Sunday, October 31, 2010

Now that's what I call...

a Rough legged Buzzard or 4...

Up before light and off to meet Mssrs Tilmouth and McLevy for a jaunt down south to the Cleveland Moors to do some Rough legged Buzzard revision.

 An hour in the car found us on top of Kildale Moor viewing up into Sleddale before 9.30am.

Alan soon picked out RLB#1 perched in an isolated Rowan on the far hillside. This was soon to be joined by RLB#2. Both birds flew around a bit and dropped into the heather. The views were quite distant so we decided to walk the track to Sleddale Farm for a better look...

Along here, the views were excellent despite the low cloud and low light. Both birds flew around a massive rabbit warren, with one bird interacting with a large female Peregrine for a while right over the farm. At this spot, and everywhere else too, Red Grouse were present in large numbers and came very close...

Sated with our views here we drove back to Commondale where RLB's #3 and #4 showed well together viewed from the road. Who would have thought it, 4 Rough legs in a morning!

And to those who thought that the Common Rough legged Buzzard at Wooler 2 years ago looked good, I think that this trip is a must.

Superb birds.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Not again...

I hear you cry....

Today I'm on a flexi off work.

This morning I popped out to feed the birds just as it was getting light, and as I approached the seed bin I heard an unusual nasal 'chuck' call, a bit like a Brambling flight note. It was coming from the brambles behind my shed? The bird, sounded quite alarmed, and I assume I had disturbed it from its roost maybe, but the call was very unusual so I dashed for the bins and camera and went to investigate...

Mind racing with deja vu, I was not going to be caught out this time...

After a few seconds of waiting a movement in a small elder overhanging the brambles caught my attention. 'You wont get me this time, Blackcap' I'm mumbling to myself, when out pops a Barred Warbler! In the effing garden!!

It clambered up and snatched an elderberry then dropped from sight, and was now typically silent again.

Thinking, surely not, I waited for what seemed like an age before a head peeped over the stone wall and hopped up again. Camera poised I managed the worst images of a wild creature you will ever see, but please just squint and use your imagination or hold a proper Barred photo up beside it and you'll get my drift...

I put the message out to the pager at 8.50am, but as of 9.25 it hasn't come on. I told you, you cant make any mistakes in this game...

Anyway dont on the image for an even worse screen filler....


Tell me I'm not going mad, its a Barred Warbler look at the uppertail coverts...
If it eventually does get daylight today, I will try again..

Barred Warbler. On the garden list. Yes.

Afternoon. No further sign of Barred Warbler. It's supposed to be brighter tomorrow so I'll give it another go then...

This afternoon me and Bunty had a walk down past the pond, and on to the Long Walk. There are a few rowans with berries on here so I fancied a Waxwing for the OFFH list. Apart from 2 Great spotted Woodpeckers, there were few birds to be seen, but the local Red Squirrels made up for it...

Two or three were gathering acorns high up in the oaks, mostly looking like this -

But eventually one came much lower, to check out Bunty...

I'm pleased to say, no further sign of a Grey...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More Quiffed Quaffers....

This morning I arrived at ASDA armed with optics.

Unfortunately the Waxwings were having none of it. No sooner had I pulled up on the edge of the garage forecourt off they went, though this morning there were 60+ birds present.

As I was getting some strange looks from the two ladies in the kiosk I though a bit of PR wouldnt go amiss and headed over. It was fortunate I did, as they had just branded well known local birder, Mr Elliot, a terrorist and had called for security! After some good natured banter and Dave showing them some photos, the employees are now much wiser about the lives of our quiffed-quaffers and the actions of strange hairy blokes decked out with bins and cameras....

At lunchtime I went back for some nailed on photos in good sunshine. After all Waxwings are very tame...I chased the arse end of 30 birds from one petrol station to another and didn't see them land once.

On my way home from work at 5.30, I passed the rowans near the spot where I took some photos in 2008 (see two posts below). There they were, on top of nearby trees, flycatching and having a right old sing song. Out of the car, camera at the ready and look up - nothing!

