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August 2010

 

Tuesday 31st August

Most of the gulls at Houghton at lunch time were sleeping, making it even harder than usual to get an ID on them. Also the sun was out which made it hard to gauge tones of grey accurately, so it was nearly a waste of time looking... but not quite! I've found plenty of Yellow-legged Gulls at various sites over the years but mostly adults or older immatures; the odd first-winter I've been confident about but so far I've never self-found a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull in this country - in fact I'm not even sure I've seen one. The bird below is, I think, a good candidate for one - let me know what you think. There were a few other, older Yellow-legged Gulls there too.

Two micro moths tonight that I didn't recognise - one I tentatively identified as Calamotropha paludella but which Rob and Jon both think is more likely a worn Crambus perlella - I'm sure they're right! The other is one of the Parnornix species. (Updated mid Sept).

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possible juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, Houghton, 31st August

 

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Parornix sp., Bawdeswell, 31st August

 

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possible worn Crambus perlella, Bawdeswell, 31st August

 

Monday 30th August

A strong onshore blow during a bank holiday weekend has always meant that you need to get to Sheringham early to get a seat for seawatching. Now though, this seems to have moved up a level, and when I arrived a good half hour before it was light enough to see anything, it was already too late to get a seat in the centre section that wasn't directly behind a pillar. Expectations were high for a good seawatch today with apparently excellent conditions, but it quickly became evident that today wasn't going to produce quite the level of excitement we'd hoped for. There were plenty of Great Skuas and Arctic Skuas, but although I believe both Pomarine and Long-tailed Skuas were seen by reliable observers, neither gave themselves up for me. Other seabirds were very few and far between with not even Gannets, Fulmars, Kittiwakes or Auks in particularly large numbers. A handful of Manx Shearwaters were seen along with at least 2-3 Sooty Shearwaters, but the only decent seabird recorded was a Storm Petrel. This saved the day and actually gave me the best views of this species I've ever had in Norfolk.

Ducks and waders were on the move with, unusually, Pintail outnumbering Teal at first (though they dried up quickly so the final totals didn't come close). A hunt for passerine migrants didn't produce a great deal - 4 Wheatears and plenty of common Sylvia warblers but nothing rare or scarce among them.

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Wheatear, Sheringham, 30th August

 

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Stonechat, Sheringham, 30th August

 

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Dunlins, Sheringham, 30th August

 

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Common Scoter (left) and Teal (right), Sheringham, 30th August

 

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Curlews, Sheringham, 30th August

Red-legged Partridge, near Hindolveston, 30th August

 

Saturday 28th August

A visit to Sheringham produced a good passage of Teal - the count would almost certainly have been well into 4-figures if I'd spent the whole time looking at the sea. Among them was a Garganey, a patch tick that was, after Spoonbill, probably the most frequently occurring bird I'd not seen at Sheringham before. A few waders were on the move too, 3 Greenshank being the most unusual.

Passerine migrants were hard work. Actually there seemed to be a lot of birds in some sheltered spots, but although this may have included some passage migrants it was mostly species that breed here. A couple of young Stonechats were unusual for this site in August - presumably they didn't breed very far away. Briefly I heard what I think was a Lapland Bunting, but it won't go down as I'm not sure... normally this species doesn't appear for another couple of weeks but this year there have been a few around already - and literally hundreds on the northern isles, which is quite exceptional. Some think there's a pretty good chance they're originating from the North American and Greenland populations.

Previous visits to Sidestrand have left me thinking it should be a good place to find migrant birds so a tip off about a good bird in the area was all the encouragement I needed to pay the site another visit. The Black-necked Grebe was still present and Sidestrand also produced a couple of Pied Flycatchers. Finally I popped in to Holt Lowes to see what was on the Buddleia but managed to time it with darkening skies and onset of rain, so made do with a Marsh Tit and one of my favourite birds, a Nuthatch.

