Low moth numbers but some quality.

Tuesday 27th September 2016.

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Yet another Palpita vitrealis.

A blowy start to the morning and what with overcast skies and the potential of rain, I wasn’t expecting too much in the moth box this morning. However, I was pleasantly surprised with my third Palpita vitrealis of the year. This dainty little moth from the Continent is always a pleasure to see and always looks something special.

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Feathered Ranunculus. One of two.

My first Feathered Ranunculus’s have finally arrived, with two present this morning along with other migrants: Silver Y and Rush Veneer. Other moths present included:

  • 1 Angle Shades
  • 2 Large Yellow Underwing
  • 1 Pale Mottled Willow
  • 3 Lunar Underwing
  • 3 Light-brown Apple Moth
  • 1 Beautiful Plume
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Two completely different Lunar Underwings.

Green Woody showing well today.

Sunday 25th September 2016.

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The Green Woodpecker feeding on the Ants.

I was back over Highland Road Cemetery with Scruff this morning, taking an early morning walk before we have a small party for Isabelle’s second Birthday. Moth numbers are still low but the heavy overnight rain produced an oddity this morning with a moth reminiscent to a Jersey Mocha, but was confirmed as a Blair’s Mocha. A couple of Common Marbled Carpets were present also plus a couple of Silver Y’s.

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Blair’s Mocha. My second of the year but looks so different from the one I had earlier this year.

The Green Woodpecker showed very well today, right out in the open feeding on a small ant hill just this side of the boundary wall from Highland Road. I watched him patiently for around 10 minutes feeding on the ants on the grass. A few birds were heard rather than being seen, which included a Grey Wagtail, Willowchiff and Meadow Pipit, however, a flock of 17 Goldfinches were well seen with some perching high up in one of the dead trees on the east side of the Cemy.

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Good numbers of both Blue Tit and Great Tit were seen today.

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A couple of the 17 Goldfinches seen this morning.

Sadly, not a great deal else to be seen in overcast and windy conditions, though the cloud was giving way to blue sky when we made our way back. I did find a Common Marbled Carpet moth perched up on the door of the empty building near the entrance gate, which was nice. Last night, a Small White Butterfly was perched by my back door of which I released this morning and watched it fly away high up into the sky. I also had a Toad in the garden, which promptly disappeared behind the plant pots.

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Watch out Ants!

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Common Marbled Carpet just inside the Cemetery Gates.

Old Winchester Hill with Andy Fisher.

Saturday 24th September 2016.

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Spotted Flycatcher. One of two here.

It was up early again this morning for a trip to Old Winchester Hill and picking up Andy Fisher on route. It has been a long time since the two of us went birding together, but we made the most of some Autumn weather. Andy managed to pick up two year ticks this morning but none for me today, but a good variety of birds, plants and butterflies to look throughout our trip here.

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The Iron Age Fort in the distance.

Moth numbers within my moth box were low again, with a Rusty-dot Pearl being the most noteworthy. I picked up Andy around 8am and by 8.30am we were checking out Spotted Flycatchers near the entrance to the Hill. This particular area, near the small info centre, is always a good place to find birds and today was no exception. At least two Spotted Flycatchers showed well in the bright sunshine and with a supporting cast of three Blackcaps (2 males and a female), 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Bullfinches (male and female) and a Marsh Tit; it was well worth the wait to watch these birds.

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A young male Pheasant going into full plumage.

There was a blustery easterly wind blowing across the Hill as we made our way along the usual rout to the Fort area. Not a great deal was seen along here though the views, as always, were spectacular. A few butterflies were on the wing, with Meadow Brown, Large White, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood and at least two Comma’s were seen. Crickets were calling deep within the undergrowth but I couldn’t manage to see any!

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Rhingia rostrata Hoverfly on a Scabious flower.

It wasn’t till we reached the footpath leading to the Fort that birds began to show. A pair of Yellowhammers took off from the hedgerows in front of us and flew off over the fields. Several Pheasants were seen, all juvenile birds ascertaining their adult plumage and looking a bit scraggy! No Red-legged Partridges were seen though. Walking around the Fort area, I picked up a couple of Kestrels flying low over the fields then I found a pair of distant Red Kites also soaring high over the fields.