For goodness sake this is now getting beyond a joke. In the distance I just saw them dropping out of the sky behind some houses...

31 (or 32?) Waxwings. This shot sums up my day.

For a better look see Dusty Bins...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dont Panic!

6:49PM ................................................................................................................

11: N'berland possible Great Spotted Cuckoo juv flew towards Bellasis Bridge at 2<

I'll use one word to update this. Erroneous.

Serial Trillers...

These two days have seen a massive influx of Waxwings into the UK, hence the new header above. I was hoping to find some myself but didnt reckon on it being so soon. Tonight I was leaving work in Ashington to be greeted by a 40 odd strong flock of the tufty munchers, locusting their way through ASDA's rowan trees...

The tinkling call is a dead giveaway to their presence. Its just a pity I had no bins or camera with me.

Here's a pic from 7th November 2008 in Ashington only a short flight from these ones today. The trees around Ashington's west end are laden with berries favoured by the waxwings. Check out Rowans first then Whitebeams. Cotoneasters are a last resort when there's nowt else going... 

I'll try and get some new pics tomorrow...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

In agony...

Seawatching with back ache isn't much fun I can tell you. Today I have been hobbled by pain, so not much done...

An hour seawatching -

Velvet Scoter 1 pair close in N.
Bonxie 1N
Arctic Skua 2N
Goldeneye 3N
Red throated Diver 6N
Sooty Shearwater 2N
Manx Shearwater 1N
Barnacle Goose 1N
Purple Sandpiper 2 S

A young Peregrine was spotted about a mile offshore, heading towards me. It was carrying some small unfortunate migrant like a thrush or a starling and flew inland towards the heugh. Its marvellous how these birds see some prey so far offshore...

JWR picked out 2 Little Auks N but I couldnt get on to them.

After this we had a short trip to Alnmouth to look for the Shorelark found by AT / ADMc on Friday. It was still around yesterday but despite a good search we couldnt find it today. Of note here were 6 Whooper Swans, 35 Pinkfeet, 3 Song Thrush and 9 Redpoll all south along the dunes.

This afternoon was filled by lots of whinging about my back, but a Little Egret flying north over the back field was an unbelievable garden tick! Its only a few months ago I commented on Deans blog at how unlikely that would be here...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The first Fieldfare of autumn was around the village this morning. Other than that, interest was hard to come by due to the stormy weather. A gusty northerly with some heavy rain squalls made thinsg a tad uncomfortable. The only other birds seen were 25 Curlew in the top field and a Great spotted Woodpecker in the garden.

A Stoat ran over the road and across the coast cow field, stopping briefly to look back before vanishing onto the coast path.

Yesterday before work, 4 Bramblings dropped into the village and a female Merlin dashed across in front of the car at Longhoughton.

Moth trapping has been ok the past two nights but no new species for the year. It wont belong before its time to wash the trap out and put it away...See the moth blog for details....

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Branton Pits.

Branton Pits

This morning JWR and myself headed up west towards Powburn to do John's WeBs count at the very scenic Branton and Hedgely Pits. The first frost of autumn was covering the grass in a shaded area on route.

I like this spot. Although rare finds are few and far between here, there is always plenty to look at, and there are never any other birders ( or anyone come to that).

Highlights today at Branton, above,  included 24 Goosander, a Water Rail swimming between Little Grebes, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Green Sandpiper, 20 Lesser black backed Gulls and a reasonable show of wildfowl. Hedgely as usual was quieter with 7 Little Grebes being noteworthy.

On the way back to Alnwick, Buzzards seemed to be everywhere with ones and twos along the route, but 12 together near Eglingham merited a stop of the car.

A few odd Jays were seen flying between oaks too.   

The autumn colours are now starting to show, but this is a short period. Winter will be here in a few weeks...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Seawatching ...

A cool north easterly found me down on the Howick coast path twice today. An hour early doors and 40 minutes this afternoon.

