Friday, 23 June 2017

Friday June 23

I've been sitting on a secret since the beginning of June, although it sounds like only I was keeping it, since the news seems to have been widely known for some time.

Anyway, at least one pair of Little Egrets has been attempting to breed on the island in the middle of Arrow Valley Lake. I was waiting for an outcome before mentioning it on this blog. Sadly it appears that the breeding attempt has been unsuccessful, and today I saw no Little Egrets at all.

Scroll back to June 2. A single Little Egret was incubating eggs on a small nest in the heronry.

A week later, it was still present but spent most of its time standing on the nest, and only a short period incubating.

Another week past, and on my next visit the nest was unattended, although four adult Little Egrets were present on the island. One of these may have been standing on a different nest, one that was hard to see although it may have been an old Grey Heron's nest.

I might be wrong, but I think this was the first breeding attempt in Worcestershire.

Sadly today it looks as though the attempt has been abandoned. I was left to look at the usual cast of characters, with at least three Common Terns still present. I'm sure they would breed if the council was to supply and maintain a couple of rafts.

Common Tern
The weather was rather cloudy, but warm enough for butterflies to be on the wing. I just didn't see any. Instead, a Six-spot Burnet moth was feeding in the strip of wildflower meadow by the cafe.

Six-spot Burnet
Unfortunately, when it finally settled I couldn't get a clear view of it. Just enough to count the spots though.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Thursday June 22

The very hot weather of the last few days should have produced lots of moths, but its been disappointing. Last night I finally got a few micros. Two were Brown House Moth, but the other turned out to be an Ingrailed Grass Veneer Crambus pascuella.

Crambus pascuella
A common moth, but the first I have identified in the garden.

I've recently discovered the Biological Records Centre's website It is excellent for insects and provides helpful feedback when you submit photographs. I am working my way through a bit of a backlog.

However, I have noticed that there has been no feedback on my moth records. Reading through their forum it would appear that not all recorders favour this system, and moth records in particular seem to be a problem. It seems to depend on whether the particular Vice-County recorder for each species group wants to receive records in this way. Other recording methods are available.

As a former bird recorder, in the days before it all went high-tech, I certainly appreciate the amount of work recorders have to do, without pay. In the meantime I much appreciate the bee, butterfly, and indeed mollusc recorders who have vetted my records so far.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Sunday June 18

A very warm night might have been expected leave me overwhelmed with moths in the bathroom. However, just one species entered. At least it was a new one for me.

Common Wave
It was a white moth, which meant I had to spend quite a time this morning sifting through several similar species of white Wave moths before concluding it was a Common Wave. The books suggest that this species is a little less common than the closely related Common White Wave, but the cross lines are wavier.

Later on today, during the evening, a vey small moth flew in through the kitchen window. It was potted and identified as Clepsis consimilana.

Clepsis consimilana
Another new species for me.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Saturday June 17

Just two moths in the bathroom last night. One was another Green Pug, but the other was a little micro which this morning I identified as Bryotropha domestica.

Bryotropha domestica
Another new species for me, but as the name suggests, a common one in urban areas.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Friday June 16

A slightly cooler night, and only one very small moth made it through the bathroom window. I thought I recognised it so only got a photo of it in the pot before allowing it to escape. Half an hour later I realised it was actually a new species for me and that my photo was barely adequate.

Pseudargyrotoza conwagana
This morning I headed for Arrow Valley Lake. I counted five pairs of Great Crested Grebes, four Little Egrets, and three adult Oystercatchers which flew around and left.

It was rather overcast, although the sun was trying to break through. This may have been the reason I didn't see a single butterfly or dragonfly on my walk round. Pretty disappointing. However, I did spot a new moth, my first Longhorn moth. Unfortunately I messed up the photograph of this micro, but I am pretty sure it was Nemophora degeerella.

It was rather small.
Nemophora degeerella
After studying the zoomed in shot in the back of the camera I realised it was a bit out of focus so returned to the spot, but couldn't relocate the moth.

Yesterday we visited Compton Verney near Wellesbourne with friends. The highlights creature-wise were a Red-eyed Damselfly on a Lily pad, and a Red Kite. I don't know of any Lily pads on my Winyates Beasts patch, so I doubt I will find one here.

Red-eyed Damselfly at Compton Verney

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Thursday June 15

A couple more moths have now come to my attention. They were both spotted yesterday. The first was a Silver-ground Carpet which fluttered from bushes and then landed in the middle of the road as I was returning with the paper yesterday morning. I didn't have my camera, but I am reasonably familiar with this distinctive moth.

Last night an absolute stunner flew through the bathroom window. Unlike most moths it took me no time at all to identify it, using my moth book, as a Barred Yellow. It's rather a shame that such a pretty moth should have a rather uninspiring name. It seems that they are quite common.

Barred Yellow
I photographed it this morning as it rather groggily tried to reorientate after having been woken from a peaceful sleep.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Tuesday June 13

Things have been a bit quiet lately.

A walk around Arrow Valley Lake last week produced almost identical species to my last visit so I wasn't moved to blog about it.

Things have picked up a tiny bit today. The garden birds were augmented by recently fledged juveniles, with Great Spotted Woodpecker, Long-tailed Tits and a Nuthatch the best of the bunch. This afternoon a small moth landed on the front window, so I slipped outside to photograph it.

Small Dusty Wave
I am reasonably happy with my identification of this moth, a species I have seen here in previous years.