Two more moths added to year list.

Thursday 31st July 2014.

Canary-shouldered Thorn.

Moth numbers seem to be waning, with just 36 present this morning of 20 species. However, on a brighter note, my first Canary-shouldered Thorn and Cabbage Moth of the year were present. The most numerous moth was the micro moth, Cydia splendana, with at least 6 being present and up to four Common Rustic’s of various guises.

Cabbage Moth.

The Peregrine is back on St. Judes Church, Southsea, again this morning; happily upsetting the Gulls on the spire, feeding on a freshly caught Sandwich Tern!

Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing new for the year.

Wednesday 30th July 2014.

Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing.

A Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing was my first of the year this morning within the moth box. This pale brown large moth stood out from its darker commoner cousins nearby, Large Yellow Underwing. A Scalloped Oak was my second of the year and the Straw Dot was present again, albeit, by my back door! Another macro was posted on Facebook Hants Moths again, but I got a feeling it is going to be a Common Rustic as they really are variable in size and colour.

Scalloped Oak.

Smaller numbers of moths this morning constituted a total of 35 moths of 21 species. Away from moths, I am glad to read that the east side of Farlington Marshes has been opened up to the public after workman have finished that section in repairing the seawall after the winter’s storms. An Avocet and a few other waders were present on the Deeps area. The Isle of Wight’s Bee-eaters are still bringing in the admirers, which is carefully being organised in conjunction with the RSPB. If I am working over there soon, I shall pay a visit.

Small Dusty Wave

There was a report of a Ruddy Shelduck at Hooks Links, Warsash, yesterday and was seen flying towards Titchfield Haven. A Black-winged Pratincole has been reported at Cuckmere Haven, East Sussex. Let’s hope it finds its way a little further west in Hampshire.

Quiet this morning in the mothbox.

Tuesday 29th July 2014

Single-dotted Wave.

A quiet day on the moth scene this morning with no real surprises. A Tree-lichen Beauty was present again as was a Single-dotted Wave. What was noticeable was on how worn a lot of the moths were, including a much worn Dun-bar (just about make out the lines on its upper wings). There was one moth that looked interesting and possible a Wainscot species. But I shall have to put it on the Hants Moths for them to have a go and ID it.

Wainscot species?

This morning, 50 moths were present of 29 species.

A Jersey Tiger joins my year list.

Monday 28th July 2014.

Jersey Tiger.

This week kicked off with a bang, when I notched up my first Jersey Tiger within the moth box. I have only ever seen one other Jersey Tiger and that was around 5 years ago, in Devon! So, to find one in the box was superb. This was joined by up to 7 Garden Tigers in and around the box. Jersey Tigers turn up in small numbers on the south coast and there is a small population on the Isle of Wight (per Hants Moths).

Dark form of Shuttle-shaped Dart.

There were a total of 59 moths present of 25 species which included 2 Grey Daggers, 2 Single-dotted Waves, a single Straw Dot, Tree-lichen Beauty and a Silver Y. Amazing news revealed today that a pair of Bee-eaters are raising young on the Isle of Wight! The RSPB, in conjunction with the owners of Wydcombe Estate, near Ventnor, carefully managed the area till the young had hatched. The RSPB are allowing visitors, at a safe distant, to currently view the birds. Excellent news, following on from the breeding success of Medmerry’s Black-winged Stilts.

Silver Y.

Superb walk through Bolderwood this morning.

Sunday 27th July 2014.

Spotted Flycatcher.

John Goodall and I took a lovely stroll around Bolderwood in the New Forest this morning. It was fairly overcast first thing, but as the morning wore on, the sun did break through the clouds now and then. July is a very quiet time of year within the woodlands for birds, but this morning, we were in luck. John notched up a couple more year ticks and I picked up my first Golden-ringed Dragonfly of the year.

Juvenile Siskin.

John needed Spotted Flycatcher, Firecrest, Redstart and Wood Warbler for a year tick but at least we got to see the first two species. Sightings of Nuthatch and Treecreeper were had several times and whilst walking through the woodland, Crossbills were tantalising us with their calls deep within the wood. It wasn’t till we were making our way back that we caught sight of one high up in a dead pine; a fine singing male.

