Sunday, 24 April 2016

North to Alaska - Johnny Horton

Treading a little warily, we were in no rush to post the months most exciting find of last Monday, as it came as something of an unusual surprise which warranted some further investigation. Tending the Stable Moth Trap that morning it was only extremely good luck that we picked up on a very small, and strikingly white bird flying towards us from the south. It was observed for well over a minute as it flew, not at great altitude, purposefully north and against a clear blue sky, showing only pure, uninterrupted snowy white underparts and considered even at first glance to be a   
 SANDERLING
(perhaps needless to say this image is not the one seen on the day)
So why all the fuss? Well firstly, it is not remembered if a lone individual of this species, usually most gregarious, has ever been encountered before and certainly not 'INLAND'! Time to consult the Oracle who directed me to the findings of Green contained in
 but more particularly to
page 183 which notes "There has only been one 'inland record' etc", with the area describe being no more than a stone's throw from where this individual was seem. Not that there is any significance in that. While Green is now dated, published in 2004, it is not known if such a sighting has been recorded since nor is it known if the 1993 record referred to a grounded bird, but we are extremely pleased to add Sanderling to the Recording Area List.
The Bird? Well probably now well on it's way
With fortunes changing from a frosty -3°C overnight on Monday to +7°C this Wednesday night there followed an increase in returns from the Moth Traps. While we have secured
DOTTED BORDER
already during 2016 the same cannot be said of
 BRINDLED PUG
 EARLY TOOTH-STRIPED
 or
LUNAR MARBLED BROWN
a more than welcome 'hat trick' of year ticks.
Although we are well known for "not doing Micros" we do have a bash
at them now and again so, when we consider the identification to be
accurate we do like to publish them. We are calling this one
EUDONIA ANGUSTEA
and if incorrect we feel there will be quick response from our Mentors!
Additionally, there have been a couple of pleasing returns from the
Trail Cameras
not least this most obliging
video
COMMON BUZZARD
 followed by a 'pair' of
video
GREY SQUIRREL
with the most startling of them all left until last,
an unbelievable
video
WOODCOCK
which is one of just 2 creatures dreamed of when buying first the cameras.
The other being Nightjar, plans are afoot to capture this a little later in the season so watch this space!
Up at the Irrigation Pond it would seem that after an industrious
few days of nest building the
COOT
are now incubating eggs, while close by another opportunist

video
video
COMMON BUZZARD
video
video
was likely hoping for an easy meal.
video
Back behind bars in the Solar Panel Compound.
Now one for the
Noise Abatement Society
as this
GATES LEARJET 25-G
has been regularly invading Parley Airspace over the past few days.
Looking more like a Military Jet Fighter in fancy plumage, this
aircraft size for size has to be the noisiest in the World!!
Out in the field over the past couple of days we have recorded a
decent list of expected Butterflies which join the likes of
Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone on that particular Year List including
 COMMA
 showing the underside and the punctuation mark from
which the name is derived.
 LARGE WHITE
and
SPECKLED WOOD
Followed by what might be considered a pair of late
 male
female
video
video
TEAL
at the Gravel Pit.
 PERIWINKLE
 now in bloom,
 TURKEY TAIL FUNGI
and the
EARLY EXCAVATIONS OF
LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER
and finally
On his last visit to Parley Court Farm our friend Dave Foot took some
Moth Gall Samples from the Sallows at the Eco Recycling Centre.
 Since when he has nurtured them and watch the Moth Pupate
into an adult
CYDIA SERVILLANA
another Micro.
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