I had -

Red throated Diver 9N 3S
Black throated Diver 1N a nearly summer plumaged bird.
Manx Shearwater 1N
Sooty Shearwater 13N
Brent Geese 5N
Common Scoter 6S
Wigeon 65N
Mallard 11N
Goldeneye 3N
Puffin 1N with dark, winter plumaged head. Looked like Little Auk at first...
Skua sp 4N too far out.
Long tailed Skua 1N dark juv with Kittiwakes. Looked same size with slight build...
Arctic Skua 2N   
Pomarine Skua 3ad 8 juvs N all in afternoon 40 mins. Some close in, very nice.
Bonxie 3N

Plus thousands of Kittiwakes and, this morning, Gannets. This afternoon though Kitti's streched as far as the eye could see, it was as if the whole greenland population was offshore....

Not a sniff of a Fulmar.

A couple of walks around the Village etc had 5+ Siskin, 1 Redpoll, 80+ Linnets. 1 Brambling, 2 Reed Bunting, 35+ Skylark in one flock, 1 Grey Wagtail, 110 Pinkfeet S, 3 Little Grebe, 3 Teal, 1 Chiffchaff, 13 Long tailed Tits, 3 Speckled Wood and a Roe Deer.

Friday, October 15, 2010

New Moth Blog

I have decided to move my moth catches away from this blog and give them their own domain. 'The Orthosia Enthusiast'   is the place for anyone who would like to see whats being caught in North Northumberland.

Don't all rush.

This Rusty Dot Pearl is my latest edition....

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Singin' the Blues...

Right, thats the whinging finished. Now to a proper bird that deserves not to be overshadowed by birding political bullshit...

Voila -

I see I was lucky to visit the Whitley Bay Red flanked Bluetail yesterday. Its gone today!

A lovely little bird, with loads of character too. I feel I should have given it more time. I might try digi scoping again, I could have done well with this one...

Despite yesterdays faux pas, this has been a good autumn so far. Lets hope we get another easterly movement before it ends eh....A Pallas's shower at Halloween would be nice.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A good time was had by all (well by me anyway!)

Just a short preview. I'll update tomorrow. This afternoon I popped the 10 miles south from work to pay respects to the long staying St Mary's Red flanked Bluetail. And what a bird. A bit of a show off this character, it made regular flycatching sallies from a fence wire only 20 yards from the twitch ( 4 of us). I even got some snaps, but more of that later....

As if things this weekend havent been good enough, when I returned home at 6pm I took Bunty for a walk down to the Bathing House. All was quiet until I was about to leave at dusk, when a familiar 'chak, tuck, tac' sound made me alert. I knew that call. It was coming from the cliff side ground cover, creeping brambles and grass. I went to investigate and out popped a Dusky Warbler! Only a few feet away too, it didnt look too fit viewed from above, as it fanned its wings and tail, calling all the time. It flew around a bit but seemed to settle near the beach at Rumbling Kern 100 mtrs south of the Bathing House. Both of the rare sibe scrub phylloscs in 3 days, on foot from home, who would credit that...

I'll be there in the morning before work to see if I can get some pics....

Weds morning update 8.30am.- Well, I've been.

Never has there been a bigger birding cock up than this one. By me anyway. Well, not since the Shetland Brown Flycatcher. I wonder if it was the light? Or maybe sibe fever and adrenalin after seeing the Bluetail? Regardless of excuses, I've dropped a clanger than can be heard miles away.

You'll see the pager message this morning that reads 'No sign of Dusky Warbler at Howick....etc' Thats because I didnt have the bollocks to tell them the whole tale. There's never been a bloody Dusky Warbler at Howick.

Excited, I was down at the coast at 7.30 to try a photo of said Dusky Warbler. Silence. No calls or anything, so I decided to push through the brambles and nettle scrub. A movement ahead of me...

Juvvy Blackcap. Wing flicking and climbing about with fanned tail????? Then, Chiffchaff. There had been four here the other day. Then reality dawns with a gut wrench that can only come with public humiliation. I have been seeing the Chiff in the gloaming while listening to a sodding Blackcap. There is no real excuse for this, I've seen about 5 Duskies here and hundreds in China, I've even found one at Newbiggin ( and before you say it, it was seen by many observers).

