Spotted Eagle Owl at Kirstenbosch

As you would expect there are many more birds to see around the gardens other than the sunbirds.  A pair of Spotted Eagle Owls regularly nest in the same location year after year. The nest is under a shrub just behind a large rock. When I was here in October 2012 they had a well grown chick in the nest which could be easily seen. This time around being six weeks earlier the birds were still sitting. Not that anyone gets too close. The adults are very tolerant but if people overstep the boundary the male has been known to pop down from his usual perch above the nest and give you a face to face encounter!

Cape Spotted Eagle Owl 4, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Spotted Eagle Owl, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Spotted-Eagle-Owl-3-Kirstenbosch-23-Oct-2012

Spotted Eagle Owl, Kirstenbosch, One of the adults from October 2012

Spotted-Eagle-Owl-5-Kirstenbosch-23-Oct-2012-Copy

Spotted Eagle Owl, Kirstenbosch, The chick from October 2012

Sombre Bulbul and Cape Bulbul were both seen during the visit, the former usually found more in cover but given away by its distinct call.

Sombre Green Bulbul 1, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Sombre Green Bulbul, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

 

Cape Bulbul 1, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Cape Bulbul, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

 

Helmeted Guineafowl are common (even in the café if you have chips to share) all around the gardens. As are Cape Francolins, but these tend to stick to the upper slopes nearer to the rougher edges where the more manicured gardens meet the native scrub.

Helmeted Guineafowl 1, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Helmeted Guineafowl, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Cape Francolin 2, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Cape Francolin, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Cape Francolin 4, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Cape Francolin, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Karoo Prinia, Hadeda Ibis and to a lesser extent Cape Batis are reasonably common around Kirstenbosch and should be seen on a visit.

Karoo Prinia 2a, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Karoo Prinia, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Hadeda Ibis 2, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Hadeda Ibis, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Cape Batis 2, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Cape Batis, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Poss Steppe Buzzard 1, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Possible Steppe Buzzard, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Kirstenbosch 3

Kirstenbosch

 

Steve C

Sunbirds at Kirstenbosch

My entries have been a little thin on the ground lately, with working away from home and such and with summer being a relatively quiet time bird-wise. The good news is I have now have Wi-Fi in my cabin so I will use these midweek periods to catch up on what is rather a long backlog of entries from the last year or so; starting with the ship’s visit to Cape Town back in September 2014.

Cape Town 1

Cape Town, September 2014

A visit to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is always a pleasant experience and this particular visit was no exception. The gardens at the eastern foot of Table Mountain were founded in 1913 and the main focus is to showcase the flora of the Cape region; in particular the Protea family, although there are an abundance of other species to enjoy. This flora in turn brings in the birds and that is why I was there. Three species of Sunbird commonly inhabit the gardens; Malachite, Orange-breasted and Southern Double-collared and it is fair to say that you would be pretty unlucky not to connect with all three on a visit.  One area of the gardens I always visit is the Protea nursery area. It is away from the main part of the garden but as its name implies it is full of Proteas and the sunbirds which feed on them.

Malachite Sunbird 2, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Malachite Sunbird, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

 

 

Orange-breasted Sunbird 7, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Orange-breasted Sunbird, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

 

Southern Double-collared Sunbird 3, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Kirstenbosch, 7 Sept 2014

 

Kirstenbosch 2

Part of the Kirstenbosch Protea Nursery

Steve C

Black Arches moth new for Fareham garden

The latest addition to my back garden macro moth list is Black Arches.  I found a single specimen that was in very good condition on the side of my 40W Actinic Heath Trap before I headed for bed last night.  It is a species of mature oak woodland with a local distribution.  The image below shows a hint of the pink banding found along the flanks of the abdomen when viewed from underneath.

Black Arches, Fareham Garden – 25 Jul 15

 

Good mothing,

Tony T   BSc (Hons) GeoSci (Open)

Birding Seychelles – Copolia Trail

The next day saw us driving up the mountain until we reached the start of the Copolia Trail. There were Common Mynas on the houses and it was here that after hearing a commotion in the trees I saw my first Seychelles Bulbul.

