Friday, 19 July 2013

Avenue Moths and Butterflies

In my last post I reported on a successful ringing trip to the Avenue Washlands in Chesterfield. Whilst there we also had time to look at the insect life of the site, so here are a few pictures and thoughts.

First up is a species of burnet moth, most likely Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet Moth.

Mating Pair
There is another species of moth called a Five-spot Burnet, but, according to the UK Moths website, the Narrow -Bordered species is much more common and widespread.
Another moth species seen in the grasslands was the Shaded Broad-Bar.
Shaded Broad Bar
 As well as the moths, we also recorded a couple of butterfly species: Ringlet (10+), Meadow Brown and a new froghopper species, which I believe is a Common Froghopper (Philaenus spumarius).
Common Froghopper

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Warbler ringing and a pulli tick

After a couple of weeks away from ringing I managed to get out this morning with the Group to the Avenue Washlands in Chesterfield. After a slow start, we ended the morning on 43 birds of  15 different species.

Out of the 43 birds, 23 were warblers, including many of this year's birds (3Js). Here are some pictures:

Willow Warbler
We also caught a Garden Warbler, but I missed the photo opportunity!
As well as the warblers we also caught a few of the resident birds namely: Robin (4 juveniles), Bullfinch ( 1 female), Goldfinch (1 male), Wren ( 2 juveniles), Blackbird (1 adult), Song Thrush (1 adult), Dunnock (1), Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tit.
On the way home we popped into Linacre, where Ray had located a Woodpigeon nest with one squab in it. It was too small to ring last week, so we went back today and I ringed it. A new pulli tick!
Woodpigeon squab
Not the world's most beautiful juvenile, but nevertheless, a new species and I can now begin to apply for a pulli endorsement on my ringing licence. One step nearer to becoming an independent ringer, but still lots to learn!!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Linacre Ringing Demo

As a group, we've been ringing at Linacre for just over a year now, and, as part of our permission, we agreed to carry out ringing demonstrations for the Ranger Service. This Saturday (6th July), 3 members of the group (not me, I was in London celebrating my daughter's birthday!) carried out one such event resulting in a very respectable 34 birds of 10 species.

The highlights included 3 Jays including one control from last year, a control Garden Warbler (1 ringed last year on our first ever mist netting session; see here) and a few other summer migrants, namely Chiffchaffs (3 juveniles) and Blackcap (3 birds).

Ring-necked Parakeet

Last weekend I spent the day in London celebrating my daughter's birthday. Whilst there I spent a few hours at Kew Gardens and saw and heard Ring-necked Parakeets; a year tick.

Year List:
148: Ring-necked Parakeet

Monday, 8 July 2013

Linacre Highlights

No ringing this weekend due to family commitments, but I did manage a walk around Linacre on Sunday morning, which resulted in a new breeding record and a new species of moth for the site.

First up was the breeding record. Whilst walking around the site I noticed a pair of Grey Wagtails with food in their mouths. I thought they must be feeding some fledged young, but then noticed them going into a hole in the dam wall! A quick check resulted in this photo:

Grey Wagtails
Although juvenile wagtails have been recorded every year, this is the first time I've found a nest and actually recorded breeding on site.
Next up is the new moth species. I spent about an hour around the ringing site trying to catch up with some of the flowers and insects that can be found there. Amongst others I spotted a Latticed Heath, a first for the site as far as I'm aware.
Latticed Heath
Whilst walking around the site I also recorded the following birds: Mallard (25 adults and 6 broods of ducklings totalling 43), Cormorant (2 white-fronted juveniles), Kingfisher (1 bird seen flying east down the valley with a fish in its beak), Tufted Duck (14 adults and 1 brood of 4 ducklings), Common Sandpiper (1 on the bottom reservoir), Grey Heron (1 on the middle reservoir), Great-crested Grebe (3 adults and 5 juveniles), Little Grebe (2 adults and a nest), Bullfinch (male and female birds) and  Little Owl (1 unringed adult bird perched by the nest - the male bird?).

The only butterflies seen on this visit were Meadow Brown, with approximately 12 seen on the dam banks.

Monday, 1 July 2013

St Mary's Island Year Ticks

Regular readers may well remember that my son lives up in Newcastle and that Jayne, Lydia and I head up there periodically to see him and his girlfriend. Whilst up there I always find a few hours to head up to one of my favourite birding spots; St Mary's Island. Although quite quiet this weekend, I did manage  a couple of year ticks: Gannet and Fulmar.

Also seen around the island were: Golden Plover (3 breeding plumaged birds), Turnstones (6), Sand Martins, Swallows, Swifts, Cormorants, Eider Ducks (5), Sandwich Terns (20), Black-headed, Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls, Starlings and a very unusual sighting of a Nuthatch that flew in off the sea!!

Year List:
146 - Gannet
147 - Fulmar