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These Toadstools were growing in the woodland.

Goldfinches, Meadow Pipits and a pair of Pied Wagtails flew over but not a lot of visible migration this morning. After rounding the Fort area, we took the steps down the Hill to walk through the small copse below. Good numbers of Chiffchaff were flying around the bushes and trees on the outskirts, but nothing more interesting. The Copse held several species of fungi, notably Dead Mans Fingers and Staghorn Fungus. There was also three small Toadstools growing together on a fallen bough of a tree. But I have no idea what they could be.

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Staghorn Fungus.

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Dead Mans Fingers fungi.

The walk back up the hill produced more Chiffchaffs and along the chalky footpath, a couple of Common Darters were resting in the sunshine. Even a Comma butterfly was taking in the sunshine too. Three Ravens flew along the hill, but too distant to take a photo. The walk back up the hill was taking its toll on both of us but we managed to reach the summit by the gate without taking a break! Back by the Info centre, the Spotted Flycatchers were showing well again as was most of the birds seen earlier here. Not a bad mornings birding with plenty of seen once one was out of the wind.

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Common Darter.

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Comma Butterfly.

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Me and Andy at Old Winchester Hill this morning.

Small Blood-vein was a surprise.

Friday 23rd September 2016.

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Small Blood-vein.

It was a cold start to the day and also facing a clear sky, I wasn’t sure that there would be all that many moths present. In fact, there were 31 moths of 15 species of which my second Small Blood-vein of the year was a nice surprise. At least two Lunar Underwings were present and another two were found over The Oaks Crematorium this morning too, while I was working over there.

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Lunar Underwing in my moth box.

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One of two Lunar Underwings that was found over The Oaks Crematorium this morning.

I kept a sharp eye out for anything interesting over the last few days and whilst driving along the top of Portsdown Hill, up to 5 Common Buzzards and 2 Ravens were seen yesterday. Today, at least one Common Buzzard was seen along with a male Kestrel, Nuthatch, a few Chiffchaffs and a small flock of Long-tailed Tits by the Oaks Crematorium, Havant.

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Cross Spider at Portchester Crematorium.

I found an interesting looking spider over Portchester Crematorium which held a very large abdomen; however, it has been identified as Araneus diadermatus, or commonly known as a Cross Spider, which are very common this time of year. I have lots of them in the garden at the moment and it is difficult to avoid their webs at times!

New moths for the year and a quiet walk around the Cemy.

Wednesday 21st September 2016.

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Lunar Underwing.

Moths kicked off my day this morning and I was pleased not only with a nice total for this time of year but also two year ticks. A Gold Triangle was resting above the moth box on the white sheet and within the box, my first Lunar Underwing of the year was also present. A couple of smart Common Marbled Carpets were present and up to six L-album Wainscot were counted. In all, 45 moths of 19 species were present.

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Gold Triangle – another new one for the year.

This evening, I took Scruff for a walk around Highland Road Cemetery, seeing the weather was pleasant. It is now looking very Autumnal within the Cemy as the leaves on the trees are starting to go brown. With news of 55+ Yellow-browed Warblers at Flamborough Head, in East Yorkshire today and more dotted down the east coast, I was chancing it that there could be one hidden in the trees here. Fat chance!

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Leaves are turning brown.

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My first toadstool of the season.

The Green Woodpecker was heard but not seen and the Jay was an all too brief sighting as it flew into a distant tree. In fact, not a great deal of birds to be seen I suppose and finding anything to photograph was proving difficult. The only butterflies seen were a couple of Red Admirals, but a Hornet Hoverfly was seen on some flowering Buddleia.

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Hornet Hoverfly.

It is the season for fungi to appear and I found an Agaricus type toadstool growing all by itself. A large clump of Honey Fungus was also discovered by an old tree stump near the entrance to the Cemy also. Continuing with the American wader theme in the Hampshire area, Pennington Marshes came up trumps again with a White-rumped Sandpiper, which was still showing well today.

