Thursday, 25 July 2013

Moths & Marsh Harriers

Lade - 0600hrs - warm, dry & sunny, sw 3 - Another glorious summers morning commenced with a trap full of moths to sift through from last nights catch. Despite there only being 37 species, four were new for the year with a cracking Ruby Tiger and Dusky Sallow, a not-so-good L-album Wainscot (what a name!) and a very worn Peacock. Migrants included Silver Y and White-point, plus an unusually dark Lackey.

L-album Wainscot - formerly considered an immigrant but now breeds locally on Marram grasses

                                Lackey - a reddish-brown specimen

                                   Ruby Tiger - common enough, but simply stunning

ARC 1300hrs - Called in Hanson hide where passage waders on show, apart from 100 Lapwings, included four each of LRP`s and Dunlins, plus singles of Blackwit, Common and Green Sandpipers. ARC is looking spot on for the forthcoming wader passage with plenty of low islands suitable for tired shorebirds, courtesy of the current heat wave, and you can rest assured that with daily coverage not much will be missed by us locals. However, whether or not we`ll be able to identify it all remains to be seen...
After a while a Sparrowhawk shot through and flushed everything followed by a juv Marsh Harrier, which proved most entertaining as it practiced stooping on Cormorants and Greylags; it`s a learning curve when you`re young! Probably up to five juvs have fledged from the Hooker`s reedbed and these early weeks away from the nest site are testing times for young Marsh Harriers, although there should be plenty of easy prey available. However, the old female was hunting over by the water tower and the fledgling soon flew off in her direction, no doubt hoping for a free meal. A Hobby overhead completed a trio of raptors.

                                Juv Marsh Harrier, ARC

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