Sunday, October 03, 2010

Pissen doon!

Too wet for photos of our jaunt to Scotland this morning. When Alan Tilmouth rang last night to see if I fancied the long haul north (40 miles, I dont get very far these days) to St Abbs Head, I thought it was too good an opportunity to miss, after all this is one of the premier migrant spots in southern Scotland. Previous trips here have given me King Eider, Red flanked Bluetail and Marmora's Warbler so lets see if this 'on spec' visit would turn up something.

It has a great vibe this headland and with only another two birders present there was plenty of space to find birds. I was lucky when I turned up a side mist net ride and unearthed an all too brief Barred Warbler that sat out on top of a close bramble for all of a few seconds before disappearing into cover. On the rest of the walk we had up to 7 Chiffchaffs and singles of Willow WarblerRing Ouzel, Wheatear, Reed Warbler ( probably) and Spotted Flycatcher. A pipit flushed from the track side remained stubbornly silent, but I fancy it was a Tree due to its plain tan colour above and quite chunky jizz. It just wasn't right for Meadow Pipit. A scatter of Goldcrests and Song Thrush plus a lone Redpoll south overhead added to the interest.

After this a short trip into St Abbs Village had 2 Black Redstarts on an almost inaccessible stony beach, viewed from the cliff top and a couple of male Blackcaps in a nearby churchyard, feeding on sea buckthorn berries.

Spurred on by this success we drove a short way down the coast to the very steep access to another scenic borders village, Burnmouth. Although the steep sided scrub covered valley looked great, the only migrants were a few tardy local hirundines overhead. Alan was pleased to add Merlin on to his 'self found' list here too.

So, a good trip away for a change, pity about the appalling weather.

Back home, a dog walk, still in solid lash, down to Rumbling Kern  produced 2 Redstarts flycatching from a fence wire just behind the cove.

In the moth trap last night -

0697 Agonopterix arenella 1
1760 Red-green Carpet (Chloroclysta siterata) 1
1802 Rivulet (Perizoma affinitata) 1
2091 Dark Sword-grass (Agrotis ipsilon) 1 only my second.
2107 Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba) 3
2109 Lesser Yellow Underwing (Noctua comes) 1
2126 Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum) 4
2245 Green-brindled Crescent (Allophyes oxyacanthae) 2
2247 Merveille du Jour (Dichonia aprilina) 1 much darker than the other days individual.
2258 Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii) 1
2263 Red-line Quaker (Agrochola lota) 1
2264 Yellow-line Quaker (Agrochola macilenta) 3
2266 Brown-spot Pinion (Agrochola litura) 4
2361 Rosy Rustic (Hydraecia micacea) 5
2364 Frosted Orange (Gortyna flavago) 1
2441 Silver Y (Autographa gamma) 1

31 moths of 16 species.

My second Dark Sword Grass.

A strangely dark Merveille du Jour. See picture from the other day.

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