Silver-washed Fritillary

Siskins showed well including a couple of nice juveniles feeding on fresh Silver Birch cones. Overhead, at least two Common Buzzards soared, while calling to one another. A Raven was heard ‘cronking’ somewhere in the distance and the best sighting of all, was a Hawfinch flying through the tops of the trees. Spotted Flycatchers were in good numbers with at least 6 individuals seen, maybe more.

Speckled Wood.

There were plenty of Titmice in the canopies including both Coal and Marsh Tit and also good numbers of Goldcrest seen. Along the footpath, a lot of the commoner woodland birds showed well including Song Thrush, Robin and Chaffinch.

Distant record shot of the male Crossbill.

Butterflies were abundant, with Gatekeeper being by far the most numerous along the footpath edges. Green-veined White, Meadow Brown, Large Skipper and Speckled Wood were all abundant but best of all were my first Silver-washed Fritillaries of the year, with at least two seen. The only Dragonflies seen within the woodland were Golden-ringed; but I certainly wasn’t complaining. Only problem was, was that none would settle long enough for me to grab a photo!

Spotted Flycatcher.

On the way back to the car park, we spotted a couple of Fallow Deer in the distance from the view point and had a nice ice cream within the car park before we made our way home. A thoroughly enjoyable morning’s walk.

Pine Hawk-moth & Least Carpet in the mothbox.

Sunday 27th July 2014.

Pine Hawk-moth.

Another two more year ticks climbed aboard my moth total for the garden this morning, which included my first ever Pine Hawk-moth in the garden and my second ever Least Carpet. The Hawk-moth I carefully placed in one of the nearby hanging baskets and there it remained for most of the morning, while I done a spot of gardening. However, I noticed some local House Sparrows rummaging around near the area and they probably might have got the moth.

Least Carpet.

Among the 56 moths present of 29 species, another Tree-lichen Beauty, Mullein Wave, Straw Dot and Silver Y were present.

Tree-lichen Beauty.

I had an interesting email this morning from a disgruntled reader of my blog. This person (who obviously didn’t leave his name) was a bit perturbed of my feelings towards Wildfowlers. Sorry, my friend, but anyone who gets pleasure at shooting innocent creatures that are NOT pests or vermin; deserves to be shot themselves. There, rant over! Enjoy the moth photos, folks.

Superb walk around Woolmer Pond this afternoon.

Saturday 26th July 2014.

Male Common Darter.

Male Ruddy Darter.

I spent a cracking three hours at Woolmer Pond this afternoon with Scruff, catching up with many year ticks of Butterflies and Dragonflies. A lovely hot summer afternoon, with occasional cloud cover brought out these insects en force and there was even some birds to look at this afternoon too. I took over 200 photos this afternoon and some, I must admit, I was very pleased with. The red flags were down today and so I took a walk through the Forest and out onto the heath looking east, before walking back through the Forest and walking clockwise around the Pond itself.

Female Black Darter.

Male Black Darter.

Despite the heatwave we are experiencing, there was still plenty of water on the Pond itself, which attracted a family flock of Canada Geese and the occasional Mallard on the water. Unfortunately, there were no waders seen or heard here today. Woolmer Pond is certainly a good spot for waders as previous history has shown. Overhead, the odd Swallow would dart through and on the way back to the car, a small flock of Sand Martin flew over to feed.

Small Copper.

Male Brown Argus.

Butterflies were everywhere with Gatekeepers and Large Whites easily being the most numerous. Smaller numbers of Meadow Brown and Common Blue were present and also seen were Brimstone, Peacock, Red Admiral, Small Copper (2), Grayling (2 on the heath) and a superb couple of male Brown Argus, a species I have not seen for a few years. These were on the footpath through the Forest.

Male Stonechat.

Grayling.

