Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Mainly insects, and not many of them!

Continuing NE breezes, overcast for much of the day, but sunny spells in the afternoon.

Middleton Nature Reserve 

John was keeping up appearances at Middleton this morning with three nets set until about 10.00hr.

The catch was again very poor - just five birds, 3 Willow Warblers and 2 Chiffchaffs.

The moth trap set on the previous evening did little better with singles of Sallow, Bulrush Wainscot, Flounced Rustic, Lesser Yellow Underwing, Silky Wainscot and Brown China Mark.

Janet also had a quick look:

The aggressive male Mute Swan chased off two visiting adult Mute.

The main pond Cetti's warbler was very vocal again, singing from the SE corner near the wooden steps. Eventually located in the reed bed in the corner, but proved impossible to see.......this time.

Janet can't resist turning over anything laying on the ground. Not a bad strategy to understand what is about, as long as you careful to replace whatever you move as Janet does. In this case a Black Ant's nest, complete with eggs, chambers and tunnels. The ants are just starting to take the eggs down the tunnels to safety, a process that will be reversed after the half pipe was carefully replaced.

Black Ant nest - like an iceberg, most is below the surface 

South Shore

I left it to late afternoon, in the hope the sunny spells would be sufficient, with the NE breeze to bring insects in off the sea (MD). There was some slight movement, hopefully this will increase in the coming days, weekend looks promising.

There was almost nothing coming in near the Lighthouse, just two Small White seen.

Along the sea wall there were several bees, wasps and flies, plus Two Red Admiral and a Small Tortoiseshell.

This fine looking Red Admiral was having a top up of sunshine on the 
Power Station perimeter wall

The Sea Aster on Red Nab was holding up some recent arrivals, including:

Small White 7

Meadow Brown 1 and Common Blue 1 - both these two worn and possibly resident.

Just one dragonfly seen coming in off at Red Nab, unfortunately to quickly for positive identification, but female Migrant Hawker the most likely.

Butterflies in the nature park behind Red Nab included:

Red Admiral 2

Small Tortoiseshell 1

Speckled Wood 8

Rock Pipit 4 - 1 one foreshore, 2 on Red Nab, 1 near waterfall

Wheatear 5 - 3 on foreshore, 2 on Red Nab

Starlings c100 feeding on the grass in the corner of Red Nab, presumably something has had chance to emerge as a food source since is was last covered.

Some of the mainly juvenile Starling resting on the sea wall
One towards the left is ringed.

Grey Seal 1 between the outflows 

This clip "shows" small Grey Mullet coming in close to the water's edge as the tide comes in. They feed on the algae that manages to grow on the mud surface between the tides, when the sun shines. On very hot days they can become so frenzied to reach the algae mat that the front fish actually come out of the water.

Inevitably they were spotted by a predator. I thought I filmed this Grey Heron catching one, but I missed that the Heron also missed! Still you get the picture.

Kevin has had a Heath Rustic moth twice this week in his overnight light trap

The Heath Rustic is a moth that's uncommon away from heath and moorland 

and was possibly blown in from Heysham Moss on the northerly winds.