Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Sunrises and Sunsets a varied week...


Top - A Cullernose sunrise, and a quick Sooty Shearwater sketch.

Over the last week or so as summer begins to ebb away there have been no great wildlife highlights but there has been some variety that's for sure . Please bear with me as this post might drift off a bit...

Last week there was a window of seawatching opportunity as the wind swung into the North briefly.

Manx Shearwaters were a feature with 500+ N on one day but other pickings were slim. 7 Sooty Shearwaters, a few Arctic Skuas a couple of Bonxies were to be expected but a watch on the 17th had a few oddities too with Merlin harassing Kittiwakes a mile offshore, 1 Little Gull and a Greenshank that flew N close in. The following day a juv Marsh Harrier came low overhead as I walked the dog along the coast path first thing.

On 22nd my, so far, last 2 Swifts were with hirundines over our village and the first singing Robin of autumn woke us up in the morning. 

Little Stint with Dunlin, centre.

This weekend, visits to Boulmer on Sunday and Monday, early on the former, later on the latter to avoid Bank Holiday visitors was quite nice.  A single Little Stint was with 300+ Dunlin in front of the pub while a Peregrine tried its best to thin the flock out a bit.

Dan found a nice juvenile Dotterel in the wintering Golden Plover flock that seems to be hanging on a while. On Sunday we had reasonable views but distant. I went back yesterday evening for a better look when it was closer but still not quite close enough...

Dotterel juv, Longhoughton Steel, Boulmer

Top, Field sketches of the Dotterel distant on seaweed covered rocks, and last night in the sheep field.  

While watching the Dotterel on Sunday  we had 4 Raven, 1 Wheatear, 1 Roseate Tern, 100+ other Terns ( three species) 6 Wigeon in-off, the first of autumn, 16 Whimbrel, 100+ Curlew, 8 Arctic Skua, 1 Pintail N, 10 Teal N.

Yesterday's early evening visit was quiet though we did have 80+ Manx Shearwaters, 6+ Arctic Skuas, 1 very distant high flying Pom that dropped down on to the sea, but we couldn't nail it.

Boulmer sunrise.

To round off, here are some Invertebrates that have kept me busy mid week - 

Palloptera muliebris a Picture winged Fly, scarce up here apparently, maybe be the first record for VC68.

Feathered Gothic

Totally knackered but this Oblique Carpet is new for me. Scarce in Northumberland.

Platyptilia gonodactyla

A Mirid Bug, Stenoderma calcarata

Sitona obsoletus

Phycitodes binaevella


Another new moth for me and rare up here is Small Mottled Willow, first for VC68. 

Moving into the dark art of Diptera we have Dolichopus griseipennis displaying around our drain.

Barred Chestnut

Beautiful Plume Amblyptilia acanthadactyla

Copper Underwing on sugar ropes.

Another Grey Chi 

This was a right pain. I thought it was a Gem, but it wouldnt open its wings other than to fly around like a nutter for the first 12 hours. Finally it sat out for this shot then I lost it in the kitchen! It has yet to emerge... oh yes its another first for me Red Twin Spot Carpet.

Sunset from the kitchen.


Gavin Haig said...

Love those Dotterel paintings. Really evocative.

Stewart said...

Cheers Gav...

Anonymous said...

Loved reading your blog posts. Came across them while looking for info on local birds (I'm on hols with my mum and we were wondering which birds we're seeing at the beach). Beautiful moth pictures. They're such underappreciated creatures aren't they.

Stewart said...

Anon - Thanks for stopping by and the comment. I'm glad to like it!