Friday, 3 June 2011


The moth trap operated on Wednesday and Thursday nights and when it was checked first thing on Friday 3rd at the park, this neatly marked grey dagger (or dark dagger) pictured above, was one of 100 individuals of 28 species of macro moth. This moth gets its name from the black "dagger" markings on the wing. Both grey dagger and dark dagger look similar and can only be separated by dissection under a microscope. However the caterpillars of each dagger are very distinct from each other and both have been found at the park in recent years.

Several buff ermines were in the trap with some showing a nice colour-tone of buff, like this one above. The buffs outnumbered the white ermine moths for the first time this summer with a handful counted.

Over the two nights some of the other moths noted included cream spot tiger, treble brown spot, satin wave, small dusty wave, sandy carpet, brindled pug, clouded silver, clouded border, willow beauty, scorched wing, brimstone, cinnabar, light emerald, pebble prominent, heart and dart, large yellow underwing, least yellow underwing, shears, dark arches, marbled minor, flame, white point, rustic shoulder knot, common wainscot, shoulder-striped wainscot, setaceous hebrew character, mottled rustic, vines rustic and snout.

The pretty barred yellow turned up on both nights at the trap. One or two of these colourful moths are noted each summer at the trap.

Birdwise at the park a turtle dove flying scross the park today has become a rare sight in the last few years. A pair of Mediterranean gulls circled high over the car park in the early evening. The male kestrel appeared to drop onto a lizard in the long grass and fly off with it to it's nestbox beside the grazing fields. Later a gadwall and a pochard were seen flying away from the pond.

On Thursday the pochard duck brood on the pond was down to four ducklings but the swans still had all eight cygnets. A yellow wagtail flew over the car park in the morning while later, Andy Field saw five eider offshore. On Wednesday 2 little terns flew past, 5 avocets were on the saltmarsh pools at the Point and the day before at this spot, 30 ringed plover and 10 dunlin roosted. Near Shop Lane Andy saw a hobby, the roosting tawny owl and two singing yellowhammers.

The main butterfly interest has been at least 3 small tortoiseshells in the car park, 5 large skippers, 4 meadow browns as well as small heath, common blue and speckled woods. Martin Cock had a nice variety of butterflies on the path west of Shop Lane on Monday, including green hairstreak, common blue, brown argus, red admiral, small tortoiseshell, meadow brown, small heath and large skipper.

No comments: