July 2014

 

Tuesday 15th July

Another after-work twitch today - this time a Black-winged Pratincole at Cley. I went straight from work and the bird was easily viewed from Dauke's Hide. Most of the time it was on the deck but the odd foray enable us to get brief flight views, though they were for the most part too brief to get any decent shots. Eventually it went for a longer flight, disappearing from view behind the hide after which it wasn't seen again at Cley. Plenty of other birds here too - a couple of Garganey, lots of Green Sandpipers, Barn Owl and first-summer Brent Goose. I heard a Wood Sandpiper calling briefly but didn't manage to see it.

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Black-winged Pratincole, Cley, 15th July

 

Monday 14th July

News of a Great Knot at Breydon Water determined what I would be doing after work. I arrived at the rugby club expecting a 2 mile walk to the place from which it was being viewed distantly. I was met by a line of birders walking hurriedly towards me and the lead guy indicated that the bird was now on the mud just opposite the rugby club - how very convenient! The Great Knot was still distant, but perhaps not as far as I'd imagined. You could clearly see the dark breast and even some dark markings on the flanks. You could also make out a pale scapular line, though that didn't seem to have much colour in it. A much better view than I got of the last putative Great Knot here a few years ago, and this one also had the added benefit of actually being a Great Knot, which the last one apparently wasn't.

After having my fill I returned to the car and checked the latest news. In the excitement of the Knot I'd not taken in what was coming through so was surprised to see three messages about an adult Long-tailed Skua at Winterton. Sounded like it was lingering and it's not every day you see an adult Long-tailed Skua, so a detour via Winterton on the way home seemed a good plan, though it was getting late. I arrived to find a small crowd of people watching a stonking full-tailed adult Long-tailed Skua on the beach in front of us. Amazing views of an amazing bird, and good company too. I wanted to see it fly which took some waiting, but eventually it did have a little fly-around, although by this time the light was fairly poor so the photos aren't great.

Although my shoulder is much better I still can't easily carry a scope and tripod with my right arm (or use bins when carrying it with my left arm). Maybe I should try the Scopac again but I'm not sure that will be easy to manouevre with my shoulder either. Anyway, because of the shoulder I've done very little birding since early May so I was well-chuffed to see these two fabulous birds in one evening!

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Whitethroat, Burnham Norton (left) and Great Knot, Breydon Water (right), 14th July - the Whitethroat in my lunch break showed a bit better than the Knot! My best pics of the Knot (maybe that should be least worst pics) were the ones taken with my iPhone

 

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Long-tailed Skua, Winterton, 14th July

 

Sunday 13th July

With so much to go through from yesterday I didn't attract many moths tonight. Gorse Crest Brachmia blandella, Bulrush Cosmet Limnaecia phragmitella and Large Tabby Aglossa pinguinalis were the best of the few that found their way in anyway.

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Gorse Crest Brachmia blandella, Bawdeswell, 13th July

 

Saturday 12th July

After a late night mothing last night and lots of records to work through it was perhaps not the wisest choice to go out for another round tonight. I'm glad I did though as it proved to be far and away the best night for moths I've ever experienced. It has taken me many hours to go through all the notes, images and specimens and work out the final list, but at last I've done that. There were four of us (Rob, Dave, Keiran and me) with three lights (1 trap and 2 sheets) at Woodcock Corner near Holt and it was so busy we didn't get away until dawn. I'm not sure what the highest count of moth species I've ever had before was - maybe somewhere in the region of 130? Tonight certainly surpassed that though, with a massive 166 species (79 micros, 87 macros - and a chance of more to come when dissection results are in). Among them were several goodies too - Small Purple Button Spatalistis bifasciana was the best with just 5 previous county records. Nearly as good was a species I found at home last year which was the first county record for 129 years. There were two more last year though and there's been one already this year - but Pine Cosmet Batrachedra pinicolella remains an excellent record away from the Brecks. Others that were new species for me were Purple Argent Argyresthia albistria, Gold Pine Ermel Cedestis gysseleniella, Hooked Smudge Ypsolopha nemorella, Honeysuckle Moth Ypsolopha dentella, Pied Smudge Ypsolopha sequella, 2 Pine Groundlings Exoteleia dodecella, 2 Thistle Conches Aethes cnicana, 3 Common Lutestrings, Scallop Shell and Haworth's Pug. Not often I get that many lifers in a night, especially when it's not a new area or habitat.