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Whitethroat (bottom left) and 3 Blackcaps, Sheringham, 28th August

 

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Whimbrel, Sheringham, 28th August

 

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Teal and Common Scoter, Sheringham, 28th August

 

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Black-necked Grebe, Sidestrand, 28th August

 

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Pied Flycatcher, Sidestrand, 28th August

 

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Tufted Ducks, Sidestrand, 28th August

 

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Migrant Hawker (left) and Swallow (right), Sidestrand, 28th August

 

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Marsh Tit (left) and Nuthatch (right), Holt Lowes, 28th August

 

Friday 27th August

Ten moths in tonight - good by this week's standards! Best were Lesser Yellow Underwing and Common Wave.

Went to Thornham at lunchtime in the hope of finding some migrants but just got this instead:

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Woodpigeon, Thornham (left) and Common Wave, Bawdeswell (right), 27th August

 

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Lesser Yellow Underwing, Bawdeswell, 27th August

 

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Square-spot Rustics, Bawdeswell, 27th August - the spider fancied its chances, ran out from hiding to get the moth but the moth wasn't caught in a web and got away easily

 

Thursdsay 26th August

No new moths in adverse weather this evening except for my first Brimstone Moth in over a month - presumably the first of the autumn generation.

 

Wednesday 25th August

Hardly any moths tonight, though yesterday's Endothenia quadrimaculana remains. (Update October - returning to this I see I've inconsistently captioned this as E. quadrimaculana in one place and E. ericitana in others. I'm not 100% sure which is correct, but I'm plumping for quadrimaculana - please let me know if you can confirm!)

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Endothenia quadrimaculana, Bawdeswell, 25th August

 

Tuesday 24th August

I didn't have long at lunch today but popped in to the pig farm at Houghton where I ended up spending much of the little time I had chatting to the farmer. I'd often wondered why some pig farms attract good numbers of large gulls while others clearly don't and apparently it's because some, like this one, are finishing units where the pigs are fed throughout the day on smaller pellets compared to a breeding unit where they're fed once a day with larger pellets. A quick look on one side of the road produced 3 Yellow-legged Gulls and a super-quick scan the other side of the road produced another 3 Yellow-legged Gulls.

Yesterday's suspected Flame Carpet was still there today, and not hiding any more so I could confirm its identity. Also, 3 days after my first ever, an Agriphila geniculea, and another micro that proved to be my first ever Endothenia quadrimaculana. The latter looked a bit like the very worn thing I photographed on 11th and I nearly revised my ID of that one accordingly. However, I'm not convinced, so for now I'm leaving the one from 11th as unidentified. Orange Swift was my first this year.

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Flame Carpet (left) and Agriphila geniculea (right), Bawdeswell, 24th August

 

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Endothenia quadrimaculana, Bawdeswell, 24th August

 

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Orange Swift, Bawdeswell (left) and Yellow-legged Gull, Houghton (right), 24th August

 

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Harvestman attacking Oak Bush-cricket, Bawdeswell, 24th August - two harvestmen came running when this bush-cricket caught itself in their web but only the smaller one stayed, wrapping its web around the ends of the bush-cricket's rear legs. Every now and then the harvestman would retreat leaving the bush-cricket to attempt to nibble its way free before the harvestman returned to secure it some more. After a while the web must have broken and the bush-cricket dropped, legs still tied together, somehow stopping again a few inches down (maybe caught on some more web, though I couldn't see it); the harvestman came down to investigate but didn't approach closely at least in the next hour or so. By the time I turned in the bush-cricket had managed to move a few inches away but still had its legs tied together - the next morning there was no sign, so presumably it either freed itself and escaped or dragged itself off somewhere to die. I don't think the harvestman would have had it without leaving a trace - they seem to be messy eaters round here

 

Monday 23rd August

Few moths again tonight: single Straw Dot, Garden Pebble, a late Garden Grass-veneer and Agriphila tristella. Also what looked like a Flame Carpet glimpsed before it found somewhere inaccessible to hide.

