Clutch of Peregrine pulli ringed in the New Forest

Over the festive period Keith B, organizer of the New Forest Winter Bird Survey (NFWBS) in recent years, invited the volunteers to his home for drinks.  Unfortunately, my youngest was the wrong side of her driving test, and I had to transport her to and from her work at a local hospital that particular evening and had to decline the kind offer.  However, I was able to accept Keith’s next generous offer to witness the ringing of a brood of Peregrine Falcons in the New Forest along with other survey volunteers.

The ringing took place on Friday 20 May 16 at a site that had been used by Peregrines for many years.  However, it has only been since gravel had been placed onto the base of the nest box that eggs have actually hatched, due to them previously rolling around preventing effective incubation.  This year there were two well grown chicks present and the female chick was significantly larger than the male.  The biometrics of each young bird was taken before each bird was ringed with a numbered colour ring, in addition to the standard metal BTO ring, by a trainee ringer under the supervision of Nigel J.  The whole operation was completed within ten minutes and, although it was over all too quickly, it was a real privilege to get an opportunity to get ‘up close and personal’ with an iconic species of the bird world.  The high ISO image below has now been transferred to the family e-photo frame as a reminder of a memorable experience.

Occupied Peregrine nest box

Peregrine pulli (male), New Forest – 20 May 16

I’ll certainly be double checking to see if a colour ring is visible on any future Peregrine I encounter.

Good birding,

Tony T   BSc (Hons) GeoSci (Open)

Puss Moth and Cream-bordered Green Pea at Titchfield Haven

The highlight for me from the Fareham Mothing Group outing to Titchfield Haven on Friday was a single Puss Moth.  It was encountered next to Richard D’s sheet late on in the evening after it crashed into the adjacent path side vegetation, and was located clung to an upright reed stem.  It is a large (forewing 29-38mm) white moth with intricate black markings and represented a new species for me.  An extremely fresh Gold Spot and two Cream-bordered Green Peas (Nationally Scarce B) at my sheet were two other highlights making the late night well worthwhile.  The image of a previous Gold Spot below doesn’t do justice to the iridescence of the gold markings.

Puss Moth, Titchfield Haven – 27 May 16

Gold Spot, Titchfield Haven – 10 Jul 15

Cream-bordered Green Pea, Titchfield Haven – 17 Aug 12

Recent high lights from my Fareham garden have included Pebble Prominent and Figure of Eighty.

Pebble Prominent, Fareham Garden – 6 May 16

Figure of Eighty, Fareham Garden – 16 May 16

Good mothing,

Tony T   BSc (Hons) GeoSci (Open)

Red-footed Falcon at Cotswold water Park

On both Wednesday and Thursday evenings, I paid visits to the Cotswold water Park in the hope of connecting with the Red-footed Falcon that had been in attendance for several days. Wednesday was rather overcast and had a chilly northerly breeze into the bargain. The Falcon had been reported earlier in the day but no surprises that by the time I arrived it had gone off to roost somewhere, preferably out of the wind. However, there was some consolation in the number of Hirundines and Swifts present. Particularly the latter; 100’s of Swifts were hawking low over the water and screaming overhead. The dull conditions precluded any snaps but it was a memorable sight.

Pit 59, Cotswold Water Park, 26 May 2016

Pit 59, Cotswold Water Park, 26 May 2016

Roll forward 24 hours and the sun was shining (see above), more importantly the wind direction had changed for the better. Although the bird had not been reported, I was hopeful it could be active given the improved conditions. I parked up at Waterhey and walked in the direction of Pit 59 and 72, favoured areas for the bird. I soon bumped into local birder and photographer Dave Soons (whom I had first met the day before) and we walked together along the edge of Pit 59.  We were talking about the more favourable conditions when Dave clocked a couple of Falcons high up in the sky. We both got onto the nearest bird (still 100’s of metres up) and as luck would have it we could see the underbelly of the female Red-footed Falcon, the other being a Hobby. Dave got a couple of record shots which clinched the id. I did the same but as I had not over-exposed mine were on the dark side, but the bird was just about id-able. We watched for about ten minutes and through the bins I could clearly see the Red-foot catching and eating in the same manner as we are used to seeing with Hobbies. We saw the bird once more again high up before arriving at Pit 72 where we met up with Moth, another birder I had met on the Wednesday. The bird had not shown for around half an hour so they both headed back to 59. I stayed out and was fortunately rewarded with the Red-footed Falcon again putting in another appearance. Again it was quite high but lower than before, allowing a few “record” shots before disappearing in the direction of 59.

