Sunday, 30 June 2013

In Support of Unmarried Moth'ers

Well, that's done it, the return of the 'Elecric Dustbin' and all the addiction that goes with it. I made this 'make shift'
back in the mid-70's from a redundant plastic dustbin, baffles from an old aluminium Wall's Ice Cream sign, funnel a stainless steel mixing bowl (both recovered from the Council Tip) with choke and Mercury Vapour Lamp circa Watkins and Doncaster (Entomological Suppliers), since then Secret has added a few refinements during his tenure. The intent was always to resurrect it once decided what the hell I am going to do with the rest of my life, but 'the pull' was simply too much so we're back in the game. From an expected modest first night, things improved somewhat on the second outing with
The camera really doesn't do this insect justice as the green segments
pick up the light and sparkle.
 Two contrasting colouration's of
some are far more striking than this.
Three aspects of
 this one showing 'the glasses' and
a Moth I wasn't aware of until checking the identification in the
excellent new Field Guide by Sean Clancy with
Morton Top-Jensen and Michael Fibiger.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Moth To The Flame - Thunder

I had almost forgotten the excitement and anticipation of opening a Moth Trap, but it all came flooding back early morning on Thursday. Nothing even of a scarce nature on this first run for many a day, but in a new location who knows what's to be enticed. Having had 'open access' to all Ministry of Defence lands for 18 years in the Weymouth and Portland areas, as the local MoD Lands Conservation Representative, from the early 70's I was able to run traps on a regular basis. This was confined to the East Weares of Portland, a tract of undercliff almost untouched since the Second World War and at that time inaccessible to the general public. The 'star prize' there was a tiny insect known as 
 Portland Ribbon Wave, 
which in those days was confined to that area alone plus a small colony close to Torquay in Devonshire. During that time c2 of these rare Moths were captured. In parallel with that during the years 1983 to 1998 another trap was run at my then home high on the hill in the village of Wyke Regis, Weymouth where hundreds of species were recorded including Great Britain's 16th

Dewick's Plusia
(this specimen was caught by Martin Cade, Warden of the Portland
Bird Observatory who I believe holds the © to this image).
 I have dabbled on the odd night since then, but hope to run the trap with some regularity in the future?
Part of last night's haul included:-
(a very common and numerous migrant)
(my personal favourite name of any Moth)
and for 'good measure' a
COCKCHAFER colloquially named MAY BUG.
 Despite a multitude of 'must do' on the list there was also a
short period today spent birding.
Over the last week to 10 days the
population has grown from just a couple of pairs to a flock of
over 200 individuals - a successful breeding season!
Down at the Avon Causeway some distant large birds looked
right for
which they were, at least 18 of them. A Dorset Year Tick and a
new addition to the June list.
A little further along there were c13
a Year Tick and c3 Redshank so worth the short drive.
Latest Standings
GB Year Total = 135    Dorset Year Total = 118
Thunder were part of some of my
Many Mad Metal Moments
Moth To The Flame

Friday, 28 June 2013

My Time After Awhile - Buddy Guy

With the Internet having been down for a couple of days, it's a bit of a catch up today.
Monday evening we went to the Three Tuns Pub in the New Forest to celebrate
Janet's (left) birthday along with Hugh, Daryl and Cath,
very good food spoiled by extremely poor service,
another hostelry scrubbed off the list!
Early next morning Hugh arrived back for breakfast to report a 'pair' of TUFTED DUCK (male) on the pond. By no means a regular sight here so good to see a couple braving what is a busy thoroughfare.
Plenty of activity on and around the feeders with GREENFINCH and HOUSE SPARROW in good numbers, looking pristine and seeming to have had a successful breeding season.
So, later in the day a quick run down to Longham Lake where
the activity was limited to
a 'blaze' of DAISIES,
a pale (washed out) MALLARD
and other Wagtails capitalising on the abundance of Damselflies.
On my return both Tufties were on show at the pond side.
All day Wednesday was spent around Portland and Weymouth with first port of call the Portland Bird Observatory. Good to see again the few people who were there, but otherwise very quiet on the ground. The only exception to this was one of a number of
that had been paying infrequent visits to the garden. A species that I had previously not seen on the Island, but with no time to search I made to leave. Issuing my final goodbye, the bird concerned obligingly flew into a tree give views for about one minute. Onward to Secret's house, where fortunately I found Mrs Secret (Jane) and son Robert who is presently on holiday from Bristol University. Another serious session of catching up before heading off to lunch with Lesley Brown. Being mobile we were able to venture a little further afield and ate in the Sailor's Return at East Chaldon, with the countryside thereabout as ever a fine example of just what Dorset has to offer. There was something of a reversal here compared to Monday evening as the service was superb but my 'long roast' pork belly had seen better days, but dealt with in a most professional manner.
On our way back to Weymouth we took time to watch 
THATCHERS at work in the village.
and the final 'catch up', for now at least are some photographs
received since the last post.
A very proud Grandpa with 2 of 3 very special little boys.
This image was captioned 
'The Two Fredericks'
and lastly a great surprise from Kourou, French Guyana as Marine Agent Ho You Fat, who I shared a beer and a little time with on the last adventure, wrote
Master Bagsy. Good day, how is the world treating you? Excuse me while I look after the sun and the big moon in this morning day!
Kind regards