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Garden Grass-veneer, Bawdeswell, 23rd August

 

Sunday 22nd August

Recently there's been a spate of records of Silver-washed Fritillaries in Norfolk (as well as in other regions where they don't normally occur). The wide-spread locations suggest a natural arrival rather than, as has been suspected with past records, a deliberate release of captive specimens. With work and a trip to the Scillies getting in the way I wasn't able to look for these when the weather was suitable and now, come a sunny day when I'm in the county and not working, it's been the best part of a couple of weeks since any were last reported (at least that I've got to hear about). Was the lack of recent reports just down to the weather, I wondered, or have they disappeared? The most well-reported individuals had been frequenting the buddleia in the car park at Holt Lowes Country Park so this afternoon I spent a few hours here. The buddleia attracted no shortage of Red Admirals, plus Comma, Brimstone, Peacock and Large Whites, but no Fritillary while I was watching it. Eventually I went for a walk, which produced 2 Keeled Skimmers and a few Graylings, before heading back to the car park. As I approached the car park a large orange butterfly flew away from the direction of the buddleia and into the woodland. Clearly not a Comma it could only have been a large Fritillary sp., and so was presumably one of the Silver-washed Fritillaries, but all I got was a brief flight view which isn't really satisfactory for my first record of this species in Norfolk (and my first anywhere for over 20 years).

Back at home this evening's moths included my first Setaceous Hebrew Character of the year.

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Southern Hawker, Holt Lowes, 22nd August

 

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Chiffchaff (left) and Blue Tit (right), Holt Lowes, 22nd August

 

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Buzzard, Holt Lowes, 22nd August

 

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Green-veined White (left) and Brimstone (right), Holt Lowes, 22nd August

 

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Small Copper (left) and Grey Squirrel (right), Holt Lowes, 22nd August

 

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Tawny Grisettes, Holt Lowes, 22nd August - thanks to James for the ID

 

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probable Brown Birch Bolete, Holt Lowes, 22nd August - thanks to James for the ID

 

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Blusher, Holt Lowes, 22nd August - thanks to James for the ID

 

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Common Wainscot (left) and Setaceous Hebrew Character (right), Bawdeswell, 22nd August

 

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Flesh-fly sp. (left) and unidentified moth (right), Bawdeswell, 22nd August - I wondered if the moth was a worn Brown House-moth, but not sure if the dark spots can be that big, can they?

 

Saturday 21st August

Three common species today all provided me with my latest ever records (and if you read a similar comment yesterday against my entry for 20th that's because I got the dates wrong, 21st is correct) - Riband Wave (usually occurs between late June and early August), Dark Arches (my first August record) and Scorched Carpet (only my 14th record but the others were spread between late April and early August). Other moths included my first Green Carpet and Square-spot Rustic of the year, 2 Pyrausta aurata and a new-for-me species of grass moth: Agriphila geniculea.

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Agriphila geniculea (left) and Square-spot Rustic (right), Bawdeswell, 21st August

 

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Pyrausta aurata, Bawdeswell, 21st August

 

Friday 20th August

Went for a drive at lunch time and along a half-mile stretch of road between Fring and Inmere I disturbed from the side of the road 2 Sparrowhawks, 1 Buzzard and a Red Kite! The Kite was wing-tagged, so presumably a reintroduced bird - though I can't make sense of the information I've found online that's supposed to tell me which scheme and where to report it. It had the letter "e" on a magenta background on both wings, the lettering in white on the left hand wing and in black on the right hand wing. A few minutes later Marsh Harrier was adding to added to the surprisingly impressive lunch break raptor tally.

A good variety of moths tonight including my first ever White-point, a species that used to occur here only as a migrant but has apparently established itself as a breeding species in the last few years. There was also another Catoptria falsella, following my first on Monday, and another Currant Pug.

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Red Kite, between Fring and Inmere, 20th August

 

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Oak Bush-Cricket (left) and White-point (right), Bawdeswell, 20th August

 

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Catoptria falsella (left) and Celypha lacunana (right), Bawdeswell, 20th August

 

Thursday 19th August

There were at least 10 Yellow-legged Gulls at Houghton today - I think that's the most I've ever seen together in the UK. Included in this total was one first-summer bird that I felt reasonably confident about but not included was another rather similar bird that I'm not so sure about. Any help with these would be appreciated.