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Honey Fungus reappearing again.

Low moth numbers the last few days.

Sunday 18th September 2016.

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Large Yellow Underwing and Setaceous Hebrew Character in my moth box.

Since I got back from Turkey, I have had the moth box on and with temptations as Convolvulus Hawk-moth always a possibility or something even rarer. But, despite these possibilities, moth numbers have been woefully poor and have been reflected on most moth traps in the area, according to the Hampshire Facebook moth sites.

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Lesser Yellow Underwing.

With just an average of around 15 to 20 moths of just ten species, probably due to overnight temperatures dropping quite low, a few migrants have been dropping in, notably Silver Y’s, Diamond-back Moth and Rush Veneer. While checking these moths early before work, overhead, flocks of Meadow Pipits and Hirundines are streaming through and can be seen throughout the day.

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Diamond-back Moth.

Geoff Farwell text me last night that he once again took part in the Wader Count at Farlington Marshes yesterday. His sightings included an Osprey, Peregrine, a Light-bellied Brent Goose, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 8 Greenshank, 2 Wheatears and a Black Swan!

Cemy walk cut short by poor Scruff.

Saturday 17th September 2016.

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The Cemy is looking very Autumnal now.

So its back to the old haunt of Highland Road Cemetery this morning although it was cut short by poor old Scruff suffering some sort of leg wound. The weather was a lot cooler that of late and I was more than hoping for a migrant or two within the Cemy, but all was fairly quiet I’m afraid. Autumn is now well upon us and a carpet of leaves lies under the trees throughout the Cemy.

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Carrion Crow high up in the trees.

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Always Wood Pigeons here.

Always on the look out for something interesting, there were a few notable sightings which included a female Sparrowhawk soaring low over the Cemy, which drifted in to the alarm of the local birdlife, from the south east corner and then landed in one of the Chestnuts near the Mausoleum. Robins were ‘ticking’ unseen within the trees and a pair of Goldfinches fluttered overhead carrying their twittering song. Both Wood Pigeon and Carrion Crow were abundant and pairs of Collared Doves were perched on gravestones. A Jay briefly showed, flying across the Cemy but too quick for a photo as it disappeared into the canopy of a Chestnut tree.

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Ox-eye Daisy still blooming although in much smaller numbers.

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Collared Doves.

Fewer plants were on show than normal but the odd Ox-eye Daisy and clumps of Nipplewort were still showing. Yarrow grew in patches and a few Buddleia plants were still in bloom, but only a few sprigs sported their purple flower; throwing off the last of their heady scent to attract the local bees and hoverflies. One of which was photographed was the tiny Syritta pipiens. It is also the time of Spiders to be showing well among the brambles and even my garden is sporting quite a few at the moment. I believe they are called Cross Spiders due to the cross shape marking on their abdomen. Nonetheless, my wife does not like them as I clear their webs that drift across the garden!

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The Hoverfly Syritta pipiens.  

It has been an outstanding week for American waders in Hampshire with both Semi-palmated Sandpiper and Buff-breasted Sandpipers being seen at Titchfield Haven. A possible Baird’s Sandpiper was seen at Pennington Marshes and over on the Isle of Wight, a Pectoral Sandpiper was present.

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Female Sparrowhawk buzzing overhead.

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Cross Spiders are everywhere now.

Thankfully, Scruff fully recovered from his injury and it looked as though he might have strained it as he was running around like a pup later in the day! Phew!

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The fruits of Horse Chestnut ‘ Conkers’ always reminds me of my childhood.

Our Turkish Delight!

Sunday 4th September to Wednesday 14th September.

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My good self on the beach at Barut Hotel early evening.

It was a last minute thing, but as I had some holiday leave saved up, Becky and I booked ten day stay at the Barut Hotel at Lara Beach in Southern Turkey! We got an incredible deal with Thomas Cook for this beautiful five star all-inclusive hotel and had a superb time. The weather was stunning and rarely went below 34 degrees centigrade and, of course, I done some serious birding around the holiday complex. Not only was the birding (and moths etc.) good, but we could seriously relax and totally unwind. Music and food were on tap 24hrs within this impeccably clean place and the staff were just fantastic. Let the holiday begin!

