Sunday, August 08, 2010

A Long Tale...

Last night the breeze was from the north so I popped down to the coast path to check the sea out. Plenty of water but no birds. So, I thought I would give the wind time to have an effect. I was back at the same spot in dull conditions at 7.30 this morning where things had picked up a little. An hour had me noting  -

Arctic Skua 4 loafing and moving N. 3 pale ads and 1 intermediate phase.
Manx Shearwater 74 N
Sooty Shearwater 2 N
Bonxie 2 on the sea
Roseate Tern 1 ad 1 juv together
Puffin 20+

plus the usual Gannets, Razorbills and Guillies ( with chicks loafing close in), Fulmars, Shags, Sandwich and Arctic Terns etc.

I was left scratching my head at a small skua that drifted south just too far out to id properly. A pale phase bird, it was very relaxed and casual in its flight making me think that this was a Long tail. The breast was pale but I couldnt see the extent of it.  If this was Newbiggin...

Walking back up the field my first Merlin of the autumn flew north along the coast path.

A few new moths were added to the list...

Honeysuckle Moth

Spindle Ermine I think? It looks very white?

Acleris emargana

Slender Brindle (Gotcha!)

Ear Moth sp. Any takers?

[See email -

Dear Stewart,

If I caught this moth at my site I would have no hesitation in recording it as Large Ear. The reniform is narrow because the basal segment of it is filled in with brown, leaving just a tiny satellite of white at the top. This is very characteristic of Large Ear and the shape and rich coloration fit this species too.

Regards, Roy

Roy Leverton, Moth Recorder, Banffshire, author of 'Enjoying Moths']

If thats what Roy thinks it is that'll do for my list. Large Ear it is.


abbey meadows said...

I can't help you with any id but that acleris looks nice.

Wilma said...

Beautiful moths here and in the last post too.

Anonymous said...

Looks good for Spindle Ermine, Stewart. Sorry i can`t help with the Ear sp. They`re usually a need their bits looking at species.

Don`t you think A. emargina`s look like some very small person`s just taken a couple of bites out of them ;-)

Stewart said...

Nigel - Funny shaped thing...
Wilma - everyone different, an infinite variety.
Dean - Thats a good set of Ermines in the garden - Bird Cherry, Apple, Spindle and Willow. Now, wheres Orchard....?

Skev said...

Ear we go ...

Waring, Skinner et al indicate a gen det is usually necessary. One thing you could do with the next one though is check the underside of the hindwing - not reliable but better than nothing. Thankfully we only get Ear Moth here in VC55 so it's not one I've had to bother with as yet.

Roy is your man for separating the Eppirita spp. aswell (Atropos issue 11.)

Stewart said...

Cheers Mark, I have gone to Roy for some other tricky northern species such as Satyr Pug.