Difficult to pick out the other ones to mention as there were so many highlights but the ones I see least often were New Tawny Tubic Batia lunaris, Bracken Neb Monochroa cytisella, Two-spotted Neb Eulamprotes atrella, 3 probable Birch Sobers Anacampsis blattariella, Wood Groundling Parachronistis albiceps, Gorse Crest Brachmia blandella, Variegated Golden Tortrix Archips xylosteana, Orange Pine Tortrix Lozotaeniodes formosanus, 5 Brown-barred Tortrices Epagoge grotiana, Rusty Oak or Rusty Birch Button Acleris ferrugana/notana, 3 Grey Birch Buttons Acleris logiana, 3 Pine Marbles Piniphila bifasciana, Large Birch Bell Epinotia brunnichana, White-foot Bell Epiblema foenella, 14 Orange-spotted Shoots Rhyacionia pinicolana, probable Dark Pine Knot-horn Dioryctria abietella, Chevron, 4 Pretty Chalk Carpets, Sharp-angled Carpet, Dwarf Pug, Small Seraphim, 2 Satin Beauties, 2 White Satins, 2 Red-necked Footmen, Green Arches, 4 Millers, Dingy Shears, 3 Slender Brindles and 2 Small Rufous.

A few interesting moths at home too including Barred White Clothes Moth Nemapogon clematella, Burdock Neb Metzneria lappella, Gorse Crest Brachmia blandella, Bulrush Cosmet Limnaecia phragmitella, Burdock Conch Aethes rubigana, Rose Tortrix Archips rosana, Barred Marble Celypha striana, 2 Dusky Pearls Udea prunalis, Gold Triangle Hypsopygia costalis and Small Emerald. The Aethes rubigana was my first for home and the Small Emerald only my second here.

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Orange-spotted Shoots Rhyacionia pinicolana, Woodcock Corner, 12th July

 

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Small Purple Button Spatalistis bifasciana (left) and Pied Smiudge Ypsolopha sequella (right), Woodcock Corner, 12th July

 

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Honeysuckle Moth Ypsolopha dentella (left) and Hooked Smiudge Ypsolopha nemorella (right), Woodcock Corner, 12th July

 

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Pine Groundling Exoteleia dodecella (left) and Gold Pine Ermel Cedestis gysseleniella (right), Woodcock Corner, 12th July

 

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Purple Argent Argyresthia albistria (left) and Pine Cosmet Batrachedra pinicolella (right), Woodcock Corner, 12th July

 

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Two-spotted Neb Eulamprotes atrella (left) and probable Birch SoberAnacampsis blattariella (right), Woodcock Corner, 12th July

 

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Rusty Oak Button Acleris ferrugana or Rusty Birch Button Acleris notana (left) and Grey Birch Button Acleris logiana (right), Woodcock Corner, 12th July

 

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Green Silver-lines (left) and Green Arches (right), Woodcock Corner, 12th July

 

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Common Lutestrings, Woodcock Corner, 12th July

 

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Miller (left) and Slender Brindle (right), Woodcock Corner, 12th July

 

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Dingy Shears (left) and Red-necked Footman (right), Woodcock Corner, 12th July - neither of tonight's Red-necked Footmen had red necks

 

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Small Emerald (left) and Drinker (right), Woodcock Corner, 12th July

 

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Sharp-angled Carpet (left) and Pretty Chalk Carpet (right), Woodcock Corner, 12th July

 

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Small Rufous (left) and Case-bearer Coleophora sp. (right), Woodcock Corner, 12th July