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Sunset falls over the mountains.

I could write chapter and verse about on a daily basis what I saw here and having never been to Turkey before, I could easily do so; however, I thought I would go down the road about writing a short paragraph about what species I saw. Armed with my trusty Bridge Camera and Android phone, I got some reasonable photos of the subjects I was after.

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Sand Daffodils growing quite literally out of the sand!

The Hotel is situated some 10km from Antalya, a small city where we flew into. The Hotel Barut was roughly 20 minutes away from the airport and situated near the beach overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. To the west of the Hotel, there lies an area of scrub and bushes that held a lot of what I saw and I found good vantage points in which to look over the barbed wire fence (security is tight here) into the area. However, many birds and animals were found within the hotel grounds as I walked around the neatly lawned areas and buildings on my early walks. Even up to the last day, I discovered something new for my ever increasing list of birds seen on my trip, which was now up to at least 37 species. OK, not that many, but seeing that the majority of birds I saw were all from the Hotel grounds, I didn’t think it was that bad. So, instead of writing chapter and verse, I shall go down the route of species by species.

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European Bee-eater over the Hotel.

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And another.

European Bee-eaters: Always a pleasure to see, these were seen almost on a daily basis hawking overhead and at times, at least 30 birds were seen passing high over the Hotel complex although, thankfully, they occasionally came down low and I only just managed to grab a few half decent images through the camera. If only they would perch, but it wasn’t to be. Nevertheless, their calls immediately grabbed my attention as I rushed to grab my camera.

Common Crossbill: A most unexpected sight, to be honest. The first time I saw them was a flock of around 20+ birds flying over the Hotel while Becky and I were enjoying a Coffee from the upstairs Bar, us sitting outside on the veranda overlooking the grounds. A single bird, a male, was seen several days later perched high up in an ornamental Pine on the edge of the Hotel grounds, calling consistently.

Yellow-vented Bulbul: The first time I ever seen a Bulbul species was when I went to Tunisia a few years back and at first, I thought it was the same species. It wasn’t till I saw the yellow vent under the tail, that I checked the internet to ascertain what species it was. I found a chaps report on the internet about his visit to a Hotel a little further on from us up the road, and he listed all the birds seen on his trip (which whetted my appetite), although his visit was in the Spring. Yet he mentioned Yellow-vented Bulbuls and they were abundant here. They are a cracking bird and very vocal and most of the time, they showed very well. They were in luck for the many moths the night light attracted, helped the birds diet during the day as I watched them flush then catch the moths during the daytime hours!

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Yellow-vented Bulbul.

Collared Dove: These were easily the most dominant type of Pigeon and were almost everywhere and sometimes in large flocks of ten or more.

Turtle Dove: Though damn rare in the UK, these were also seen on almost a daily basis and a small flock of around eight birds flew over out heads while having a coffee one morning! We took a trip into Analya town one day and I walked past a Turtle Dove no less than around five feet away! I still don’t know why I didn’t take a photo! Maybe it was the heat!

Greater Flamingo: Incredibly, after unpacking on our first day here, Becky and I took a walk down to the beach and as it was getting near dusk, I saw something interesting flying over the sea and it turned out to be a Flamingo species! Flying east bound, I was lucky enough to get some photos of the bird and looking it up on the internet, it seems that Greater Flamingo would be the most likely species here.

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Greater Flamingo flying east over the sea.

Little Owl: Now, the last thing I expected to see from our downstairs apartment, while supping a cold beer was a Little Owl perched on a nearby roof! The Bulbuls were making a din while mobbing something just about larger than themselves and using Becky’s binoculars (the smallest pair I had at home to take along for the holiday), I couldn’t believe it was actually a Little Owl. I managed to get some decent photos of it but that was the only time I got to see the bird.

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A most unexpected sight of this Little Owl.

Yellow Wagtail: Through previous experience on foreign holidays, the Yellow Wagtail conundrum is always testing, with so many races to consider. So, I am going to hedge my bets that this common bird here were probably of the races Ashy-headed, Sykes and possibly the normal race of Yellow Wagtail we see in the UK? If you think any different, please email me.

