Sunday, 27 December 2015

Winter GMS

I am once again taking part in the Winter Garden Moth Scheme which started on 13th November 2015 and will run until 26th February 2016.

Last year (Winter 2014/15) I managed 15 empty traps and caught 3 moths that all visited on the same evening (14th February 2015).

The milder weather for this season has resulted in 3 Light Brown Apple Moths trapped on 26th November and a single Dark Chestnut moth trapped on 6th and 18th December 2015. This was a new species for the garden, so I was pleased and felt very lucky.

Dark Chestnut - trapped on 6th December 2015

Dark Chestnut - trapped on 18th December 2015

Bird's Nest Fungus

During a visit to Nosterfield Nature Reserve on Sunday 20th December 2015, I was shown a small clump of Bird's Nest Fungus on a bench by the reedbed screen. I had never seen this before and so I took a few photographs.

Scientific name:  Crucibulum laeve

Size:  Approx 5 mm in diameter and 10 mm deep

Distribution:  Found in many parts of the U.K.

Months seen:  June to October

Habitat:  Normally found on rotting wood and vegetable matter

Special features:  The bird's nest fungi is often overlooked on account of its small size.  It starts off as a yellowish, funnel-shaped growth. The top has a membrane which falls away to reveal the egg-shaped contents.  These 'eggs', called 'peridioles', are containers for the spores, and they're attached to the nest by a tiny thread.  When raindrops land inside the cup they get knocked out, and the spores get dispersed.

On the same bench was some Common Jellyspot Fungus (Dacrymyces stillatus). 

The view from the reedbed screen was great especially when the Bittern flew past!

Garden Birdwatch Update 29th November - 20th December 2015

It has been awhile since I last posted the bird records for our garden.

20th December 2015
Blue Tit 2
Feral Pigeon 4
Blackbird 3
House Sparrow 6
Goldfinch 8
Great Tit 1
Coal Tit 3
Dunnock 2
Robin 1
Woodpigeon 1
Jackdaw 4
Chaffinch 2
Starling 1

Food: Sunflower Hearts, Peanuts, Seed, Fat Balls and Kitchen Scraps

13th December 2015
Blue Tit 3
Feral Pigeon 4
Blackbird 2
House Sparrow 8
Goldfinch 6
Great Tit 2
Coal Tit 1
Dunnock 2
Robin 1
Woodpigeon 2
Jackdaw 10
Chaffinch 2
Greenfinch 1
Starling 20
Magpie 1

Food: Sunflower Hearts, Peanuts, Seed and Kitchen Scraps

6th December 2015
Blue Tit 4
Feral Pigeon 3
Blackbird 2
House Sparrow 9
Goldfinch 8
Great Tit 4
Coal Tit 2
Dunnock 2
Robin 1
Woodpigeon 1
Jackdaw 6
Chaffinch 1
Greenfinch 3
Starling 4
Great-spotted Woodpecker 1
Sparrowhawk 1
Wren 1
Magpie 1
Collared Dove 1

Food: Sunflower Hearts, Peanuts, Seed and Kitchen Scraps

29th November 2015
Blue Tit 2
Feral Pigeon 4
Blackbird 2
House Sparrow 9
Goldfinch 8
Great Tit 1
Coal Tit 2
Dunnock 2
Robin 1
Woodpigeon 1
Jackdaw 6
Greenfinch 2
Starling 16
Sparrowhawk 1
Magpie 1

Food: Sunflower Hearts, Peanuts, Seed and Kitchen Scraps

Saturday, 26 December 2015

WeBS North Gare Sands - December 2015 - Final Count

If you haven't already done so, please listen to the audio file for the December WeBS count at North Gare Sands. Let me know what you think, it was certainly a new experience counting birds and also talking at the same time!!

I have listed below the final counts for the Waders, Seabirds and also Gulls.