Red-footed Falcon 4, Cotswold Water Park, 26 May 2016

Red-footed Falcon, Cotswold Water Park, 26 May 2016

Red-footed Falcon 1a, Cotswold Water Park, 26 May 2016

Red-footed Falcon, Cotswold Water Park, 26 May 2016

Red-footed Falcon 2a Cotswold Water Park, 26 May 2016

Red-footed Falcon, Cotswold Water Park, 26 May 2016

The last time I saw it was when I got sight of a fast moving falcon approaching the island low over the trees. I had no time to get the bins up, never mind the camera before the bird had alighted in a tall tree on the island in the middle of Pit 72. It then stayed there for the next hour allowing Dave and Moth to return to see it again.

Red-footed Falcon 3a, Cotswold Water Park, 26 May 2016

Red-footed Falcon, Cotswold Water Park, 26 May 2016

I left around half seven and the bird was still in the same location, so I guess It had fed as much as it wanted, and was happily roosting in the late evening sunshine.
One added bonus of the visit was walking adjacent to the River Thames, only a few miles from its source. It was about the same size as the Titchfield Canal.

River Thames, Cotswold Water Park, 25 May 2016

River Thames, Cotswold Water Park, 25 May 2016

Steve C

Light Feathered Rustic Macro Moth on Portsdown Hill

The delivery of a 40W Actinic Heath Moth Trap on my desk at work at MCSU, located on top of Portsdown Hill, in March was the first I knew that the bid to a MOD Environmental Fund had been approved.  Despite an extremely slow start the species list is now ticking along nicely and enhanced by Richard D, of the Fareham Mothing Group, identifying the non-moth species caught.  The highlight to date has been several records of the National Scarce B species Light Feathered Rustic.  It is a species that inhabits calcareous grassland and had been recorded on Portsdown Hill in the past according to the ‘Hants Moths’ website, although none were recorded in 2013 the last year for which the website contains records.  Last night I caught a total of five Light Feathered Rustics which doubled the total to date to ten.  The trap also contained nine Light Brocades.

Light Feathered Rustic, Portsdown Hill – 9 May 16

Light Feathered Rustic, Portsdown Hill – 11 May 16

Light Feathered Rustic, Portsdown Hill – 25 May 16

The most regular species found inside the trap so far in ones and twos has been Muslin Moth (male).

Muslin Moth (male), Fareham Garden – 5 May 16

Good mothing,

Tony T   BSc (Hons) GeoSci (Open)

iPhone digi-scoped Stilt Sandpiper at Pennington Marshes

The recent Stilt Sandpiper at Pennington Marshes was a ‘lifer’ for Steve but only a ‘Hants Tick’ for me because I connected with the Brownsea Island bird back in August 06, whilst Mrs T and the girls watched Red Squirrels elsewhere on the island.  However, this individual was somewhat closer and didn’t have to be observed through gaps in path side vegetation.  The rusty ear coverts were particularly striking and even the pale median crown-stripe was visible.  Due to the fact Steve had his larger prime 300mm lens with him I left my Nikon DSLR and 70-200mm Sigma lens in my camera bag and opted to experiment with my iPhone through the eye-piece of my scope instead.  I suspect my results were better than what I would have achieved with my DSLR.

Stilt Sandpiper, Pennington Marshes – 22 May 16

Stilt Sandpiper, Pennington Marshes – 22 May 16

Stilt Sandpiper, Pennington Marshes – 22 May 16

Hopefully, now that our days serving at sea are over we can look forward to many more ‘twitches’ together.  Unfortunately, it will be difficult for Slasher to participate now that he has moved to Wales.

Good birding,

Tony T   BSc (Hons) GeoSci (Open)

Water Voles along the Titchfield Canal

The afternoon of the 21st May, (Happy Birthday Dad) saw me spending a couple of hours down the canal prior to settling down to watch the FA Cup Final. Even though it was early afternoon and there was a number of people coming and going, I was fortunate enough to come across a feeding Water Vole on the first stretch of canal south of Bridge Street. The Vole was quite aware of my presence and performed well, munching away on the bankside vegetation as I clicked away.