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Syke’s Wagtail?

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Or Ashy-headed Wagtail?

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And again?

White Wagtail: Like the Yellow Wagtail, these were very common here and seen on the lawns or overhead on a daily basis; especially juvenile birds.

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First winter White Wagtail.

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Adult White Wagtail.

Citrine Wagtail: Possibly, a couple of juvenile birds were seen but I am open to suggestion on some of the photos taken.

Hooded Crow: These were also seen on a daily basis here and they looked quite smart too in the two-tone plumages. First seen near the Hotel entrance with two birds feeding on the ground near the main road, more were seen later flying over and sometimes seen perched on the small trees within the Hotel grounds, although the Bulbuls didn’t take too kindly to them!

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Hooded Crow.

House Sparrows: These, along with the Collared Doves, were probably the most numerous species, with large flocks of them feeding on the lawns early morning or seen around the Tennis courts in the northern area of the complex. Notably paler than our House Sparrow in the UK, the males black bib was severely reduced on this species; reminiscent of Italian Sparrow. But, they were quite confiding at times.

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House Sparrow.

Spanish Sparrow: Though known to be common here, I only came across a few male birds during our stay and they were among the local Sparrows. Though I thought, they were not as striking as birds seen in say Tenerife.

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Moth species outside our hotel apartment.

Starling: A small flock of these were seen occasionally down at the southern section of the Hotel grounds, mostly near the beach; either flying overhead or perched up on the spotlight towers.

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Another moth species.

Swallow: As migration is in full swing here as well as the UK, Swallows were constantly seen all day every day! A small flock would fly low over where we stayed, feeding on the insects flying by the small trees and even taking a drink from our small pool! Always impressive watching a large flock drift low over the beach or over the scrub nearby.

Red-rumped Swallow: Like the Bee-eaters, they are always a pleasure to see and seeing that I have not seen one in the UK for several years, they really take the biscuit when they pass by. Only on two occasions I actually saw them; first was when a pair flew west low overhead near the beach and also on our last day when a single bird flew over our pool.

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These were extremely common throughout the area.

House Martin: Not as abundant as the Swallow, but still reasonable numbers seen among a mixed flock of Hirundines/

Sand Martin: Just a couple of birds seen among Swallows and House Martins early one morning.

Swift: I can only assume that these birds were Common Swifts as I didn’t have my binoculars with me the first time I saw them. I cannot rule out Pallid Swift but I think the former would be more likely? A single bird was seen much later and well this time through the binoculars heading low east over the beach.

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Juvenile Red-backed Shrike close to our apartment.

Red-backed Shrike: One of the star birds here and there were plenty to be seen also. At least five or six birds were counted on one occasion whilst walking around the complex and one individual took up territory just yards from our apartment! Busy searching for any passing insect that would come there way, the birds showed well in the bright sunshine; though all were virtually immature birds.

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The Red-backed Shrike again showing well.

Great Tit: The only titmouse species seen here though often feeding in the bushes and trees on the perimeter of the Hotel complex.

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Another shot of the RB Shrike.

Hoopoe: Sadly, the few that were seen were all in flight mode and none were seen on the ground of this gorgeous species. I think that in all, they were seen on only three occasions and that was a very quick view too.

Common Sandpiper: The only wader seen on our trip. A single bird was flying low over the shoreline by the beach early one morning, but didn’t hang around as it flew off westbound, calling in doing so.

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I didn’t often see the RB Shrike on the ground, but this one of the few shots I got of it.

Greenfinch: Several were seen in the small Pines on the edge of the complex, but proved quite elusive.

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A big rarity in the UK, good numbers of Eastern Olivaceous Warbler reside in Turkey.

Eastern Olivaceous Warbler: Now this little sprite proved difficult to photograph as it scurried about in the treetops on the perimeter footpath! A million and a half pairs breed in Turkey, apparently; and fortunately for me, there were at least two in the Hotel grounds. Told by their plain appearance and constantly cocking tail, I did eventually get some half decent shots of this lovely warbler.