Seychelles Bulbul, Seychelles – 2 Jun 15

We headed into the trees and began the hard ascent up through the rocks and paths to the highest point. The trees were very quiet with just the odd squeak which for a while I followed looking for a bird. I was later told by the guide that it was in fact the Seychelles Giant Millipede (Seychelleptus seychellarum) but I have no way of knowing if this was correct. The path up was hazardous mainly due to the large spiderwebs we kept running into and the huge spiders that were sitting in the middle of them. These are actually harmless and have the exotic name of the Red-legged Golden Orb-web Spider (Nephila inaurata).

Red-legged Golden Orb-web Spider – 2 Jun 15

We reached the top soaked with sweat and breathing heavily. One of our party spotted the endemic Seychelles Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes pervillei), a plant that I have briefed them all to look out for as I knew it occurred on this trail. Weirdly I do enjoy seeing carnivorous flora.

Seychelles Pitcher Plant, Seychelles – 2 Jun 15

Seychelles Pitcher Plant, Seychelles – 2 Jun 15

We headed for the top and we were rewarded with amazing views.

HMS Richmond Hiking Club, Seychelles – 2 Jun 15

An hour past and then we had to head back down, once again the rainforest was quiet with some more Bulbuls near the exit. Next stop was a rum distillery, more on that next time.

Mark C.

Skomer ‘Evening Seabird Spectacular’ boat trip – 100s of Puffins and Manx Shearwaters

Prior to setting off for Pembrokeshire Mrs T and I had booked the ‘Evening Seabird Spectacular’ boat trip on the ‘Dale Princess’ around the island of Skomer.  Encountering 1000s of Auks (Puffin, Common Guillemot and Razorbill) was pretty much guaranteed, but I also hoped to connect with a good number of Manx Shearwater as the birds congregated offshore in preparation for returning to their burrows under the relative safety of darkness from predation by Gulls.  As we travelled up from Fareham we received confirmation that the weather conditions were favourable and the trip, that needs to be pre-booked, was going to go ahead as planned.

’Dale Princess’, Martin’s Haven – 16 May 15. (Taken the following day when we returned to get landed on Skomer)

The ‘Dale Princess’ left the jetty at Martin’s Haven for Skomer on schedule at 1900 with a very knowledgeable Welsh Wildlife Trust representative onboard.  The northwesterly wind resulted in a lively passage across Jack Sound but after passing through the narrow strait between Skomer and nearby Midland Isle conditions became much calmer.  In the bays of South Haven and The Wick on the south side of the island the boat was surrounded by literally thousands of seabirds that were nesting on the adjacent cliffs.  There were literally hundreds of auks on the water all around the boat with hundreds more swirling around above our heads that I had to point out to a mesmerized Mrs T.  It was a truly spectacular sight and equal to the many spectacles of wildlife abundance I had experienced in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica on HMS PROTECTOR.  Unfortunately, a mist had developed making photography a complete waste of time.  Despite ridiculously high ISO settings the shutter speeds remained grossly inadequate.  It wasn’t long before I opted, like my last few months on PRTR, to lower my camera and just enjoy the spectacle that surrounded me.

Puffin, Skomer, Pembrokeshire – 15 May 15

Puffin, Skomer, Pembrokeshire – 15 May 15

Due to the direction of the wind the ‘Dale Princess’ returned back through the narrow straight between Skomer and Midland Isle to reach North Haven where a Peregrine Falcon visible on a cliff top called out.  The boat then headed out to sea in search of Manx Shearwaters.  Although unsuitable for photography the thickening mist provided the perfect conditions for Manx Shearwaters to return to their burrows by eliminating any moon and starlight.  Within half a mile of the island the ‘Dale Princess’ was surrounded by scores of circling Manx Shearwaters.  Even though I had seen hundreds of Manx Shearwaters before onboard the various warships I had served on, HMS ST ALBANS off Ailsa Craig was particularly memorable, I had never looked up at them before as I did from the open deck of the ‘Dale Princess’ that was barely above sea level.  I enjoyed every second of the experience.  Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and the boat had to return to Martin’s Haven a little prematurely due to the deteriorating visibility.  However, the trip was well worth the £32.00 we had paid.

For information the ‘Evening Seabird Spectacular’ boat trips operate on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday evenings only.

