Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Trengwainton Gardens - Penzance

On 22nd July Jayne and I visited a National Trust property called Trengwainton Garden near Penzance. We enjoyed a lovely walk around the grounds, and recorded some great butterflies and dragonflies.

The first insect we saw was Beautiful Demoiselle, with a minimum of 4 males seen on the stream by the main path.

Beautiful Demoiselle

Also present on the same stretch of stream were 1 Large Red Damselfly and two Golden-ringed Dragonflies.

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

Walking up to The Terrace, the sun came out and so did the butterflies. A minimum of 6 Red Admirals were feeding on the Verbena, along with Small Tortoiseshell (2), Gatekeeper, Painted Lady (1), Comma (2), Large White and a single Common Darter dragonfly.

The final insect of note was a Hummingbird Hawk Moth that Jayne found feeding in the walled garden.

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

Colour-ringed Mediterranean Gulls - Cornwall 2019

Last week, whilst in Cornwall I managed to see 2 colour-ringed Mediterranean Gulls on the RSPB's Hayle Estuary reserve.The first bird, an adult with the darvic ring 3PKK, had been ringed on 11th June 2018 on De Kreupel Island, The Netherlands. My sighting was the 8th since ringing, having been recorded in Marazion in August 2018, before moving to Finistere in France over the winter. It was then recorded in Langstone Harbour, Hampshire in March 2019, before my sighting in Cornwall.

The second bird, another adult with the darvic ring 2X3N, appears to have been ringed in Dublin. Details have been sent off, so I'll update as soon as I hear back from the project.

Two other metal-ringed Mediterranean Gulls were also seen. Unfortunately, they were too distant to read. 1 unringed, adult bird was also seen on Porthmeor Beach, St Ives.

Mediterranean Gull

Other birds seen on the reserve were: Dunlin (13), Greenshank (3), Common Sandpiper (3), Little Egret (10), Mallard, Curlew (60), Whimbrel (1), Shelduck (adults and young), Kingfisher and Herring, Lesser Black-backed, Black-headed and Great Black-backed Gulls.


UPDATE: Mediterranean Gull 2X3N was originally ringed, as a pullus, on Inish Island, Lady's Island Lake, Wexford, Ireland, on 08/06/2016. Since then, it has been sighted in Brittany;France in June 2017, on the Hayle Estuary in August - September 2018, Vendee; France in April - May 2019, and then my sighting in Cornwall in July 2019.

Sunday, 28 July 2019

Colour ringed Herring Gulls - Cornwall 2019

Last week, Jayne and I were in St Ives for a week, where I managed to spot 5 different colour-ringed Herring Gulls.

3 of the 5 birds were familiar birds, namely W:185, W:186 and W:195, all of whom I've seen there in previous years (see here).  




As you can see from the ring numbers they were all ringed by the same people, West Cornwall Ringing Group in St Ives in June 2014 and have been reported in and around the same area ever since. 

Whilst there, I also spotted 2 new birds; W:192 and 3KC1. W:192 was also ringed in St Ives in June 2014, but was spotted 4km away on the RSPB Hayle Estuary reserve, on 23rd July 2019, 5 years and 36 days since ringing. Unfortunately, it was too distant for a photograph.

The final bird, 3KC1, was seen in St Ives Harbour on 20th July 2019. This bird was found to have been ringed, by Guernsey Gulls, at Chouet Landfill site, Guernsey, on 12th May 2015, and aged as a 3rd year bird. My sighting was the 6th since ringing. All previous sightings had come from Cornwall (St Ives, Hayle Estuary and Newlyn Harbour), during the summer months, July August and September. There have not, yet, been any records during the winter months or from a breeding site.


Monday, 15 July 2019

Black-headed Gulls - Winter begins!!

I went to Bakewell on Saturday to see if there were any Black-headed Gulls back from their breeding grounds. There were about 20 birds present including 3 juvenile birds (born this year) in amongst the returning adults.

Black-headed Gull (juvenile)

One of the adult birds present was wearing a metal BTO ring, and I managed to get a few photos. Unfortunately, I only got 5 of the 7 letters and digits, EW97 _ _ 5 but, on checking my records, I noticed that on 1st September 2018, an adult gull with ring number EW97345 was seen by my nephew, Luke. This bird had been ringed in Boston, Lincolnshire on 9th January 2010. When I checked the photos of this bird I noticed that the ring was on "upside down", as was the bird I saw on Saturday, so I'd say, in all probability, it's the same bird. Of course, the only way to prove this is to get across and see it again. This time with the full number!

