Friday, 23 July 2010

Small Tortoiseshells back to form and Hummingbird Hawk-moth

Heysham Obs
Hummingbird Hawk-moth in the NE of the recording area in suburban Heysham at Mossgate park (per H Dickson via LDBWS insects)

Saw about 50 Small Tortoiseshell today, over the twice the number than in the last two years put together.  6 of these were on/around the emerging office buddleias (with 35 others up Roeburndale east).  On the down side there appears to have been a dramatic population crash of midges this year with none in the usual Roeburn/Hindburn hotspots, even after the monsoon.  Clegs, on the other hand have been very bad, with a mass synchronised emergence after the start of the rainy season, notably Middleton NR

CES Heysham office area
A much better morning for ringing, but no obvious migratory movements yet with the 30 or so birds largely reflecting a reasonably good breeding season including a small Long-tailed Tit flock.  The only summer migrants were 2 Whitethroat, 4 Willow Warbler and a Blackcap.  Unexpectedly, for this site, no new Lesser Whitethroat.  There were TWO Moorhen chicks wandering around the office this morning!

Med Gull - adult off Ocean Edge early am

Nothing dramatic other than a small black and white thing which might be new to science given absence of an obvious match on UK Moths!   Two Dingy Footman and the first Shuttle-shaped Dart of the second brood