Good birding,

Tony T   BSc (Hons) Geosci (Open)

Greater Yellowlegs showing well at the Haven

Popped down to the Haven this afternoon, principally just to check on how well the Avocets are doing this year.  (Very well by the way). I spent the first half hour in the Meon Shore hide and during this period a lady picked up the Greater Yellowlegs just in front of the Pumfrett Hide feeding alongside Black-tailed Godwits.  I walked around to the hide with Keith Maycock, but the strong sunlight was behind the bird so I gave up trying to photograph it and carried on up to the Spurgin Hide. Save for an odd Greenshank it was rather quiet there, so after twenty minutes I ambled back towards the shore, noting that the Pumfrett Hide was now empty, therefore I assumed the Yellowlegs had moved on. It was only when I got back to the Meon Shore Hide that I discovered where the bird had moved on to! The small island in front of the hide!

Greater Yellowlegs 4a, Titchfield Haven, 18 July 2015

Greater Yellowlegs, Titchfield Haven, 18 July 2015

Greater Yellowlegs 3, Titchfield Haven, 18 July 2015

Greater Yellowlegs, Titchfield Haven, 18 July 2015

Greater Yellowlegs 2, Titchfield Haven, 18 July 2015

Greater Yellowlegs, Titchfield Haven, 18 July 2015

The bird was sat in company with several Redshanks, and was roosting as best it could although Moorhens and Gulls kept disturbing the peace. The Yellowlegs would then have a quick leg stretch and preen before settling back down.  This process being repeated several times as a happy crowd watched from the hide.  Cloud cover came in about an hour later so I decided to call it a day. I doubt if I will get better views of this cracking bird.

Greater Yellowlegs 5a, Titchfield Haven, 18 July 2015

Greater Yellowlegs, Titchfield Haven, 18 July 2015

Greater Yellowlegs 8, Titchfield Haven, 18 July 2015

Greater Yellowlegs, Titchfield Haven, 18 July 2015

Greater Yellowlegs 10, Titchfield Haven, 18 July 2015

Greater Yellowlegs, Titchfield Haven, 18 July 2015

Steve C

Acleris umbrana (micro moth) at Titchfield Haven

My ‘mothing’ exploits continue to make up for the current lull in Hampshire ‘birding’.  On Friday the Fareham Mothing Group headed for Titchfield Haven National Nature Reserve and it provided me with my first opportunity of the year to encounter several species of moth that inhabit wetlands.  The highlight was not just one but two specimens of Acleris umbrana (Nationally Scarce A) one of which landed on my sheet.  According to the Hants Moths website the species has been absent since the 1930s until an aberrant migration event in January 2013.  Two members of the group encountered another individual earlier in the week on Horsea Island.

Acleris umbrana, Titchfield Haven – 10 Jul 15

Recent garden highlights have included Buff Arches (New For Year) and a single Pine Hawk-moth (New For Garden).

Buff Arches, Fareham Garden – 8 Jul 15

Pine Hawk-moth, Fareham Garden – 9 Jul 15

Good mothing,

Tony T   BSc (Hons) GeoSci (Open)

Birding in the Seychelles – Mahe

As HMS RICHMOND sailed around the side of Mahe we looked across to the capital Victoria and I could see what I always dreamed the Seychelles would be like, a tropical paradise. On the water, Common Noddies were dashing from one island to another whilst a few White Terns were fishing in the swell. As we approached closer a few Little Egrets crossed the bay, a single Lesser Crested Tern flew by and we prepared ourselves for a day of loading food and stores in tropical temperatures. This is done Handraulically. Clear the ship of all personnel, form a chain from the lorry to the storeroom and pass hand to hand. As I am in charge of stores onboard it falls to me to organise the evolution. Which means running around a lot.
At the end of the day after losing a stone, I could see birds flying around on the jetty so decided to grab my camera. A small shop selling toiletries seemed to attract all of the local Barred Ground-doves and it turned out the chap was feeding them rice. I convinced one of my staff to pose for a picture.

Barred Ground-dove, Seychelles – 2 Jun 15

Barred Ground-dove, Seychelles – Jun 15

In the trees above the picnic tables, I could see male and female Madagascar Fodies chasing each other around the local flora.

Madagascar Fody, Seychelles – 2 Jun 15

A few Mynas were calling from the roofs of the local buildings and more Little Egrets passed over. By then I was ready for a cold beer, but not too many as the next day we were going hiking, more on that next time.

Mark C.

(Presumed) Small Marbled in Fareham Garden

I struggled to identify a small moth that I found inside my 40W Actinic Heath Trap on Saturday morning that I presumed at the time to be a micro.   Although I am now quite competent at identifying the Macro moth species that occur in my back garden I still have a long way to go with regard to Micros.  Consequently, when there are several species of micro within the trap I only tend to tube up those that look as though they should be readily identifiable.  That was the case with this particular ‘micro’ due to its apparent distinctive markings.  However, after flicking through the pages of ‘Field Guide to the Micro Moths of Great Britain and Ireland’ several times I failed to identify it.  I then half-heartedly resorted to the ‘Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland’ turning straight to the page for ‘Rosy Marbled’, a small Macro, and noticed ‘Small Marbled’ on the opposite page.  Although not a hundred percent certain of a match from the printed image, I became convinced I had nailed the identity after looking at Internet images of the species.  Small Marbled is an immigrant to southern coastal counties.  Not only was it ‘New For Garden’ but it was a new species for me.  Unfortunately, the specimen flew almost as soon as I tipped it out of the tube to photograph it.  I didn’t even have time to centre the subject in the viewfinder.  However, the blurred image below is better than nothing.

Small Marbled, Fareham Garden – 3 Jul 15

The highlight from Saturday night was only the second record of Buff-tip for the garden.  This subject proved to be far more photogenic.  It has evolved to look like a broken birch twig.

Buff-tip, Fareham Garden – 4 Jul 15

Good mothing,

Tony T   BSc (Hons) GeoSci (Open)

Red-footed Booby in the Indian Ocean

After leaving Tanzania we headed north with the ultimate destination of the Seychelles. Over the next week we weren’t inundated with birds but I did enjoy a few good sightings. On the 17th a Wedge-tailed Shearwater was banking and twisting in front of the ship but I was unable to get any usable images. A few days later a Great Frigatebird and a Red-footed Booby whizzed past and once again they were only identified by some grainy images, in the case of the Frigatebird by its underwing.

The next day we were on the upperdeck for “Row the Suez”. Eighty-one members of the ship’s company had to do 2000 metres each in the quickest possible time. Although I do train a lot, rowing is not my strong point, so I was pleased that my time came somewhere in the middle. We didn’t break any records but it was good fun never-the-less.

Rowing 230515 247

‘Slasher’ Mark Cutts-HMS RICHMOND-18 May 15

A few more days past which were all birdless (unfortunately I have to do some work so can’t be on the upperdeck all the time) when I received a call telling me that there were 6 birds overhead following the ship. These turned out to be Red-footed Boobies. I imagine they were enjoying the updraft from the ship as they soared lazily above us.

R F Booby 260515 014

Red-footed Booby, Indian Ocean – 26 May 15

Red-footed Booby, Indian Ocean – 26 May 15

Red-footed Booby, Indian Ocean- 26 May 15

My last sighting was another Booby with two Wedge-tailed Shearwaters veering away from the ship as we broke through the waves. That was it until one morning when I walked out onto the upperdeck and was greeted with the island of Mahe, part of the Seychelles, but more of this tropical paradise next time.

Mark C.

Bordered White moth New For Fareham Garden

Due to an early start on Saturday I opted out of the Fareham Mothing Group outing on Friday to Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve.  However, I still ran my moth trap overnight in the back garden.  I was rewarded with a female Bordered White which was ‘New For Garden’.  It is a species of native pine woodland (particularly Scots Pine) and plantations.  The nearest suitable habitat is around the Peel Common Sewage Treatment Plant a kilometer away.  It provided me with an ideal excuse to test my recently purchased 105mm Nikon Micro Lens.

Bordered White (female), Fareham Garden – 26 Jun 15

Also in the trap and ‘New For Year’ was a single Snout.

Good mothing,

Tony T   BSc (Hons) GeoSci (Open)

Chough on Marloes Peninsula, Skomer and St David’s Peninsula, Pembrokeshire

As I walked up to the Observation Hut during the recce of Martin’s Haven and the adjacent Deer Park I spotted what I suspected was a Chough with its fingers outstretched flying along the southern cliffs of the Marloes Peninsula.  However, the only corvids present when we eventually got round to that particular area were Carrion Crow and Jackdaw.  The following day though, after we had purchased our tickets for the 1000 boat to the island of Skomer, we headed back to the southern cliffs and almost immediately I heard a Chough call overhead.  I looked up to see not just one but two birds drop down and quickly disappear out of sight beyond the cliff edge.  I soon relocated the birds that were foraging for food on a steep grassy slope and I captured my first record images of the species as they slowly worked their way up the slope.