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The Eastern Olivaceous Warbler.

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And again.

Yellow-legged Gull: Surprisingly, all the Gulls seen were just distant birds out over the sea or settled in loose flock on the calm water; but again, always distant.

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Good numbers of Spotted Flycatchers were seen.

Spotted Flycatcher: Good numbers of these birds were seen along the perimeter fence or out in the scrubby area. One morning, I counted at least seven individuals on the west side of the Hotel.

Blackcap: A female bird was seen feeding on fruit along with the local House Sparrows in the north-east corner of the Hotel grounds, where fresh fruit and vegetables were grown.

Crested Lark: These were common mostly in the scrubby area just east of the Hotel grounds. Being very vocal, they were occasionally seen flying high up, singing in doing so. Always a pleasure to see when birding abroad.

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This Tortoise by the boundary fence was most unexpected.

Chiffchaff: Seen only on a handful of occasions, for they quickly disappeared once I had noticed any. One was heard to sing a couple of times.

Short-eared Owl: This was just a possible. While walking back at night from one of the many a-la-carte restaurants here, I clocked a large pale Owl flying overhead in the hotel ground lights and I could only assume it was a Short-eared Owl; for it was too small for an Eagle Owl.

Sparrowhawk: It wasn’t till the end of the trip that the first Raptors began to show. The first such species was a male Sparrowhawk flying low over the scrubby area to the east of the Hotel, but it quickly landed in a tree and that was the last I saw of it.

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Probable Brown Shrike.

Brown Shrike: I confess that I am no expert at this species though I have seen on in the UK, many years ago. But, this bird I saw near the beach early one morning certainly looked much different from all the Red-backed Shrikes I had seen. Much neater and cleaner looking. The bird got fairly close but I could of done with a bigger lens on the camera.

Kestrel: I had two separate sighting of this species with a male bird firstly seen soaring over the main road to the north and another bird when we took a day trip in to Antalya city.

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All these Snails on a single stick!

Grey Heron: A flock of six birds flew high overhead at dusk one evening, heading west. The occasionally stopped and circled a couple of times and then seemed to get their bearings and then head off east again into the sunset.

Common Buzzard: Again, not seen till the last few days of our trip, I had one bird soaring high over the scrubby area and a pair the following day soaring high overhead, seen from the comfort of our veranda.

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Female type Pied Flycatcher.

Pied Flycatcher: On my last morning here, I found a female/1st winter type bird flitting about where I had seen the Blackcap earlier. The bird proved frustratingly difficult to pin down but I did manage a record shot of it.

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Crimson Speckled moth.

Other notable sightings: I did, of course, take not of the moths seen and as the outside lights within the Hotel attracted many moths, I took a photo of as many as I could find. The most notable of which was only my second sighting ever of a Crimson Speckled which was perched up under a light near our front door to our apartment. A Silver Y was seen near the main Hotel Restaurant but I got some funny looks from passers by when I tried to take a photo! The rest will have to be researched later.

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One of the two Hedgehogs seen.

A pair of Hedgehogs were seen one evening, to the delight of my wife as we walked up to one of them that posed nicely near the Sandals Restaurant. I only had my phone with me, so apologies or the poor photo. I also never expected to see a Tortoise here as I found an individual within the edge of the scrubby area while birding here one morning! But it turned out that they are very common here.

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Southern Skimmer dragonfly.

There was a variety of Dragonflies on the wing, most notably the gorgeous blue Southern Skimmer and the very common Broad Scarlet, which one could get within inches of it!

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Broad Scarlet.

So, in conclusion, a thoroughly enjoying and relaxing holiday and we are both very keen to come again next year if this trip is anything to go by!

Another interesting haul of moths.

Thursday 1st September 2016.

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Common Wainscot. My first of the year.

