Sunday 21 May 2023

Not even all the regulars!

A light early morning SE breeze swung to NW mid morning and freshened slightly. Sunshine all day.

South shore (MD)
A mid morning stroll along the sea wall was very pleasant, but even less than of recent to see!
Rock Pipits 2 minimum. A male was parachuting near the saltmarsh slipway, then continued along the foreshore, perhaps it is the Red Nab bird. The lighthouse breeding status seems to have changed. Only one bird, presumably the male, seen above the nest site and he seemed very agitated. 
There was no sign of any birds with food, so one of three possible scenarios:
1. The female is still feeding chicks in the nest, but was away much longer than typical.
2. They had tried to lure the young from the nest and lost the chicks (it is a very challenging first flight!).
3. They had managed to successfully lure at least one chick from the nest and it/they was away feeding with the female. But in previous years early feeding was near the nesting area.
Further visits will hopefully sort it out.

The Carrion Crow nest on the wooden jetty also seemed deserted.
It always seemed a risky strategy nesting where so many gulls
 (including Great Black-Backs) roost.

Linnet 10
Kittiwake 2 at least. There were two on their pipe in the harbour and possibly one of those also patrolling the outflows.
One of at least two 1st summer Kittiwakes

Curlew 21 flew south past the roundhead 
Little Egret 2 on Red Nab
Grey Heron 1 on Red Nab
Grey Heron

577 Herring gull ex heysham skear, roosting by battery car park - ref Pete

Middleton Nature Reserve 
Janet managed some decent shots with her mobile phone today:
Burnet Companion moth

Small Heath butterfly

This moth was inside my house last week (MD). I thought it had come in on my clothes, as I had just finished trimming my hedge. Kevin identified it as  Bee Moth.
Bee Moth

Kevin also explained that they have an interesting lifecycle. The females lay their eggs in bee or wasp nests, the larvae are known to feed on the host eggs, larvae, and pupae left unprotected by the bumble bees and wasps. Bee moth larvae will also feed on pollen, honey, and any waste that they find in the nest.

I then remembered that we had a bumblebee nest in one of the house vents last summer, sure enough, over the next few days another 6 were found in the house.....

Two more! They are variable and the males (left) more boldly coloured 

.......until I located and sealed a disused wire track that led from the vent into the house. I expect the interior lighting made this track a beacon for them after dark.

All the moths were moved outside, good for the moths, but not so good for any bumblebees or wasps nesting nearby.