A few new moths in tonight but none very interesting - although Large Yellow Underwing was new for the year.

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first-summer gulls, Houghton, 19th August - I think the right hand one is a Yellow-legged Gull and the left hand one might be also, but I'm not sure

 

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Yellow-legged Gulls, Houghton, 19th August

 

Wednesday 18th August

A different Flounced Rustic was best moth tonight.

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Corn Bunting, between Titchwell and Choseley, 18th August

 

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Flounced Rustic (left) and Yellow-barred Brindle (right), Bawdeswell, 18th August

 

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Monopis weaverella or possibly Skin Moth Monopis laevigella, Bawdeswell, 18th August - I think the same one as yesterday

 

Tuesday 17th August

At this time of year in Norfolk there's a pretty good chance that any flock of Lesser Black-backed Gulls may contain a Yellow-legged Gull or two. Competent and experienced larophiles who are skilled at picking out the species sometimes find larger numbers among big flocks but I'm not one of those as I really struggle with identifying gulls, especially the younger ones, and my local flock at Houghton that I regularly check during lunch breaks isn't all that big at the moment (<100). So when I roll up and find Yellow-legged Gulls everywhere I look I tend to start off thinking I must be getting something wrong.

This time I'm pretty sure I'm not though. Today there were at least 7 birds (you can't see the whole flock from any one place if staying in the car, so there may have been more) that were adults or older immatures, and that I feel reasonably confident about. There were also one or two younger birds that I'm just not sure what they were - photos below, so please shout if you can help me sort them out.

Tonight's moths included my second Flounced Rustic and some micros I've struggled to identify. One of these was very similar to one I previously identified (6th July) as a Skin Moth (Monopis laevigella), but I think it may instead be the closely-related Monopis weaverellla. I've had a good look at numerous photos of both species on the web and I'm not really clear what the differences are. I think I might be seeing an average difference in the extent and intensity of the pale markings and I'm basing my tentative IDs on that, but I'm not really sure. Let me know if you can clarify what I should be looking for or whether my tentative IDs are correct.

Update 27th August - thanks to Rob for sorting out one of the unidentified moths - a Leek Moth, which is quite a scarce species. Most of the Norfolk records are from a line running between Sheringham and Norwich and the rest are all east of that line - making this particularly interesting.

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unidentified gulls, Houghton, 17th August - I suspect Herring Gull for the left hand one (though Herring Gulls appear to be less numerous than Yellow-legged Gulls at this site) and Lesser Black- backed Gull for the one on the right (with a Yellow-legged Gull hiding behind it) - however I'm not clear whether I can rule out Yellow-legged Gull for either of these

 

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Yellow-legged Gulls, Houghton, 17th August - four different birds; the lower right one and the immature in the foreground are the same birds as shown in the photo top right where the unidentified younger bird is the subject

 

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Monopis weaverella or possibly Skin Moth Monopis laevigella, Bawdeswell, 17th August

 

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unidentified moth-like insect (left) and Leek Moth (right), Bawdeswell, 17th August - thanks to Rob for identifying the out-of-focus Leek Moth and suggesting that the other might not be a moth at all (which makes sense as it was no more than 3mm long and the world's smallest moth is 3-4mm long!)

 

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Flounced Rustic, Bawdeswell, 17th August

 

Monday 16th August

Last night's lack of moths at least means I've a pretty good idea that most of tonight's were new in, although the Small Waved Umber was the same as Saturday's so must have been hiding yesterday and I suppose others could have been too. The only other macro was Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing but micros consisted of Trachycera advenella (my seventh this year), Blastobasis lignea, 6 Agriphila tristella and my first Catoptria falsella.

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Catoptria falsella, Bawdeswell, 16th August

 

Sunday 15th August

Very few moths indeed tonight, but apart from a Mother of Pearl all ones I've not seen much recently: Pale Prominent was my second ever, following one in July, Endotricha flammealis, common here in July but my first for a couple of weeks and latest ever by a week, and Double-striped Pug (not really remarkable - just not reached their last fortnight in August peak yet). No grass moths is a bit of a novelty!