 

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Birch Marble Apotomis betuletana (left) and Pine Marble Piniphila bifasciana (right), Woodcock Corner, 12th July

 

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Large Birch Bell Epinotia brunnichana (left) and Brown Pine Knot-horn Dioryctria simplicella (right), Woodcock Corner, 12th July

 

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Orange Ladybird (left) and Green Tiger Beetle (right), Woodcock Corner, 12th July

 

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Small Emerald (left) and Burdock Neb Aethes rubigana (right), Bawdeswell, 12th July

 

Friday 11th July

Having recently gained permission to moth-trap round the edge of one of the gravel pits in Bittering I met up with Dave for a session there. There was a cool northerly wind blowing and despite a dry but cloudy forecast, it was drizzling constantly. The damp cool conditions were far from ideal and as the evening progressed the weather failed to improve. We found a spot sheltered from the wind and stuck an umbrella over the light, and this seemed to keep the worst of the weather off the operation. Had the weather been more ideal I would have been disappointed with our haul, but given the paucity of moths flying in the headlights as we drove home I think we did ok with 75 species. Highlights for me were Meadow Dwarf Elachista triatomea, Triple-spotted Pug and Maple Prominent (worn almost beyond recognition, but only the second time I've seen this species). Others worth mentioning included 30+ Diamond-back Moths Plutella xylostella, Red-barred Tortrix Ditula angustiorana, probable Round-winged Drill Dichrorampha simpliciana, 2 Bulrush Veneers Calamotropha paludella, 3 Pearl Grass-veneers Catoptria pinella, 5 Drinkers, Chinese Character, Buff Arches, 3 Lesser Cream Waves, V-Pug, 2 Green Pugs, Pine Hawkmoth, Poplar Hawkmoth, Elephant Hawkmoth, Pebble Prominent, 3 Buff Footmen, Dot Moth, Southern Wainscot, 2 Rustics, 2 Burnished Brasses, Plain Golden Y and 4 Beautiful Hook-tips. Apart from the noisy Tawny Owls the only bird of note was Green Sandpiper calling at dusk.

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Pearl Grass-veneers Catoptria pinella, Bittering, 11th July

 

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Pine Hawkmoth (left) and Shaded Broad-bar (right), Bittering, 11th July

 

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Meadow Dwarf Elachista tratomea (left) and Triple-spotted Pug (right), Bittering, 11th July

 

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Bulrush Veneer Calamotropha paludella, Bittering, 11th July

 

Thursday 10th July

Heard a Little Owl calling at work today. Again I tried not to attract many moths tonight as I need to catch up with the records. As usual a few got in anyway, including a Marbled White Spot which is a species I encounter frequently enough elsewhere but it was my first at home since 2010.

 

Wednesday 9th July

Didn't have the light on tonight though a couple of moths managed to get in anyway - Hawthorn Argent Argyresthia bonnetella and Cloaked Minor.

 

Tuesday 8th July

We bought the new house in North Elmham two weeks ago but it won't be til next month when we move in. Just popping in occasionally I've notched up a few birds for the new house list, including Common Tern after 2 days. Having lived in this house in Bawdeswell for nearly 8 years I didn't imagine I'd be adding any more birds to this house list before moving out, but this morning as I lay in bed I heard a Common Tern fly over. So, it took me 48 hours to get Common Tern on the North Elmham house list and over 68,000 hours to get it on the Bawdeswell house list - does that mean the North Elmham house will be over 1400 times better than the Bawdeswell house? Hope so.

Best moth tonight was Oak Nycteoline, my first since 2011. Others new for the year included Garden Rose Tortrix Acleris variegana and V-Pug. Others noteworthy were 2 Bird-cherry Ermines Yponomeuta evonymella (normally scarce here), Plain Conch Phtheochroa inopiana, Dotted Oak Knot-horn Phycita roborella, Large Tabby Aglossa pinguinalis, Chinese Character, Buff Arches and Poplar Hawkmoth.