Water Vole 1, Titchfield Canal, 21 May 2016

Water Vole, Titchfield Canal, 21 May 2016

Water Vole 2a, Titchfield Canal, 21 May 2016

Water Vole, Titchfield Canal, 21 May 2016

Water Vole 3, Titchfield Canal, 21 May 2016

Water Vole, Titchfield Canal, 21 May 2016

Water Voles were reintroduced to the Haven area back in 2013/14 when I believe approximately 900 animals were released in batches around the reserve. Since then I have had several sightings despite not visiting as often as normal due to working away. Last year I did see adults with young which was great. Today just the one Vole but always a fantastic sighting.

Water Vole 5, Titchfield Canal, 21 May 2016

Water Vole, Titchfield Canal, 21 May 2016

Water Vole 4, Titchfield Canal, 21 May 2016

Water Vole, Titchfield Canal, 21 May 2016

Steve C

More on the Great-spotted Cuckoo at Portland

I spent the Thursday night at the Obs in company with a bottle of Merlot and a pre-packaged salad from the Easton Tesco, could life get any better.  Yes, as the recently installed wood burner stove was on at max chat, and after a couple of hours seawatching in a stiff May breeze it was pleasant to sit in the glow of the fire with a glass of red in hand. Early the following morning, I roamed around the top fields in search of the Cuckoo but with no joy there, I did a long loop around to the west and ended up at the Bill watching the Auks and Shags coming and going. Up by the old lighthouse I got a phone signal and noted that the Cuckoo had been relocated at Reap Lane, one of its preferred haunts. I made my way there to find the bird in a small stand of scrubby trees. It gave good views through the scope and I was surprised how many people were still coming to twitch the bird on its 8th day of residence. The bird moved around within the stand of trees every ten minutes or so, (usually coinciding with the No1 bus roaring past).

Great-spotted Cuckoo 2a, Portland, 20 May 2016

Great-spotted Cuckoo, Portland, 20 May 2016

Great-spotted Cuckoo 4a, Portland, 20 May 2016

Great-spotted Cuckoo, Portland, 20 May 2016

Great-spotted Cuckoo 6a, Portland, 20 May 2016

Great-spotted Cuckoo, Portland, 20 May 2016

 After another half an hour or so the bird moved over to an adjacent Bramble patch that I could see was full of the silken tents of the Brown-tail Moth. Needless to say the bird started to gorge itself on the hairy caterpillars that had already emerged. As we walked around the houses to a better viewing position, it was clear that the Cuckoo would not be going hungry for a good while, as the footpath and walls surrounding the area were covered in them. I know that the caterpillars which are covered with 1000’s of barbed hairs can cause considerable irritation and in some years numbers can get to biblical plague proportions, so I guess the locals will be glad if the Cuckoo stays around for a while longer.

Great-spotted Cuckoo 7, Portland, 20 May 2016

Great-spotted Cuckoo, Portland, 20 May 2016. In a favoured feeding spot.

Great-spotted Cuckoo 8, Portland, 20 May 2016

Great-spotted Cuckoo, Portland, 20 May 2016. Brown-tail Moth caterpillar in mouth.

Steve C

Stilt Sandpiper at Pennington Marshes

Yesterday morning, I received a couple of texts from my fellow Amigos reference the Stilt Sandpiper that has been found at Pennington Marshes, many thanks to the finder. After a slight pause whilst Tony planted some Ormskirk Earlies, I picked him up and we headed west. We would have taken Slasher but he was much further west in Mid-Wales. We had an easy run down (by avoiding Lyndhurst and Brockenhurst) and we managed to find a parking place along Pennington Lane. Quick greetings were exchanged with Simon Ingram, and a few minutes later we were watching the bird through our scopes. The hour we were present it favoured a small pool of water surrounded by sedge in which to feed. Not moving more than a few metres from the position we first saw it. It fed in the vicinity of a Dunlin and a Redshank for the majority of the time we watched; it could be seen though, that it was wary of the Redshank. The distance to the Sandpiper did not make for great photography but the bird was certainly worth a few snaps. Over 300 in the end. I’ll spare you 295 of them. Tinders did get a great shot through his scope with his Iphone. I’m hoping he will add it to this entry or post his own in due course.

