Monday, 17 February 2014

Out in the Fields - Gary Moore

If there is one luxury that will be missed when I eventually leave here, to take up residence in a Mongolian Yurt in a waterlogged field somewhere near Loughborough, it will be the 'open fire'! Keeping those winter chills at bay, the only down-side is having to stoke it every-so-often which last evening Janet was doing admirably. About to place another log on the remaining hot embers she called out "Bagsy, Moth" - I thought Manchester City had scored again. Never far from a specimen pot it was soon captured, photographed and putatively identified. 
 Most certainly one of the 'Snout' family (no other has a beak like that),
 with reference to the Field Guide the 2 larger members of the group
were quickly eliminated as where the 3 tiny ones.
That just left the 3 medium size ones, Beautiful Snout, Buttoned Snout and Bloxworth Snout. The latter, which takes its name from a nearby Dorset village, was first found there in 1884 so was thought to be the most likely candidate on balance of probabilities alone. However, the dark markings on the fore-wings were causing some consternation, so I needed outside help. Early this morning it was confirmed to be a 'worn' example of
A locally fairly common species in the south-east of England, it was formerly more widespread. Adults of this single-brooded species can be found in woodland fringes, hedgerows and similar places which fly between August and October. They then hibernate taking to the wing again between late April and early June. The caterpillar feeds on Hops (Humulus lupulus) in June and July causing Hugh and I to scratch our heads as to where we have seen that plant on the property. If indeed it exists there is a likelihood that this 'scarce' creature could, or maybe has, bred on the farm? Now that would be quite something!  
A beautifully sunny, still and warm day from the start any location would fit the bill for a bit of comfortable 'birding', but with the Avon Causeway still under flood water
would fit the bill.
'Cast A Giant Shadow'
(Kirk Douglas and Senta Berger)
 There haven't been many of those (shadows that is) here lately,
nor have we seen the lake so serene for a good while. 
 Immediately noticeable were the songs of who knows how many
 maybe as many as a dozen around the full 'Figure of 8'
perimeter of the 2 lakes.
is still in attendance
 while only an occasional visitor here a single
was seen today.
Also 'showing', the first I have clapped eyes on at the lakes, a
was one of at least c3 individuals the others 'heard' only.
is also not as frequent as the name might suggest, while
c5 seem to have been absent for months.
 In 2 distant trees a flock of about 20
were mustered, with much better images planned for a future Post,
 as MUTE SWANs (mostly juvenile), CANADA GEESE, MALLARD,
LITTLE EGRET and SHELDUCK sort sanctuary on a small island
in the flooded meadows.
did get a little nearer before my departure but soon beat a retreat.
Nothing of a spectacular nature here today, but we were out and about in splendid weather conditions and along with those noted above Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Jackdaws (aplenty), Cetti's Warbler, Long-tailed Tit, Meadow Pipit, Grey Heron, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Pochard, Little and Great Crested Grebe were also seen. Let's hope the fine weather lasts all week.
Finally, back at Harbins, the OWL BOX is ready for positioning.
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