Sunday, 8 June 2008

Kittiwake surprise & Black Guillemot seen again

Heysham Obs
The bird interest today was limited to a short visit by Mark Prestwood. This follows a National Moth Night which should have ended after the moorland session at about 1145, followed by a decent nights sleep and then wide-awake overnight trap checking & some birding, instead of being in sleep-deprived zombie mode for much of the day. The post-midnight 'sheet and lighting' was on a par with waiting at Aberdeen airport for the Citril Finch fog to clear - a complete waste of time. Interestingly, in retropect, we should have stayed at the original trapping site high on the Ward's Stone fell road [e.g. 7 Fox Moth, Northern Eggar, Glaucous Shears, Dark Brocade, Narrow-winged Pug, Red Twin-spot Carpet (strictly a moorland species in this area?) by 1115hrs, but another half hour or so might also have produced Grey Scalloped-Bar & Light Knot Grass], instead of trying to be clever and also include what turned out to be temperature-inversed lowland woodland later in the night. Hindsight is always stunningly logical. Thanks to Ian Savage and staff for giving special permission to use the fell road.

North harbour wall
Kittiwake - surprisingly an adult decided to follow a freight ferry into port - usually a midwinter phenomenon, especially at low tide!
Black Guillemot - in the harbour entrance early morning
Sandwich Tern - 2

Unproductive at low tide with no Meds.

Moth traps
The hut trap was highlighted by a Figure of 80, just about annual here, plus a Narrow-winged Pug. The actinic trap set in the marsh produced what was the first record for the site of Silky Wainscot [sorry, misidentified from pic. as Obscure]

Middleton IE dragonflies etc.
Colin Whittle's census was highlighted by a teneral darter spp. next to the model boat pond which was lost in tall vegetation. This is very early for Common but would be spot on for Red-veined. Hopefully a hot sunny day next week will produce the goods at this long-established breeding site. Black-tailed Skimmer emerged in force with 8 males and one female all on the model boat pond. Scattered throughout were: 9 Emperor, 59 4-spotted Chaser and plenty of the three common 'blue' damselflies with Large Red reaching the end of its emergence period (just four seen). The 'etc.' included Large Skipper, Small Heath, but no Wall Brown which have had a reasonable spring on here compared to other recent years

By far and away the best local NMN moth which I know about was a Clay Triple-lines taken at Linda & Alec Greening's garden at Dalton near Burton-in-Kendal. This is in VC60 but also in Cumbria -its a third vice-county record but may be a new county record if that makes sense!! A phone conversation included the description of Leighton Moss as "quiet", other than two Spoonbill.