Stilt Sandpiper 1, Pennington Marshes, 22 May 2016

Stilt Sandpiper, Pennington Marshes, 22 May 2016 (Habitat Shot including the Bird)

Stilt Sandpiper 1c, Pennington Marshes, 22 May 2016

Stilt Sandpiper, Pennington Marshes, 22 May 2016

Stilt Sandpiper 2a, Pennington Marshes, 22 May 2016

Stilt Sandpiper, Pennington Marshes, 22 May 2016

Stilt Sandpiper 4, Pennington Marshes, 22 May 2016

Stilt Sandpiper, Pennington Marshes, 22 May 2016

Stilt Sandpiper 3, Pennington Marshes, 22 May 2016

Stilt Sandpiper, Pennington Marshes, 22 May 2016

Steve C

Great-spotted Cuckoo at Portland

Spent Thursday and Friday on the Isle of Portland. primarily hoping to connect with the Great-spotted Cuckoo that had arrived the previous Friday. Work and family commitments had prevented me trying for the bird any earlier. I arrived just after seven and found myself at Reap Lane with one other person; Ian from Liverpool who had travelled down the afternoon before to visit his son and watch the Europa Cup Final. Not good news there, so he was hoping not to double dip! We chatted for about an hour with no sign of the bird, so we exchanged numbers and I headed off to the top fields whilst he waited there. I walked down the lane along the top fields and saw John Lucas looking into a patch of scrub before beckoning me over. Needless to say my pace quickened. Glad to say he had just picked up the Cuckoo minutes before. The bird was sat in a small bush busy preening; maybe after a first session of feeding in among the damp bushes. After having a good look at the bird through my bins, I grabbed my phone to call Ian, only to find the common curse of Portland; no signal. I was going to nip back to grab him but I asked John if he minded giving him a quick bell for me as he did have signal on O2. A very happy Ian was round with another birder in short order and we all had good views of the bird as it continued to preen and get itself ready to move on. Which it did in due course feeding around the scrub for a further 15 minutes, receiving unwanted attention from a few crows in the meantime. It then flew off in the direction of Culverwell and ended up near the Obs garden where it has been seen a few times during its stay. It was seen for the last time that day in the fields opposite the Obs, feeding in Bramble scrub. Hopefully I would/will connect with the bird on Friday for more views.

Great-spotted Cuckoo 1c, Portland, 19 May 2016

Great-spotted Cuckoo, Portland, 19 May 2016

Great-spotted Cuckoo 1b, Portland, 19 May 2016

Tighter crop of above image

Great-spotted Cuckoo 2a, Portland, 19 May 2016

Great-spotted Cuckoo, Portland, 19 May 2016

Great-spotted Cuckoo 3b, Portland, 19 May 2016

Great-spotted Cuckoo, Portland, 19 May 2016

Great-spotted Cuckoo 4, Portland, 19 May 2016

Great-spotted Cuckoo, Portland, 19 May 2016

Steve C

 

Birding Wales – Skokholm ringing

The Tri-service ringing team had gone to Skokholm for a week of general birding and the real hope of seeing falls of migrating birds. Sadly this was not to be and on some days there were more ringers than birds. For me this was my first ever use of Heligoland traps and I found them to be excellent. These are basically large wire funnels interspersed with foliage. As they narrow the birds fly into a small box where they can then be extracted safely.  We started ok with the most numerous bird being Willow Warbler. Spring traps were quiet with just the odd Wheatear accepting the mealworms that were on offer.

wheatear skokholm april 16

Wheatear, Skokholm, April 2016

 

George 1

George checking the Heligoland Trap

We knew that a Water Rail was present in the small pond to the south of the island and despite the delicacies that we placed in the Potter traps we had no luck until Carl returned with a bird in hand that had wandered into the Heligoland trap nearby. More Willow Warblers followed with the odd Robin, Chiffchaff and Meadow Pipit. On the third day it picked up a little and we were pleased to see this fabulous male Restart.

Redstart, Skokholm, April 2016

The next day we trapped a Lesser Whitethroat but the birds were few and far between. On the final day we began early and were rewarded with a fine Grasshopper Warbler, I hadn’t ringed many of these so was given the honour. This bird was hugely overshadowed as later Nikki (volunteer warden) noticed a bird on the outside of the Heliogoland trap which ran near the kitchen, not immediately recognising it but knowing that it was something good, she called the warden Richard. By the time I returned from a round of the nets the bird was securely in hand and I got to see my first ever UK Eastern Sub-alpine Warbler.

Subalp Warbler, Skokholm, 240416

Eastern Sub-alpine Warbler, April 2016

We did ring Manx Shearwaters but more on that next time
Mark C

Red-footed Boobies feeding in the Atlantic

The wording below the first series of images is from a blog entry I wrote back in March 2011. The last sentence mentions about attempting to get half decent images of the birds hunting Flying Fish, in particular a successful hunt. Well the good news is I managed to snap those pictures in April of 2015, just over four years later. The pictures are self explanatory so I won’t label them all. Again as I mentioned; most hunts are unsuccessful, (top images) but every so often they hit the jackpot, (lower images).

