Thursday, 28 July 2011

Tales of an Unmarried Moth'er

I had a hunch that heading directly to Portland this morning might pay off, and it very nearly did. As the bus neared the top of what is known as the 'hairpin bend', there was a call from Martin Cade, Warden of the Portland Bird Observatory, informing me that a Melodious Warbler had just been caught there in one of the numerous 'mist nets'.

The rules relating to catching and 'ringing' wold birds under licence are extremely strict, not allowing for any to be kept longer than absolutely necessary for processing, so by the time I arrived it had been released. A few others who had heard the news were quick to appear and between us made something of a search, but it was not seen again. These photographs are © Martin Cade.

On the way to the Bill, under a half cloudy sky there was little in the way of bird-life except for a few Common Swifts, the odd Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler and a few Swallows congregating on barbed wire fences probably awaiting departure to seaward.

With this scarce Warbler in mind, it was always going to be worth some time spent among the bushes at Culverwell looking for it or its Pal, but all that was found there was this fine looking Migrant hawker Dragonfly.

As with this mornings weather, overnight had been warm, partly overcast with a light breeze, ideal conditions for trapping Moths, so it was no surprise there was plenty to see in the traps. It has been a good few years since I have run a trap, and my knowledge has sadly dwindled since then but there is always someone on hand at the lighthouse to put me right such as stalwarts John Lucas and the Warden.

First up was this Ruby Tiger which I could identify,

and similarly a male Drinker along with a couple of

females, one on egg carton and

one on Buddleia, but I was scratching my head as we got towards

Pebble Prominent and

Dusky Sallow.

The Teasel with Hoverfly was simply a 'test shot' after a couple of minor adjustments to the camera and lens settings, but considered it worth publishing?

A (female) Common Darter had been buzzing around the pond all morning, and there being a lull in the appearance of any other subject matter a few shots were rattled off. It wasn't long before another bird appeared, but unfortunately it was the Phylloscopus version of The Ugly Ducking leading me to captioning it thus:-

and the Award for the 'Most Dishevelled Chiffchaff' in the World goes to..........

On the way home I found a Funnel Spider that also seems to have been profiting from the abundance of Moths. If I'm not mistaken it seems to have been dining exclusively on Common Footmen?

Above Culverwell there was also a 'second brood' of Holly Blue Butterflies

this one even obliging with an open wing view.

and what about these 2 Little Herbert's?

I am still waiting to meet my 2 new Grandsons 'Frederick the Fantastic' & 'Alexander the Great' (seen above with Mummy Lisa), and what makes matters worse is that Julie (my eldest), Nigel and Lee are going out to Sydney next week, Have I said B*S*A*DS today?

and finally, an update on the Stat Counter with 149 Countries already participating as the Readership. UK again heading into the 7 thousands, USA just a hand-full short of 4 figures and Taiwan - well what can you say where do all those readers come from? American Samoa also warrants a mention with an amazing 49 readers!

692565.95%United KingdomUnited Kingdom
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drill down20.02%DenmarkDenmark
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drill down20.02%CubaCuba
drill down20.02%BangladeshBangladesh
drill down20.02%GuyanaGuyana
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drill down10.01%MalawiMalawi
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