It's fascinating to observe how the different species of moths behave in response to being photographed - some are nervous, flying when the camera gets near them; others, like Willow Beauties, often fly when the flash goes off, some Agriphila tristella jump when the flash goes off (hence the atypical poses on this page), but Pale Prominents seem to hang on for dear life to whatever they've landed on regardless of the camera - you have to prise them off and then they stick to your finger!

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Double-striped Pug (left) and Endotricha flammealis (right), Bawdeswell, 15th August

 

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Pale Prominent, Bawdeswell, 15th August

 

Saturday 14th August

Best moth tonight was my first ever Small Waved Umber, albeit a rather worn and unattractive specimen. Aethes smeathmanniana was my first this year.

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Small Waved Umber (left) and Agriphila tristella (right), Bawdeswell, 14th August

 

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Aethes smeathmanniana, Bawdeswell, 14th August

 

Friday 13th August

I like my new camera/lens - these Long-tailed Tit photos from my lunch break are a long way short of perfect but heaps better than I'd have achieved if I was using my old set up. Lots of moths again tonight including a peak of 19 Agriphila tristella. Other grass moths included 4 Pearl Veneers Agriphila straminella and a late Garden Grass-veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella. Best moth tonight was what I think was Eucosma obumbratana. The photo of E. hohenwartiana on the Norfolk Moths site looks extremely similar to me, so it could have been that instead, but the photos of that species on UK moths and in the Manley guide look quite different to me. Any clarification would be welcome... Update - thanks to Jon for confirmation (and Jim for passing it on) - apparently obumbratana is correct.

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Long-tailed Tit, Thornham, 13th August

 

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Eucosma obumbratana, Bawdeswell, 13th August

 

Thursday 12th August

Not many moths this evening - though plenty of letters in their names with the likes of Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet and Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing. Is it ok for Dark Fruit-tree Tortrix moths to be this well-marked, or could this be Chequered?

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Fruit-treeTortrix sp., Bawdeswell, 12th August - I'm not really clear how to separate well-crossed Dark Fruit-tree Tortrix (which I suspect this probably is) from Chequered or Barred

 

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Agriphila tristella, Bawdeswell, 12th August - two more in uncharacteristic pose (the flash light made them jump)

 

Wednesday 11th August

A few moths in tonight, the best of which were another Argyrotaenia ljungiana and a fleeting glimpse of a Chinese Character that vanished before I could reach the camera.

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Argyrotaenia ljungiana (left) and Single-dotted Wave (right), Bawdeswell, 11th August

 

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unidentified moth, Bawdeswell, 11th August - the dark patches on each wing don't seem to be quite symmetrical so I assume they're just isolated patches where the scales haven't worn off; my guess is that this is an Agriphila tristella, a little past its best!

 

Tuesday 10th August

Nemapogon clematella is described as being "widespread and not uncommon" and that fits with the fact that tonight's was my second this summer. Even so, there's only one record of this species in the last four years in the Norfolk Moths database, so it must be a little bit uncommon! A Currant Pug was also my second, following one in July. Still lots of Agriphila tristella appearing - 14 tonight.

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Nemapogon clematella (left) and Clouded Border (right), Bawdeswell, 10th August (the same Clouded Border as yesterday)

 

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Currant Pug (left) and Agriphila tristella (right), Bawdeswell, 10th August

 

Monday 9th August

Before leaving Scillies my brother and I decided to head up the island and have a look at Porth Hellick. No American waders there (though one did turn up today on St Agnes), but plenty of common European ones including 4 Common and 3 Green Sandpipers and 6 Greenshanks. Loads of juvenile Willow Warblers everywhere - not sure if they're all local or not but there was a large arrival on the south coast yesterday so perhaps not. Also there were 2 odd ducks which strongly recalled the pair of Yellow-billed Duck x domestic Mallard hybrids that were at Porthloo during my last visit in 2007.

Fog at Penzance meant our flight off the island was significantly delayed but eventually I got home to find what appears to be my first Campion. It's very similar to the moth I saw on 1st (scroll down) and identified as my first Lychnis, but I think they're both correct (let me know if you disagree!). A Clouded Border was only my second record here.