Red-footed Booby and  Fish 1a, Central Atlantic Ocean, 8 Apr 2015

Red-footed Booby unsuccessfully hunting a Flying Fish, Central Atlantic Ocean, 8 Apr 2015. Four Images.

Red-footed Booby and  Fish 2a, Central Atlantic Ocean, 8 Apr 2015 Red-footed Booby and  Fish 3a, Central Atlantic Ocean, 8 Apr 2015 Red-footed Booby and  Fish 4, Central Atlantic Ocean, 8 Apr 2015

Red-footed Booby 7, Central Atlantic Ocean, 8 Apr 2015

Two birds getting in each others way

Red-footed Booby 8, Central Atlantic Ocean, 8 Apr 2015

Getting Closer

Flying Fish 3, Central Atlantic Ocean, 8 Apr 2015

Flying Fish, Central Atlantic Ocean, 8 Apr 2015

Flying Fish 4, Central Atlantic Ocean, 8 Apr 2015

Flying Fish, Central Atlantic Ocean, 8 Apr 2015

Another distinguishing feature of the Red-footed Booby is their preferred hunting method.  Now I cannot say that they hunt like this all the time but I have watched them before in the Pacific and now the Atlantic and I have witnessed this behaviour on both occasions.  The Red-footed Booby does not plunge dive like the Masked. (Now I am no boffin and I am quite sure they are capable of plunging and most probably do it but not as I have watched from ships).  Instead the birds gain a little height by flying near to the ship and then when the ship scares the flying fish out of the water they swoop down at great speed and fly up behind the unsuspecting gliding fish before plucking them clean out of the air.  Now most fish see the Red-foots coming and hastily re-enter the water at great speed.  Often they then get picked off by the Masked Boobies which are also in attendance.  The Red-footed Boobies certainly miss more fish than they catch but I guess they save the extra energy by not having to break free from the water after each dive as in the case of Masked Boobies.  I will try and put together a few shots I have of both species hunting in a later posting.  However, the birds are always more distant so the quality will be down on the rest of the Booby images but it will give you an idea what I am talking about.

Red-footed Booby 5, Central Atlantic Ocean, 8 Apr 2015

Red-footed Booby successfully hunting a Flying Fish, Central Atlantic Ocean, 8 Apr 2015. Six Images.

Red-footed Booby 55, Central Atlantic Ocean, 8 Apr 2015 Red-footed Booby 555, Central Atlantic Ocean, 8 Apr 2015 Red-footed Booby 5555, Central Atlantic Ocean, 8 Apr 2015 Red-footed Booby 55555, Central Atlantic Ocean, 8 Apr 2015 Red-footed Booby 555555, Central Atlantic Ocean, 8 Apr 2015

Out of interest when I looked at the properties of the six images above they cover just over a second of time.

Steve C

Birding Wales – Skokholm

Skokholm Island can be found 2.5 miles off the coast of Pembrokeshire on the south west tip of Wales. The island is a SSSI and home to breeding Gulls, auks and Shearwaters. A few weeks ago I went there as part of a ringing expedition with the tri-service ringing team. The ringing will be covered in my next post but firstly a little about the island. The two wardens are Richard and Giselle and on landing they immediately make you welcome. Accommodation is first class apart from the fact that there are no showers. As no electricity runs to the island, all the heating is from a large Solar panel so hot water is at a premium.
We stayed in the cottage which has four very tidy single rooms. In the middle is a common room where everyone meets in the evening to carry out the day’s call over. The kitchen and dining area are in another building and the wardens live at the lighthouse, which can be found at the other end of the island.
As the ringing could be rather quiet at times, Roger Dickey and I would spend part of the day exploring different parts of the island and visiting the three ponds scattered about.
North pond was the nearest and this often had waders around its edges. A Bar-tailed Godwit stayed for most of our trip as did a group of Dunlins, a pair of Ringed Plovers and the odd Common Sandpiper or migrating Whimbrel.

Dunlin, North Pond, Skokholm, April 2016

Dunlin, North Pond, Skokholm, April 2016

Around the edge of the island Puffins, Guillemots and Razorbills breed amongst the gulls and Fulmars. The two volunteer wardens, Sam and Nikki had the unenviable task of counting them on a daily basis. Not easy as they could be seen on land, air and sea and were constantly flying from one to the other.