5 Bar-tailed Godwit
1 Cormorant
4 Curlew
22 Golden Plover
40 Grey Plover
111 Knot
249 Lapwing
466 Oystercatcher
1 Common Redshank
20 Turnstone
2 Black-headed Gull
2 Herring Gull

Number of Species = 12
Number of Individuals = 923

Whilst driving down the Zinc Works Road, to Seaton Snook a stopped for a few minutes to watch a Short-eared Owl hunting along the roadside. Sadly it didn't fly directly towards me for a good photo, so record shots only.

WeBS North Gare Sands - December 2015

This is my first attempt at sharing a WeBS count with my blog followers.

The photos below show how Storm Desmond had scoured the beach and removed the soft sand surface.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Garden Moth Update - 4th July 2015

The weather was settled and humid, so I put my moth trap out again.

464 Diamond-back Moth 1
905 Blastodacna hellerella 1
998 Light Brown Apple Moth 4
1064 Celypha Straina 2
1338 Eudonia lacustrata 4
1428 Bee Moth 2
1506 Saxifrage Plume 1 (new moth for garden)
1708 Single-dotted Wave 1
1713 Riband Wave (non banded) 2
1728 Garden Carpet 2
1764 Common Marbled Carpet 1
1860 Green Pug 1
1937 Willow Beauty 5
2061 Buff Ermine 3
2098 Flame 1
2158 Pale-shouldered Brocade 1 (new moth for garden)
2337 Marbled Minor agg 2
2381 Uncertain 4
2382 Rustic 1
2474 Straw Dot 1

Saxifrage Plume

Straw Dot

Pale-shouldered Brocade

Dorman's Pool (Insects) 4th July 2015

A walk along the path at Dorman's Pool produced the following Butterflies, Moths and Damselflies.

Grayling 1
Meadow Brown 6
Ringlet 4
Large Skipper 2
Small Skipper 4
Red Admiral 1
Small Heath 1
Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnet Moth 7


Large Skipper

Meadow Brown

Small Skipper

Narrow-bordered 5-spot Burnet Moth

Garden Moth Update - GMS Week 18

On Thursday 2nd July, the overnight minimum temperature was 11°C.

1063 Celypha Striana 1
1216 Cherry Bark Tortrix 1
1728 Garden Carpet 1
1758 Barred Straw 2
1764 Common Marbled Carpet 1
1765 Barred Yellow 1
1937 Willow Beauty 4
1941 Mottled Beauty 1
2061 Buff Ermine 6
2089 Heart and Dart 3
2128 Double Square-spot 2
2381x Uncertain / Rustic agg 1

Cherry Bark Tortrix

Thursday, 2 July 2015

SW Turkey Bird Trip - Brown Fish Owl

Sunday 10th May 2015.

Today is "Owl Day" and our trip to see Brown Fish Owl in the Manavgat Green Canyon. The extension to the trip which everyone was looking forward to with crossed fingers.

We got up early morning to be on site at dawn and got our places on the boat.




SW Turkey Bird Trip - Saturday 2nd to 11th May 2015

Saturday 9th May 2015.

Today we headed for Saklikent Radar Station with the hope of seeing Snowfinch.

The air was so fresh and the views were magnificent. After walking up a little further along the path were spotted some Snowfinches. At least 2 or 3 were flying around the top ledges giving good but brief views. The hillside was good for Shorelark (penicili), Finsch's Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Water Pipit (coutelli).

New birds added to the list.
Black Redstart
Rock Sparrow
Snowfinch (lifer for me)
Caspian Tern (seen from the hotel at breakfast)

SW Turkey Bird Trip - Saturday 2nd to 11th May 2015

Friday 8th May 2015

Today's intinerary was Koycegiz Marshes, Gokova Marshes and a afternoon Dalyan boat trip to Kaunos Ruins.
Cettis Warbler

Squacco Heron

Lesser Grey Shrike

Red-backed Shrike

Dalyan Delta Boat Trip

Nile Soft Shell Turtle

Kaunos Ruins

Whilst at the ruins waiting for a Magnum Ice Cream, a pair of Rollers were displaying in front of a rock face.

Journey back to Dalyan.

Purple Heron

New birds for the list were as follows:
Great-crested Grebe
Marsh Harrier
Marsh Warbler