Chough, Marloes Peninsula, Pembrokeshire – 16 May 15

Chough, Marloes Peninsula, Pembrokeshire – 16 May 15

The first boat to Skomer at 1000 was absolutely wedged with fifty passengers.  I hoped for further sightings of Chough on the island, and although I had to wait until after Mich and I had circumnavigated the island in an anticlockwise direction (opposite to the majority of the other visitors), I wasn’t disappointed.  From an outcrop of rock located above and behind the island office building we sat down to enjoy the view across South Haven and The Neck under the clear blue sky.  A couple of Jackdaw moved purposefully between the Puffin burrows below although it wasn’t obvious what they were actually after.  I then noticed two corvids circling above The Neck and to my delight they were Chough.  The birds drifted closer and closer and eventually landed below us on the grass at the back of the office building.  Finding it hard to believe my luck I snapped away and ended up taking literally hundreds of images as the two individuals kept moving closer and closer.  Fantastic.

Chough, Skomer, Pembrokeshire – 16 May 15

Chough, Skomer, Pembrokeshire – 16 May 15

Chough, Skomer, Pembrokeshire – 16 May 15

The following day Mrs T and I checked out of the B&B and drove to St David’s – the UK’s smallest city.  After we had visited the Cathedral and walked around the ruins of the Bishop’s Palace we walked to the ruins of Non’s Chapel (birth place of St David) to walk another stretch of coastal footpath.  I connected with my first Rock Pipit of the year and several Feral (Rock) Dove before I picked up three Choughs in flight that passed in a westerly direction.  Unfortunately, they flew on to the end of the Peninsula where they were joined by another two birds in the distance.  On the return leg I opted to remain on the coastal footpath instead of crossing back through the field that contained the ruined chapel.  It turned out to be a good decision because we encountered two more Chough feeding amongst the wild flowers on the cliffs immediately below us.  The encounter provided me with even better views of the stunning glossy black, red-legged and red-billed species of corvid.  As well as the Chough I spotted Fulmer (three on cliff edge), Rock Dove, Stonechat (pair), Buzzard and cronking Raven during the final 150m stretch to the St Non’s Retreat Centre.  It was a superb finale to our short stay in Wales.

St David’s Bishop’s Palace, Pembrokeshire – 17 May 15

Chough, St David’s Peninsula, Pembrokeshire – 17 May 15

Chough, St David’s Peninsula, Pembrokeshire – 17 May 15

Chough, St David’s Peninsula, Pembrokeshire – 17 May 15

Chough, St David’s Peninsula, Pembrokeshire – 17 May 15

Good birding,

Tony T   BSc (Hons) GeoSci (Open)

Birding Tanzania – Mikumi National Park Day Two – Mammals

Animal wise, day two started in a similar vein to the end of day one. Impala and Zebra were in big groups with Marabou Storks goose stepping serenely between them.  There was a collective “Aaaaaah” when someone spotted a Zebra foal as it ran up to its mother and proceeded to drink milk from her teet.

Plains Zebra and foal, Mikumi NP – 14 May 15

As we drove along we spotted some baboons in the tree but they were all well camouflaged. Nearby we could see a Cape Buffalo. This is one of the “Big Five” so named for the difficulty and danger involved when hunting them in the days of the “Big game” hunters, the term, has now been adopted by the Eco-tourist fraternity. That said our guide indicated that of all the wildlife in the park, he respected and feared this animal the most. With this in mind we were happy to stay a fair distance from all the buffalo we saw.

Cape Buffalo, Mikumi NP – 14 May 15

A single wildebeest followed with more Cape Buffalo lounging in a muddy pool. We studied Oxpeckers as they fed on Zebras and more Wildebeest roamed slowly through the grass.

Wildebeest, Mikumi NP – 14 May 15

Our last stop was at the ‘Hippopotamus Pools’. These did not disappoint and gave brief but good views of Hippos surfacing to take in air.  This visit was far too brief and as we drove off Jodie spotted a Nile Crocodile next to the bank.

