Sunday, 9 August 2015

747 (Strangers in the Night) - Saxon

We kick this Post off with what is surely something of a
Mile-Stone as far as the study of Moths in Dorset is concerned.
Prior to more recent records of
 BALSAM CARPET
 here at Parley Court Farm (images above) there had only been 2
'accepted records' for the County. With no evidence to hand it can only 
be presumed, that along with our previous 4 records, that both of  the
2007 specimens were of a 'First (or Spring) Generation'.
 In recent days this Insect has been taken and attributed to a
'Second (or Summer) Brood'
which should now be sufficient to endorse the theory that they are from 
Dorset's first known Breeding Colony
rather than Immigrants/Wanderers. 
Skinner notes in Moths of the British Isles
Double-brooded flying in May and June, and again from mid-July
to early September. Specimens of the second brood are darker in
appearance than those of the earlier Spring brood.
The 'first' Stranger in the Night!
Additionally, there is room for variation in all of the Moth species, some of which we catch from time to time, but it is unusual to find 3 examples of these varieties in a single trap. While the very common and numerous
 SQUARE-SPOT RUSTIC
is known to be an exceptionally variable creature, this image
might be considered to represent the archetype, so what chance
when we catch this
 Obscure Variant?
 Typical
MULLEIN WAVE
 with for comparison a far paler and less boldly marked example
which is in fact the First for the Property.
 The more usual specimen of
DARK ARCHES
alongside yesterday's catch which really had us flummoxed.
All 3 were sent for closer scrutiny proving yet another
useful learning curve of these
Strangers in the Night Link
Otherwise there were were a few that we did manage to suss ourselves.
 RED TWIN-SPOT CARPET 
 a beautifully marked
 GARDEN TIGER
 OLIVE
 and the usually common
LYCHNIS
While on the Micro front, if all were as easy as this we would proclaim
"Yes, We Do Micros".
 As far as
CARCINA QUERCANA
we didn't even have to open the fine, and recommended, 
Field Guide by
Sterling, Parsons and Lewington
as there it is adorning the front cover.
Otherwise, weather conditions over the past few days haven't
been ideal, with regular outbreaks of rain, gusty winds plus low
overnight temperatures, for Wildlifing (if indeed there's any such word)
but there's always 'something' to see.
First up, and found as we approached the gate to Merritown Heath, was
totally devoid of life but to look on the 'bright-side' there was a chance of a 
Stunning Photograph.
which didn't materialise of this
COMMON SHREW
At the gate there appeared what was almost certainly the same
female 
 BLACKCAP
 which graced the pages of the notebook during last week's
Bird Race Day.
Far more obliging, as were Butterflies which were represented by
 our first
GRAYLING
of the year along with
 male
 and female
COMMON BLUE
and the odd
BROWN ARGUS
Heading back to Gibbet's Firs there was a cacophony which could have been
attributed to a dozen Gulls, but no this was the voice of a single,
 juvenile
COMMON BUZZARD
video
harassing the parent birds 
video
for more groceries,
while among the Solar Panels it was left to other juveniles
to provide the interest, including
CHAFFINCH
PIED WAGTAIL
and one of just c3 remaining
LAPWING
While back at Harbins Farm House the young
 GREEN WOODPECKERs
 continue to wreak havoc 
on Hugh's beloved and meticulously tended
Lawn Tennis Court.
There were also a pleasing number of plants to be observed,
 mostly 'in bloom' with this
JACKDAW
shifting perch into the heart of a patch of
 SCENTLESS MAYWEED or CHAMOMILE
 The name however has always puzzled me as he/she who first described it 
to science must have been suffering from serious
'Olfactory Dysfunction'
 CREEPING CINQUEFOIL
 FIELD PANSY
MARSH WOUNDWORT
With Swallow 'overwintering' in parts of Great Britain for instance 
and Bee-eater 'breeding' in our northern Counties and elsewhere, it
is a brave (or more likely foolish) individual who would state "this or that
will never happen in Birding".
As keeper of a Species by Month List in Dorset, since the early days 
of my interest, I have to admit to a mild, self contained guilt on this matter.
Never in a thousand years could I have imagined that any of the Divers (Great Northern,
Black-throated or Red-throated) would grace all 12 months of the year, or for that matter
Red-necked, Slavonian or Black-necked Grebes, but the latter now has!
However, this achievement was not without quandary as to fulfil the mission
not only would it entail venturing 'off piste' but also a drive of some 2 miles to
LONGHAM LAKE
and the Sat Nav was playing up.
There, were found aplenty,
GREAT CRESTED GREBE
with their bizarre look young along with plenty of
LITTLE GREBE
but all collectively outnumbered by
TUFTED DUCKLINGS
© Bagsy
By chance, what is considered the returning bird from recent years,
turned up there on the last day of June, a day that coincided with a visit
for no other reason that a chance meeting with George Green to catch
up on recent events - we did meet.
The
BLACK-NECKED GREBE
stayed throughout July, although reportedly sometimes elusive, and into this month.
I have taken the precaution of '© Bagsy' these two images just in case someone
is tempted to blag them then run off to make their fortune by selling the rights.
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