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Campion (left) and Clouded Border (right), Bawdeswell, 9th August

 

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Common Sandpiper, Porth Hellick, 9th August

 

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probable Mallard x Yellow-billed Duck hybrids, Porth Hellick, 9th August

 

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House Sparrows, St Mary's heliport, 9th August - whiling away the time waiting for the delayed flight

 

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view from the heliport, St Mary's, 9th August

 

Sunday 8th August

We figured that by booking two days' pelagic at the peak time of year we'd stood a pretty good chance of finding a Wilson's Petrel but this hasn't been a good year for them and after yesterday's failure we weren't confident that today would come up with the goods either. Today the sea was pretty calm: pleasant, but the lack of a breeze wasn't going to be good for wafting the smell of chum to the nostrils of distant Wilson's Petrels. However a French trawler fleet was situated a few miles northwest of the Scillies and we hoped that they'd have attracted some birds. We steamed up there and spent most of the day in their vicinity - they had indeed attracted many birds, but sadly no Wilson' Petrels.

Good numbers of Storm Petrels were there and were showing even better than yesterday and several close Sooty Shearwaters and Great Skuas were enjoyed. The highlight though was a fantastic Great Shearwater that showed incredibly well in the wake of one of the trawlers. On the way back we got a distant view of my first Minke Whale but we returned to the harbour knowing we'd have to come back another year in order to connect with our target species. Given that the whole point of this somewhat expensive weekend was to see Wilson's Petrel you might call it an abject failure, but actually I thoroughly enjoyed the trips and they provided a very different way of experiencing seabirds (and other sea creatures) close up, a world apart from the seawatching experiences we get here in Norfolk. Not seeing Wilson's just gives us an excuse to go back next year!

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Great Shearwater, from the MV Sapphire Scilly pelagic, 8th August

 

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Storm Petrels, from the MV Sapphire Scilly pelagic, 8th August

 

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Sooty Shearwaters, from the MV Sapphire Scilly pelagic, 8th August

 

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Great Skuas, from the MV Sapphire Scilly pelagic, 8th August

 

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Fulmars, from the MV Sapphire Scilly pelagic, 8th August

 

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Gannets, from the MV Sapphire Scilly pelagic, 8th August

 

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Shags (left) and Common Tern (right), from the MV Sapphire Scilly pelagic, 8th August

 

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Minke Whale, from the MV Sapphire Scilly pelagic, 8th August

 

Saturday 7th August

I joined this morning's pelagic boat trip off the Scillies with much anticipation and it got off to a good start as I picked out a Basking Shark while we were barely into the open sea. I've not been sea-sick for 22 years, and then that was only under fairly extreme circumstances, but yesterday had been quite breezy and although the wind had died right down the sea was still very choppy and it wasn't long before my breakfast was overboard! But whilst throwing up at regular intervals throughout the day wasn't exactly pleasant, I wasn't going to let a little thing like that spoil the day!

Before long we were chumming in an area of sea that they thought would present the best chances of finding Wilson's Petrel. No such luck though, but the area did produce good numbers and good views of Storm Petrels, which for a Norfolk-based birder who's lucky to glimpse one every few years, was much appreciated. An adult Grey Phalarope provided a brief view, and in the end this proved to be the best bird seen today. The crew were fishing and caught a fine Blue Shark which they tagged as part of a programme that seeks to improve understanding of shark movements and conservation. Other non-avian interest was provided by a party of 3 Common Dolphins riding the bow for most of the journey back to the harbour - the first time I'd seen this species and fun to watch their synchronised jumps.

Back on dry land in the evening we had a quick look round Lower Moors and Porthloo but failed to turn up anything more exciting than a juvenile Water Rail.