September is here already and Autumn is now in full swing. Good numbers of interesting waders and passerines are now frequenting our coastline, but I must be content with my moths at present. Again, another nice selection this morning with another reappearance of the Copper Underwing and Chinese Character. A real surprise was a Ruby Tiger on top of the moth box last night, of which I potted and saved for the following morning. A Herald and Cabbage Moth were notable and my second Garden Rose Tortrix was present this morning also. My first Common Wainscot of the year was accidentally found sat inside the bag holding my pots! An L-album Wainscot was present inside the box. Migrants today included one Silver Y, 1 Diamond-back Moth and 8 Rusty-dot Pearl.

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Copper Underwing.

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Herald. My third of the year.

On my travels at work today, Anns Hill Cemetery in Gosport, held at least two Willowchiffs and a pair of Jays; though the potential for something rarer was good as it was very still and sunny this morning. I was rewarded today with my first (yes, first!) Spotted Flycatcher of the year, which was seen on top of a tall tree at Portchester Crematorium. Totally unexpected, I was more than happy to catch up with this lovely passerine.

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A male Araneus diadematus spider in my garden this week.

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Ruby Tiger.

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Painted Lady. This was photographed when walking down Southsea seafront on Sunday.

At Farlington Marshes today, a Wryneck showed well near the Info Centre, while waders present of late there included Ruff. Little Stint, Wood Sandpiper and Curlew Sandpiper. I assume the best time of seeing these waders are at high tide, for there was bugger all about when I was there at low tide last weekend! However, Wrynecks are masters of disappearing and can be a nightmare in finding sometimes. This individual today, was showing very well feeding on the ant hills. Another Wryneck was seen at the Severals, Pagham Harbour for its second day. Perhaps I might find one over the Cemy?

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Barn Owl which was photographed by Dave Levy.

Peregrine over the Cemy this evening.

Tuesday 30th August 2016.

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Lesser Yellow Underwing. Small numbers are starting to arrive now.

A quick catch up on the moths for the blog tonight after a very busy Bank Holiday weekend. 75 moths of 29 species were present yesterday and though there were no new moths for the year, but the Vestal was still present and a single Diamond-back Moth was also in the box. This morning, 91 moths of 36 species were counted, which included my first Garden Rose Tortrix of the year. Migrants included the Vestal again, plus one White-point, 4 Silver Y and 8 Rusty-dot Pearl. My second Chinese Character of the year sat on the white sheet behind my box.

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Garden Rose Tortrix, my first of the year. They annually turn up in my garden in small numbers.

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A stunning Buff Ermine.

While checking the box, a clear blue sky didn’t help in trying to locate passing migrant birds overhead. Two Yellow Wagtails and a Tree Pipit were heard calling overhead, but the sky was too bright to locate the birds. I have not seen a Tree Pipit this year, which made it even more frustrating. A pair of Swallows were more easier to see as they headed off eastbound and a female Sparrowhawk belted past overhead heading towards the nearby Cemetery, hotly pursued by an angry mob of Starlings.

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My first Small Copper of the year.

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They certainly packed them in here within the Cemy!

Tonight, while Becky was making dinner, I took Scruff for a walk around Highland Road Cemetery. It was still sunny and warm during our stroll and lucky for me, several birds put on a nice show. The local Green Woodpecker showed very well, perching on a gravestone several times near the Mausoleum. A pair of young Blackbirds were feasting on the Blackberries and the odd Goldfinch could be seen over on the east side.

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The rather unattractive named Dead-head Hoverfly. There were good numbers of these seen throughout the Cemy, making the most of the early evening sunshine.

A few butterflies were present, including one Large White, at least three Red Admirals and most unexpectedly, my first Small Copper of the year, resting nicely in the sunshine on the short grass. Yesterday, I found a Painted Lady butterfly near the seafront at Southsea. Good numbers of Dead-head Hoverflies were seen on my walk, with many posing nicely in the sunshine on the boughs of trees.

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Harlequin Ladybird larvae seen on some of the trees and bushes.

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The Green Woodpecker was having what looked like a ‘dust bath’ on this gravestone!

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One of three Red Admirals seen this evening basking in the sunshine.

On the way back out of the Cemy, a large falcon grabbed my attention and quickly, I identified it as a male Peregrine, complete with prey in its talons, heading westbound over the city.

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The male Peregrine flying low over the Cemy.