Tuesday, 22 March 2011

It All Happens At Night!

Been running my actinic trap a couple of times over the last few days and on the first attempt I got totally caught out by the hard frost but unfortunately so did the dead common quaker that was the only moth in the trap. However last night was much better with a new species for me in the shape of a clouded drab. Now what did this reasonable looking moth do to deserve a name like that? Well I guess i’m in a minority to think that it really isn’t that drab, poor thing.

Clouded Drab
Double Stripe Pug11_03_22_moth_015_double_stripe_pug Small Quaker
Recently I purchased a Bushnell trail cam and have been enjoying checking out photos of a hedgehog that is visiting the garden on and off during the night as well as all the local cats that seem to use my garden as a highway! I really wanted to get to know how to use this camera for getting shots of other mammals in the area and last night I setup a camera at a badger sett and was lucky enough to get some shots.


Sunday, 13 March 2011

More Moths

Continuing to run my 40w actinic in the back garden as I don’t think the neighbours would appreciate my mv running with so little foliage available to block the light from their bedroom windows. Anyway a better night than before with 7 Hebrew characters, 6 common Quakers, 1 small Quaker and 1 early grey.

Small Quaker11_03_13_moths_021_small_quaker

Hebrew Character

Early Grey11_03_13_moths_060_early_grey

Plume Moth, probably Emmelina monodactyla

The very variable Common Quaker

The Common Quaker above with a Hebrew Character

Sunshine Treats and Disappointments

A good day for butterflies yesterday in the sunny spells with 2 brimstones and a holly blue visiting the back garden. I thought it would also be good weather for finding basking adders so headed off to a couple of sites near the Medway towns and saw a further 3 brimstones at Meopham along with a brief glimpse of probably a peacock. At Queendown Warren the sun was still out but unfortunately the adders were not. This is a worry as I know the folks that perform regular surveys there have indicated a general decline and I don’t know how the hard weather in December may have affected them. Certainly the Kent reptile and amphibian group (KRAG) are concerned over a perceived decline and have setup a project to gather data. I did manage to see a couple of commas though, so a 4 butterfly day, not bad for early March, I think? I then moved onto a second site but by this time the sun had gone in so no real chance of finding anything.

I’m branching out into the world of motion sensor cameras and have been given one for a month to ‘have a go’. So I positioned it in a suitable place in my back garden last night, hoping that the elusive hedgehog that appeared a week back may make another appearance. Unfortunately I only managed to get pictures of the local cat population which confirms my suspicions that my garden is the local cat highway

Sad smile

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Its March so migrate!

It’s all too easy to look at the weather and just think that nothing will be migrating cos the weather is not right. I tend to forget that the urge to migrate and move north is a strong instinct in birds in the spring and a birds understanding of the weather is luckily very different from mine. So after giving myself a pep talk I wandered around the local fields this afternoon behind Pinden quarry just on the outskirts of Longfield. I kicked up a flock of 46 corn buntings and 25 skylarks and then there in front of me was a superb male wheatear. I say superb because that is just how it looked, the bird appeared to be in its peak of breeding plumage. My spirits were lifted you would have thought I’d just found a major rarity, I was elated, it made my day and only 15 minutes from my front door.