EW79 _ _ 5

Whilst there, I also spotted a Canada Goose wearing the darvic ring AAAH. This is also a known bird, having been first seen here on 10th February 2018 (see here). She had been ringed in Bowness on Windermere 2nd July 2013 and has been in Derbyshire since at least  September 2014. When I saw her on Saturday, she was with a partner and several goslings.

Canada Goose AAAH

Linacre WeBS - July 2019

Luke and I were down at Linacre this weekend to carry out July's WeBS count. As usual for this time of the year there were lots of young birds about, including our first Tufted Duck ducklings of 2019 (one brood of 3 birds).

Tufted Duck

Totals for the day were: Grey Wagtail (8; 2 adults and 6 juveniles), Moorhen (24; 8 adults and 16 juveniles), Coot (11; 4 adults and 7 juveniles), Mandarin Duck (32; 15 adults and 17 ducklings), Tufted Duck (17;14 adults and 3 ducklings), Great-crested Grebe (4; 3 adults and 1 juvenile), Mallard (48; all adults or well grown juveniles) and Lesser Black-backed Gull (4 adults). 6 House Martins were also seen, but there no records of Swift or Swallow.

As well as the birds, we also saw several insects, including 2 new moths and a new caddisfly species. The new moths were, Celypha lacunana and Chrysoteuchia culmella and the caddisfly was Mystacides longicornis. Other insects seen were, Yellow Shell (1), Volucella pellucens hoverfly (3), Meadow Brown (1), 1 Black and Yellow Longhorn Beetle, male Common Blue Damselfly and a female Blue-tailed Damselfly.

Blue-tailed Damselfly (form rufescens)

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Fermyn Wood - 7th July 2019

Jayne and I had our first visit to this woodland site in Northamptonshire today to take part in a guided walk lead by the East Midland's Branch of Butterfly Conservation . The main species we were hoping to see was Purple Emperor, and we managed to see 1 flying past. Unfortunately, we didn't get one on the ground, so no photo this time. Still a very good butterfly to see, and a new one for us both.

The other species that we wanted to see was Silver-washed Fritillary, and this time we got great views and some super photos of both males and females.

Silver-washed Fritillary (male)

Silver-washed Fritillary (female)

Other species seen were: Ringlet (everywhere), Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Comma (2), Painted Lady (4), Meadow Brown, Red Admiral (1), Large White and Small White.

Monday, 1 July 2019

Linacre Ringing and Insects - 30th June 2019

I haven't done any mist netting at Linacre since the end of March, so yesterday morning I was down there with 3 other members of the Sorby Breck Ringing Group. We had just 3 hours before the wind picked up, but we managed a respectable 38 birds, including our first juvenile birds of the year, and a very nice retrap.

Juvenile birds made up the majority of today's birds (29 out of the 38 birds caught), and consisted of Blue and Great Tits, Blackcaps (2, and the first of 2019), Whitethroat (1, the first of 2019), Dunnock (1) Robin (4, also the first of 2019) and Goldfinch (1).

Goldfinch (juvenile)

Robin (juvenile)

The retrap was an adult male Whitethroat. It had been ringed at Linacre on 1st July 2017 (1 year 364 days ago), as a 5M (i.e. born in 2016). This was the first it had been retrapped since then, and showed signs of breeding. I saw a ringed Whitethroat at Linacre back in May (see here), which was singing in the ringing site, so was presumably this bird. 

Adult Whitethroat

Totals for today were (new/retrap): Dunnock 2/0, Robin 4/0, Blackbird 1/0, Song Thrush 1/0, Whitethroat 1/1, Blackcap 3/0, Blue Tit 13/1, Great Tit 8/0, Nuthatch 1/0, Goldfinch 1/0 and Bullfinch 1/0.

We also heard our first Garden Warbler of 2019.

After the ringing session I stayed on for a short while, and saw my first Volucella bombylans hoverfly of the year, and a pair of Large Skippers.

Volucella bombylans

Large Skipper (female)