Sunday, 5 July 2009


There was a good selection of moths in the trap by dawn at 4am on Saturday 4th. This fresh looking lime hawkmoth has a wonderful mix of camouflaged markings. This individual is far more eyecatching than the very faded individual seen a few days earlier. It was a good night for the hawkmoths with 5 species involving 14 individuals being noted.

This is one of 4 poplar hawkmoths seen with this one displaying the reddish patch on the hindwings, which it flashes to warn off predators.

Four large privet hawkmoths were noted with this one above found resting at dawn in its typical sphinx-like pose on the outside of the trap. The other hawkmoths seen were 4 elephant hawkmoths and a very faded and worn pine hawkmoth.

Over 50 species of about 400 macro moths were found either in the trap, on it or in the grass around the trap. As the daylight increased many moths started to fly off to hide up in nearby bushes.

The colourful magpie moth was resting on a blade of grass a few metres from the trap.

This swallow-tailed moth with its pointed tail-tips, was found resting on the side of the wooden Skinner trap.
There have been lots of buff arches pictured above, in recent nights at the trap. This common moth has lots of intricate markings on its wings when seen close-up.

The most numerous moth was the dark arches with about 100 noted followed by good numbers of light arches, clouded silver, common footman and the brown-tail. Very few new moths for the year were recorded with dusky sallow, common rustic, marbled beauty and single dotted wave being some of them.

Later in the morning lots of small birds were noted along the side of the car park with nearly 50 birds feeding along the hedgeline. Long-tailed tit, great tit, blue tit, common whitethroat, chaffinch were all foraging in good numbers. A nightingale was heard calling from the side of the car park too.

The sparrowhawk was seen flying away from the cliff-top area twice during the morning while at the other side of the park the newly fledged kestrel family were perching up along a hedgeline.

Fifty sand martins flew around the cliff-top area in the middle of afternoon despite all the people on the beach. Two whimbrel flew off the mudflats calling.


Madeleine Flowers said...

Hello Dougal

Tried to send a message to you yesterday but I think something went wrong! Just wanted to let you know that whilst walking at the Grove yesterday we found a pair of 6-spot burnets. Had to look in reference book on our return. They were really stunning and something we'd never seen, or even heard of!!!

Kind regards
Madeleine Flowers

Dougal Urquhart said...

Madeleine - You picked a good time to visit the park as the six-spots are at their peak. I always enjoy seeing them as they characterise flowery meadows on a summer's day!