Dragonflies and Damselflies were also abundant as I year ticked Emerald Damselfly, Ruddy Darter, Common Darter, Brown Hawker and Black Darter. Azure, Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies were everywhere. I spotted just the one Banded Demoiselle (first I have ever seen here), Four-spotted Chaser and Large Red Damselfly, but no Small Red Damselflies in the woodland. Just fantastic to walk among these gems. Emperor Dragonflies were in good numbers too.

Brown Hawker. A very difficult dragonfly to photograph.

Emperor Dragonfly.

I did find a couple of interesting looking moths on the heath behind Woolmer Forest, which I have put on the Hants Moths Facebook page. Today’s bird sightings included a family flock of Stonechats near the Cottage, and even a few more on the east side of the Pond with Linnets and a Willow Warbler. The woods were quiet though there was a family party of Coal Tits with a single Goldcrest among them. No Hobbies were seen, which was very disappointing, especially with so many Dragonflies to feast on. A couple of soaring Common Buzzards were calling to one another over the Forest.

I found this Narrow-winged Pug in the heather behind the Forest. Another 'lifer' for me.

A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon, catching up with some superb insects at this prime site. I couldn’t help mentioning the new perimeter fence that has been put up recently. Though it does look a little ‘sterile’, especially with all the grass and weed taken out, I am sure they will grow back again.

Another 'lifer'. Agriphila inquinatella, which was found along the footpath through the Forest.

Three more year ticks among nice variety of moths.

Saturday 26th July 2014.

Tree-lichen Beauty.

Another bright, sunny gorgeous morning today as I made my way down to the back garden to check out the moths. I was only talking to Geoff Farwell last night about not having a Tree-lichen Beauty in my box yet, as he had one for the past two evenings that I found one today as I lifted the lid off the moth box. This gorgeous attractive little macro sat nicely near the top of the box and posed nicely while I took several photos.

Dingy Footman.

Also new for the year were a Straw Dot, a Mother-of-Pearl (for the garden that is. I had one at Hazleholt Wood earlier this month) and Dingy Footman. Two Garden Tigers were present along with another Ruby Tiger. In total, 48 moths were present of 30 species.

Mother-of-Pearl.

Straw Dot.

Kent Black Arches added to moth life list.

Friday 25th July 2014.

Kent Black Arches.

Three more macro moth species were added to my year total this morning, including another ‘lifer’. Hot on the heels of yesterday’s Channel Islands Pug (which was present again this morning), a superb Kent Black Arches was sitting nicely on one of the egg trays. A nationally scarce moth, in Hampshire it is slowly increasing in numbers per the Hants Moths website.

Mullein Wave.

Also present were year ticks of Mullein Wave (2) and Square-spot Rustic (2). My second Ruby Tiger was present and probably the same Treble-bar.

Square-spot Rustic.

Plenty of butterflies at Eastney Point.

Thursday 24th July 2014.

Red Admiral.

There were butterflies all over Eastney Point late this afternoon and despite many youngsters using the beach for their pleasure, the rough grassland attracted many of these winged wonders. Yet again, the sun was beaming down from a clear blue sky and the temperatures were still hitting the mid-eighties. The only problem this afternoon was avoiding so many people present!

Meadow Brown.

Gatekeeper.

As expected, the Buddleia bushes attracted a good deal of the butterflies and the one within the car park near the boatyard held Small Tortoiseshells and a Large White. Around the scrub, just past the Outfall, Red Admiral, Gatekeeper and Meadow Browns were present. I found some Small Skippers within the scrub near the car park on the way back to the car, but no sign of any Marbled Whites here.

Small Tortoiseshell in the sunshine.

Small Skipper.

Not an awful lot regarding birds. A couple of distant Sandwich Terns flew over the harbour entrance and a single Linnet flew overhead. A large flock of say 100+ Starlings suddenly appeared from nowhere as they headed to the brambles just north of the scrub.

Roesel's Bush Cricket within the scrub at Eastney Point.

Yet again, its a shame that so much litter and rubbish is being left behind here. Someone dumped a huge load of Oyster Shells near the car park! They make good ash trays, I suppose!

The scrub by Eastney Outfall looking north east.