Razor1

Razorbill, Skokholm, April 2016

 

Puffin2

Puffins, Skokholm, April 2016

Interestingly the only reptile that can be found on the island, is the Slow worm. Possibly a result of islandism the Slow worms that are found on Skokholm are the biggest in the British Isles.

Slow worms 1

Slow worms, Skokholm, April 16

Corrugated sheets had been placed for the animals to bask. We found 30 plus when we looked including this very red individual.
Mark C

Red-footed Booby in the Tropical Atlantic

The third species of Booby that we encountered on our passage north from Rio was the Red-footed Booby, Sula sula. As with Masked and Brown this species also has a pan-tropical range across the three major oceans. And as with the other two species I have also seen this species in the Indian and Pacific Oceans as well as here in the Atlantic. The Red-footed Booby has a variety of plumages ranging from White to a sandy brown and combinations of the two such as white-tailed brown plumage. They generally show pinky red skin on the face with a pale blue bill. Regardless of plumage the legs and feet are always red. Given its name I doubt that will come as a surprise.

Red-footed Booby 1, Central Atlantic Ocean, 7 Apr 2015

Red-footed Booby, Central Atlantic Ocean, 7 Apr 2015

Red-footed Booby 4b, Central Atlantic Ocean, 7 Apr 2015

Red-footed Booby, Central Atlantic Ocean, 7 Apr 2015. Close up showing facial skin and bill colour

Red-footed Booby 1a, Central Atlantic Ocean, 8 Apr 2015

Red-footed Booby, Central Atlantic Ocean, 8 Apr 2015. White-tailed Brown Morph Bird

Remembering back I was fortunate enough (right place at the right time) to have a first for the Canary Islands with this bird back in Sep 2012. (see link below) It was an immature bird perched on the same foremast as the recent birds in the shots further down the page.

First record of Red-footed Booby in the Canary Islands

Perching on the ship is not uncommon for this species and Protector’s foremast was always a favourite. I have also photographed the odd Peregrine, Swallow-tailed Gull and Pale-faced Sheathbill on the same mast. In fact it probably has a very good bird list of its own.

Red-footed-Booby-6a-Canary-Islands-23-Sep-2012

Red-footed-Booby, Canary-Islands, 23 Sep 2012

Red-footed-Booby-5-Canary-Islands-23-Sep-2012

Red-footed-Booby, Canary-Islands, 23 Sep 2012

Red-footed Booby 2, Central Atlantic Ocean, 9 Apr 2015

Red-footed Booby, Central Atlantic Ocean, 9 Apr 2015

Red-footed Booby 33, Central Atlantic Ocean, 9 Apr 2015

Red-footed Boobies, Central Atlantic Ocean, 9 Apr 2015

Peregrine Falcon, ad 3 , Central Eastern Pacific, 24 Apr 2014

Peregrine Falcon, Central Eastern Pacific, 24 Apr 2014

Peregrine Falcon, ad 1 , Central Eastern Pacific, 24 Apr 2014

Peregrine Falcon, Central Eastern Pacific, 24 Apr 2014

Steve C

Bloody-nosed Beetle at Portchester Common

On Bank Holiday Monday afternoon I visited Portchester Common in search of summer migrants.  I was rewarded with my first Lesser Whitethroat and Swift of the year.  However, the sighting of the day was two large beetles I encountered on a footpath.  Rather than get my DSLR out I took a few record shots with my Smart Phone.  I sent the images to Richard D who confirmed that they were Bloody-nosed Beetles – Britain’s largest species of leaf beetle.  The name is derived from the beetle’s ability to secrete a drop of foul tasting red blood from the mouth in defence when disturbed.  Ladybirds have a similar defence mechanism but the blood is secreted from the leg joints.  I had always thought it was pooh.  Every day is a school day.

Bloody-nosed Beetle, Portchester Common – 2 May 16

Bloody-nosed Beetle, Portchester Common – 2 May 16

Good wildlife watching,

Tony T   BSc (Hons) GeoSci (Open)

Lunar Marbled Brown macro moth new for Fareham garden

A single Lunar Marbled Brown was the sixth new species of macro moth for my Fareham garden since I upgraded to a Robinson’s Trap.  However, there have been a few common species (Shuttle-shaped Dart, Bright-line Brown-eyes, Muslin Moth and Knot Grass) I have recorded in April that have yet to turn up this year.

Lunar Marbled Brown, Fareham garden – 25 Apr 16

Good mothing,

Tony T   BSc (Hons) GeoSci (Open)