER Sp Nursery 
(looks lie the young have already vacated?
Back to the weekend for the remained of the photographs and
MERRITOWN HEATH
is now in full bloom
with the LING and BELL HEATHER contrasting sharply with
Gorse and Pine alike.
While there is much to be seen among this herbage it seems to be
the small 'stand' of Aspen Trees that attract or supports the most
diversity
 BRONZE SHIELDBUG (nymph)
which should look like this
 BRONZE SHIELDBUG
in short time. (Wiki Image)
 BROWN HEATH ROBBERFLY
 A particularly 'dark'
 DRONEFLY
 FIELD GRASSHOPPER
 GREAT BLACK SLUG
 GREEN SHIELDBUG
 HARLEQUIN LADYBIRD LARVAE
which could eventually turn out like either one of these two
 contrasting
 HARLEQUIN LADYBIRD
 HEDGE CRANESBILL
 ICHNEUMON WASP Sp
SPIDER
Tetragnatha extensa
Two plants I have been mistaking for Redshank
 PALE PERSICARIA
and
 
 RED GOOSEFOOT
 PEGOMYA Sp
SPINY SHIELDBUG
Picromerus bindens
(from Wiki) is a carnivorous species of Shield Bug in the family Pentatomidae. A large (12 to 13.5 mm long) and distinctive predatory shieldbug, which has unmistakable thorn-like projections on the front of the pronotum, a prominent plate-like structure that covers all or part of the thorax of some insects.
 ADULT 
of the above
 SPANGLED GALL
(unknown type)
 Unknown species of
Pardosa
SPIDER
John Gifford has come up trumps, Big Time, again as I have never 
seen most of the creatures above let alone have the ability to identify them.
THANK MATEY!
Also outstanding from the last Post was, during our little party on Friday evening Dave looked to the heavens to see the International Space Station cutting through the late evening sky. For those Readers based in Dorset the following may be of interest:-
It Is seen every day but best next bet seems to be Tuesday (today) evening at 21.31. Should appear from the West and go SSE, will be on view for 4 minutes in case you want to get the camera ready! It was really bright when I saw it last night, quite impressive. I was amazed to read that it is 260 miles up and travels at over 17 000 miles an hour, that's just under 5 miles per second!
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                     26
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Canada
                     10
Ukraine
                     10
China
                       4