Hippopotamus, Mikumi NP – 14 May 15

NIle Crocodile, Mikumi NP – 14 May 15

That was it for Mikumi NP. After that we left the park and headed back for Dar es Salaam. We hadn’t gone far when we came across a “Troop” of baboons in the middle of the road. These were Yellow baboon, one of two species in Tanzania, the other being Olive. More cries of “Aaaah” as the young were spotted clinging lovingly to their mothers.

Yellow Baboon and infant, Mikumi NP – 14 May 15

Yellow Baboon and infant, Mikumi NP – 14 May 15

Yellow Baboon, Mikumi NP – 14 May 15

Two good days of birding but in particular the fantastic experience of seeing African mammals in the wild, definitely something that should be on everyone’s “bucket list”

Mark C.

Wall Butterfly ‘lifer’ in Pembrokeshire

My two year assignment to HMS PROTECTOR confirmed my preference for observing species in their natural environment.  Consequently, I flew home from Madeira intent on arranging the occasional short break to connect with the scarcer UK native/migrant species of bird.  Corncrake is the one species on the list that would be a ‘lifer’, but that particular ‘tick’ will probably have to wait until a trip to Islay next spring.  For my first leave period I planned a trip to Pembrokeshire, somewhere I had always wanted to visit and a known hotspot for my first target species – (Red-billed) Chough.  I had only encountered the species once before at South Stack, Anglesey during a family holiday back in Oct 05, where I witnessed several birds perform spectacular aerial acrobatics in the stiff offshore breeze.

Mrs T and I arrived on the Marloes Peninsular well before the 1500 B&B check-in time so we headed off to Martin’s Haven to conduct a recce, prior to our booked ‘Evening Safari’ boat trip around Skomer that evening.  Highlights of a very pleasant stroll around the Deer Park, located at the end of the peninsula, included Raven (2), a Hobby in off the sea, scores of Auks and Gulls in Jack Sound, drifts of Sea Thrift and Bluebells in flower and my first encounter with the Wall Butterfly.

Picture 1 M Peninsula-16 May 15_2 orig

Deer Park, Marloes Peninsula, Pembrokeshire – 16 May 15

Picture 2 Marloes Peninsula-16 May 15 orig

Weather Station, Marloes Peninsula, Pembrokeshire – 16 May 15

Over the three days we spent on the Marloes and St David’s Peninsulas we spotted several Wall and Small Copper Butterflies.  Ticking off all the UK species of butterfly is another ambition that I’ll hopefully achieve over the next few years.

Picture 3 St D Peninsula, Wales-17 May 15_2 trim

Wall Butterfly, St David’s Peninsula, Pembrokeshire – 17 May 15

Picture 4 St D Peninsula, Wales-17 May 15 trim

Wall Butterfly, St David’s Peninsula, Pembrokeshire – 17 May 15

Picture 5 Skomer, Wales-16 May 15_2 trim

Small Copper Butterfly, Skomer, Pembrokeshire – 16 May 15

Picture 6 Jacks Strait-16 May 15 orig

Jack’s Sound (Marloes Peninsular in foreground and Skomer in the background), Pembrokeshire – 16 May 15

Good wildlife watching,

Tony T   BSc (Hons) GeoSci (Open)

Small Elephant Hawk-moth new for Fareham garden

The last few days have seen a welcoming significant increase in the number of moths contained within my 40W Actinic Heath Trap.  There’s no way of telling what I will find inside each morning but today as I carried my trap to the greenhouse a Poplar Hawk-moth was visible hanging from one of the egg cartons inside.  After I removed the lamp and funnel I found a second Poplar Hawk-moth and singles off Buff Ermine and Lychnis that were both ‘New For Year’.  However, it was the much smaller but far more colourful Small Elephant Hawk-moth that stole the show being ‘New For Garden’.  However, I had already encountered the species from several outings with the Fareham Mothing Group.

aPicture 1-21 Jun 15

Small Elephant Hawk-moth, Fareham Garden-21 Jun 15

aPicture 2-21 Jun 15

Small Elephant Hawk-moth, Fareham Garden-21 Jun 15

aPicture 3-7 Jun 13_2

Small Elephant Hawk-moth, Roydon Woods-7 Jun 13

The highlight from Friday night was a Miller.  It was only my second garden record the first being in 2014 slightly later in the month.

12 Longfield Ave-19 Jun 15_3 trim

Miller, Fareham Garden-19 Jun 15

Good mothing,

Tony T   BSc (Hons) GeoSci (Open)