Reputation now well and truly shafted, what should I do? Go ahead and claim the Dusky? No one would ever know. But I would, and I cant have that. The little reputation I have was built on honesty and openness. There's nothing for it. I returned home, search over, tail between my legs well and truly beaten.

So, apologies all round for the string. To Andy and Alan who I rang immediately certain of my BB rarity find, and to the info services for wasting their time too. I think I'll keep a low profile for a while. There might just be a hint of suppressor about me in the future...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Asian /Oriental

Thats bound to up the hit rate!

Today I walked the coast up to Craster and back. The most noteworthy around the our village were 4 Ring Ouzels in the back hedge, now on to my garden list. Yesterdays male Redstart was still in the copse ( shame it wasn't a Bluestart).

On the walk it was clear that most of the migrants had moved on with only a scatter of Chiffs, Blackcap and Goldcrests but another 3 Ring Ouzels were nice lifting the day tally to 7.

Its typical that the only Ring Ouzel to pose was a first winter bird without the gorget...

I was about knackered and just starting to walk up the heughs at Craster when a familiar voice behind me said 'You'll need to walk faster, we've just found a Radde's up there'. Tim Dean had returned to the car park for his camera and was now striding along to the Radde's he had just found about half a mile further north.

Knowing what the habitat is like up there, I didn't hold out much hope of relocating this pseudo-phyllosc skulker in five foot high bracken and gorse...

Can you imagine relocating a tiny bird in that lot?

We stood around for about half an hour at the last seen spot when I suddenly heard the soft squeaking kissing sound of the Radde's Warbler calling 'Tsthip' Tschup'. It flew fup from some bracken near us into some bramble scrub and showed really well sitting out in the open...

Look at the undertail on that!

Bright orangy yellow feet to match the undertail. A dapper little chap.

What a great addition to my OFFH List, my fifth or sixth Radde's Warbler in the county, but I'm still waiting to find one. Pity I hadn't been an hour earlier!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Damp Squib.

Or maybe Dry Squib? I woke full of anticipation of all things asian (?) this morning. I checked Cullernose, Howick Haven / Teepee and even had a short sortie to Craster in the afternoon and for what? A few common migrants, thats all. Despite last nights deluge, it appears that most new arrivals had departed before dawn, leaving a scattering of things to sift through.

Redwing a dozen or two.
Song Thrush 60+
Brambling few
Siskin few including some exhausted singles in coastal cover.
Goldcrest 30+
Chaffinch mostly cleared out, only a few.
Robin 50+ one in every piece of scrub.
Blackbird 20+
Reed Bunting 6
Chiffchaff 13 including 4 together in a small patch of nettles at Rumbling Kern.
Blackcap 2
Redstart 2 males, one now on my garden list.
Whinchat 1
Swallow 12+

I wasn't tempted to go for the 2 county Bluetails ( had two), Duskies (had 5, found one) preferring to try and get one on home turf. Funny thing, see my comment on Ipin's blog last night...I was only 5 miles out!

Last nights moths made up for the lack of feathered migrants with two nice new ones...

Figure of Eight

Large Wainscot

Previous night's Vapourer.

Only 28 moths of 15 species but some nice ones in there.

1038x Acleris laterana/comariana 1
1760 Red-green Carpet (Chloroclysta siterata) 1
1795x November Moth agg. (Epirrita dilutata agg.) 2
2020 Figure of Eight (Diloba caeruleocephala) 1 New
2091 Dark Sword-grass (Agrotis ipsilon) 2
2126 Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum) 6
2199 Common Wainscot (Mythimna pallens) 1
2240 Blair's Shoulder-knot (Lithophane leautieri) 1
2256 Satellite (Eupsilia transversa) 1
2259 Dark Chestnut (Conistra ligula) 1
2306 Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa) 3
2361 Rosy Rustic (Hydraecia micacea) 3
2375 Large Wainscot (Rhizedra lutosa) 1 New
2441 Silver Y (Autographa gamma) 3

Friday, October 08, 2010

Thats it! FALL!