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Grey Phalarope, from the MV Sapphire Scilly pelagic, 7th August

 

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Storm Petrels, from the MV Sapphire Scilly pelagic, 7th August

 

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Great Skua, from the MV Sapphire Scilly pelagic, 7th August

 

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Common Dolphins, from the MV Sapphire Scilly pelagic, 7th August

 

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Basking Shark, from the MV Sapphire Scilly pelagic, 7th August

 

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Blue Shark, being released from the MV Sapphire after tagging, Scilly pelagic, 7th August

 

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Fulmars, from the MV Sapphire Scilly pelagic, 7th August

 

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Gannets, from the MV Sapphire Scilly pelagic, 7th August

 

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Herring Gull, from the MV Sapphire Scilly pelagic, 7th August - clearly something amiss with this bird: it's not supposed to have that structure growing out of its throat!

 

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Herring Gull (left) and Great Black-backed Gull (right), from the MV Sapphire Scilly pelagic, 7th August

 

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Lesser Black-backed Gulls, from the MV Sapphire Scilly pelagic, 7th August

 

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Water Rail (left) and Grey Heron (right), Lower Moors, 7th August

 

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Sedge Warbler, Lower Moors (left) and hybrid duck, Porthloo Duckpond (right), 7th August - the duck bears a striking resemblance to one of two domestic Mallard x Yellow-billed Duck hybrids that were on the pond during my last visit in 2007, but with a pink, not yellow, bill. Perhaps a backcross?

 

Friday 6th August

A day off on holiday today was spent on a long slow drive down to Penzance and a helicopter ride to the Scillies ready for tomorrow's pelagic boat trip. Had we realised when we booked the helicopter that there'd be a Friday evening pelagic we would have got an earlier flight but as it was we arrived too late, a shame as they saw a Wilson's Petrel this evening, which is our main target for this weekend. A quick look round Porthloo produced 2 Whimbrels before I headed back to town where I'd arranged to meet up with local birder/photographer and long-time Flickr contact, Martin Goodey. An enjoyable evening and good to meet Martin at last.

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Whimbrels, Porthloo, 6th August

 

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Song Thrushes, Porthloo, 6th August - always encouraging to see how this species' decline in the UK appears to have overlooked Scillies where they remain extremely common and confiding

 

Thursday 5th August

I collected my new lens to go with my new camera this evening and wandered out into the garden to see if I could find anything to practise using it on. Before long a Sparrowhawk provided me with a quick opportunity and although the results aren't great they're a lot better than they would have been with my old set up, especially given the lack of light by this time in the evening.

Moths included a White-spotted Pug, probably not my first, but the most convincing one I've seen so far. Also a Chinese Character and my first Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing of the year.

Sparrowhawk, Bawdeswell, 5th August

 

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Chinese Character (left) and White-spotted Pug (right), Bawdeswell, 3rd August

 

Wednesday 4th August

A lunch break trip to Flitcham produced a couple of Turtle Doves and on the way home a Marsh Harrier was at Bintree. A small number of moths tonight included my first Ypsolopha scabrella.

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Red-legged Partridge, Bintree, 4th August

 

juvenile Woodpigeon, Flitcham, 4th August

 

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Ypsolopha scabrella (left) and Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet (right), Bawdeswell, 4th August

 

Tuesday 3rd August

I splashed out on a new DSLR at the weekend and managed to catch a few minutes in my lunch break to try it out on a Montagu's Harrier.

A better night for moths compared to yesterday though mostly an unremarkable haul. A Panornix sp. was a new genus for me but a full ID may not be possible - I suspect P. devoniella or P. anglicella. Double-striped Pug was my first since April.

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juvenile Montagu's Harrier, N Norfolk, 3rd August

 

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Parornix sp., possibly either Parornix devoniella or Parornix anglicella, Bawdeswell, 3rd August

 

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Scorched Carpet (left) and Twenty-plume Moth (right), Bawdeswell, 3rd August

 

Monday 2nd August

The poorest night for moths for ages - 18 moths of 7 species.

 

Sunday 1st August

Best moth tonight was my first ever Lychnis.

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Lychnis (left) and Scalloped Oak (right), Bawdeswell, 1st August

 

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Agriphila tristella, Bawdeswell, 1st August - do these simply portray variation in tristella, or are any of the whiter-streaked individuals selasella?

 

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