While the west of the pennines basks in an indian summer, we eastern folk are submerged in fog, mist and drizzle, with an irritating breeze straight from the east.

Add to the mix, a big, settled, high pressure over fenno-scandia and we have a recipe for birding success.

I didnt get in from work until 5.30pm and the dull overcast conditions meant darkness would come early, so I grabbed the terrier and headed for the coast.

40 minutes on the coast path found the 'barred warbler' blackthorns hanging with Goldcrests. Every step pushed tiny green foreigners along ahead of me. In the brief snatches of detail were an odd Chiffchaff or two and hosts of Robins. Further along near Cullernose cliff top, the gorse was full of tired Chaffinches and Bramblings, some scuffling along the muddy path, tired after a wet sea crossing. A few dozen Redwings and Song Thrushes came from the bushes and a nice Ring Ouzel chackered in beligerence on his way out and on to the patch list.

I'm well fired up for this weekend ( and Monday has been duly logged as a holiday to take best advantage too)

Last nights mothing brought a new addition - Vapourer. Photos tomorrow.

Epirrita species (Epirrita sp.) 4
1041 Acleris sparsana 1
1913 Canary-shouldered Thorn (Ennomos alniaria) 1
2026 Vapourer (Orgyia antiqua) 1 New
2126 Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum) 2
2245 Green-brindled Crescent (Allophyes oxyacanthae) 2
2256 Satellite (Eupsilia transversa) 1
2263 Red-line Quaker (Agrochola lota) 1
2306 Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa) 3
2361 Rosy Rustic (Hydraecia micacea) 1
2364 Frosted Orange (Gortyna flavago) 1
2441 Silver Y (Autographa gamma) 1
2477 Snout (Hypena proboscidalis) 2

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Squirrel News...

No more sightings of the Grey, but I had a nice live Red Squirrel at the same spot as the flattened one the other day. I had to toot the horn to get it up a tree to safety. I think these may be daft young ones who need to learn to cross the road ( where's Tufty when he's needed).

This morning a lone Brambling was calling from the back hedge.
Last nights moth trapping...

Epirrita species (Epirrita sp.) 3
0648 White-shouldered House Moth (Endrosis sarcitrella) 1
1048 Garden Rose Tortrix (Acleris variegana) 1
1760 Red-green Carpet (Chloroclysta siterata) 3
1923 Feathered Thorn (Colotois pennaria) 1
2126 Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum) 1
2240 Blair's Shoulder-knot (Lithophane leautieri) 1
2259 Dark Chestnut (Conistra ligula) 1
2263 Red-line Quaker (Agrochola lota) 1
2264 Yellow-line Quaker (Agrochola macilenta) 2
2266 Brown-spot Pinion (Agrochola litura) 1
2306 Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa) 1
2441 Silver Y (Autographa gamma) 2
2477 Snout (Hypena proboscidalis) 1

20 moths of 14 species.

A similar catch to last night but the second Feathered Thorn, Blairs and Dark Chestnut are just that, I released the original individuals a good way off in suitable habitat. I will photograph the DC in better light tomorrow...

Looks like the wind is swinging east again this weekend. Might be some birds around...

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Blair's Feathered Chestnut...

Feathered Thorn
Blair's Shoulder Knot 
Dark Chestnut

The catch on 4th October was quite good with a few new species...

Epirrita species (Epirrita sp.) 1 NFY
1767 Pine Carpet (Thera firmata) 1
1923 Feathered Thorn (Colotois pennaria) 1 New
2107 Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba) 3
2126 Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum) 2
2240 Blair's Shoulder-knot (Lithophane leautieri) 1 NFY
2245 Green-brindled Crescent (Allophyes oxyacanthae) 1
2259 Dark Chestnut (Conistra ligula) 1 New. A difficult one to id but I have had confirmation from Tom and Skev...I catch a few Chestnuts but this one looked different. The flat trailing edge and pointed corners is a good id feature of Dark Chestnut. See the image of Chestnut from a few days ago. It had a much rounder forewing. Dark Chestnut is a scarce species up here.
2264 Yellow-line Quaker (Agrochola macilenta) 2
2266 Brown-spot Pinion (Agrochola litura) 2
2306 Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa) 2
2361 Rosy Rustic (Hydraecia micacea) 3
2441 Silver Y (Autographa gamma) 3
2477 Snout (Hypena proboscidalis) 1

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Ticky tick peu...

was the cry....

This morning I walked Bunty down to the Bathing House on the coast. A few Meadow Pipits were coming out of roost and flying north, while 10 Swallows soon joined them. On my way back to the car, the above call drifted into my ears from overhead - Lapland Bunting. It was easy to get onto against the cloudy sky and to my suprise it was heading north?

To Low Newton no doubt....

A new one for the OFFH List...Nice.

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.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

It just gets better!

I took Bunty northwards up the coast path this morning in glorious sunshine. Intending to get a fly by Lap Bunt I was strolling quietly, listening for that distinctive call, when a bird flew from a wild rose, along the path towards me. I knew instantly it was one of two species - Wryneck or Barred Warbler on size alone, but it was silhouetted in the morning sun. Luckily it pitched into  blackthorn right next to me and stopped to look around. A Barred Warbler! And a show-er too. It clambered around in the sloe berries quite unconcerned giving great views. It had that typical vacant look about it with a sluggish demeanor so I thought I would go back for the camera.

By the time I got back it had reverted to type and was hiding. This is my best two...oh dear...

Such a shame as it had been performing like a star earlier...

Still I'm not complaining about the crap pics, Barred on the patch is still a tremendous bird and the highlight of  a great week.

Also seen today, 9 Swallows S, 2 Whinchats, 5 Wheatear on the path near the teepee, 49 Lapwing and 23 Curlew in the back field.

On a sour note, at the exact spot where I saw the Grey Squirrel the other day, a Red was a road kill this afternoon...

Moths last night -

 1048 Garden Rose Tortrix (Acleris variegana) 1
1760 Red-green Carpet (Chloroclysta siterata) 1
2258 Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii) 1
2262 Brick (Agrochola circellaris) 1
2270 Lunar Underwing (Omphaloscelis lunosa) 1
2306 Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa) 1
2441 Silver Y (Autographa gamma) 2

Only 8 moths of 7 species. Sky was crystal clear and full of stars. Temp 6 degrees.


Friday, October 01, 2010

Marvellous du Jour....

Merveille du Jour

Didnt have time to post results yesterday, so here they are -

1048 Garden Rose Tortrix (Acleris variegana) 1
1760 Red-green Carpet (Chloroclysta siterata) 1
1769 Spruce Carpet (Thera britannica) 1
1913 Canary-shouldered Thorn (Ennomos alniaria) 2
2107 Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba) 1
2126 Setaceous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum) 4
2134 Square-spot Rustic (Xestia xanthographa) 1
2247 Merveille du Jour (Dichonia aprilina) 1 NFY
2263 Red-line Quaker (Agrochola lota) 1
2361 Rosy Rustic (Hydraecia micacea) 1
2364 Frosted Orange (Gortyna flavago) 3
2441 Silver Y (Autographa gamma) 1

Only 18 moths of 12 species. First MDJ of the autumn was nice, a pristine individual

Shock Horror..

Yesterday morning I had just approached the end of our lane on my way to work, when a sight greeted me that shook to the very core. I must warn you now, this is not for the faint hearted. What you are about to see is very disturbing indeed...

This is not the individual concerned as I didnt have my camera. I took this in Suffolk where they live.


Not in a million years would I think that my very first Grey Squirrel in Northumberland would turn up on my doorstep! I realise that they are now quite regular as far up as Morpeth (20 miles) and as far down as Berwick (30 miles) but North Northumberland was considered free so far. We dont do Grey Squirrels here, just Reds! 

I cant believe I could be witnessing the demise of Tufty right in front of my eyes...

At least it was in a spot renowned for deaths of Red Squirrels on the careful, yank, look both ways now...