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Buff Arches, Bawdeswell, 8th July

 

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Chinese Character (left) and Oak Nycteoline (right), Bawdeswell, 8th July

 

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Poplar Hawkmoth (left) and Drinker (right), Bawdeswell, 8th July

 

Monday 7th July

Saw a Hobby for the second day running, this time over the road as I drove past Sculthorpe. Highlights from tonight's moths were Meadow Neb Metzneria metzneriella, Cinereous Groundling Bryotropha terrella, 2 Hawthorn Cosmets Blastodacna hellerella, Rose Tortrix Archips rosana, Triangle-marked Roller Ancylis achatana, Nut Bud Moth Epinotia tenerana, 2 Holly Tortrices Rhopobota naevana, Gold Triangle Hypsopygia costalis, Lesser Cream Wave, 2 July Highflyers and Lilac Beauty.

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Lilac Beauty (left) and July Highflyer (right), Bawdeswell, 7th July

 

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Lesser Cream Wave (left) and White Plume Pterophorus pentadactyla (right), Bawdeswell, 7th July

 

Sunday 6th July

Spent some time on the patch this afternoon. All of the avian excitement came at the same time - as I rounded the north side of Creaking Gate Lake at dusk first a Hobby flew out from over the lake and off north, closely followed by 2 Common Terns - never seen Common Tern there before. Moths included Hawthorn Argent Argyresthia bonnetella, Barred Marble Celypha striana, Red Piercer Lathronympha strigana, 2 Brown Plumes Stenoptilia pterodactyla and 2 Shaded Broad-bars. Not so many moths at home - the best were Large Fruit-tree Tortrix Archips podana and Chinese Character.

Hobby at dusk, Creaking Gate Lake, 6th July

 

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Red Piercer Lathronympha strigana (left) and Stinotus binotatus (right), Bittering, 6th July

 

Saturday 5th July

Tonight there was planned a Norfolk Moth Survey event near Diss. I'd been planning to go but the weather forecast right up to when it was due to start predicted heavy rain from 10 pm to 3 am. It was a long way to go to get rained off and the weather forecast was much better for north and central Norfolk - cloudy but dry. With that in mind Dave and I headed up to Warham Greens. In the end the guys near Diss weren't rained off and had some fabulous moths while on the north coast it became a bit clearer than had been forecast resulting in a drop in temperatures. So perhaps not the best decision in hindsight, but I'm not complaining as we saw several interesting moths too, including six species I'd never seen before. I don't think any of the six were especially unusual in the habitat/location but still good for me; they were Saltern Bent-wing Bucculatrix maritima, Silver-streaked Case-bearer Coleophora limoniella, 3 Saltmarsh Case-bearers Coleophora atriplicis, New Tawny Tubic Batia lunaris, Large Saltmarsh Conch Phalonidia affinitana and 3 Rosy Waves. In addition Ribwort Slender Aspilapteryx tringipennella was my first in Norfolk.

Other micros included possible Skin Moth Monopis laevigella, Hawthorn Argent Argyresthia bonnetella, 15 Diamond-back Moths Plutella xylostella, possible Saltern Groundling Scrobipalpa instabilella, Buff Cosmet Mompha ochraceella, 2 Bud Moths Spilonota ocellana, Chequered Grass-veneer Catoptria falsella, Ringed China-mark Parapoynx stratiotata, 4 Twin-barred Knot-horns Homoeosoma sinuella and 2 White Plumes Pterophorus pentadactyla. Macros included 2 Drinkers, 2 Buff Arches, Barred Yellow, Privet Hawkmoth, Eyed Hawkmoth, Elephant Hawkmoth, 6 Yellow-tails, 5 Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings, Poplar Grey, Grey or Dark Dagger, Rosy Minor and 2 Plain Golden Ys.

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Brown-line Bright-eye (left) and Rosy Wave (right), Warham Greens, 5th July

 

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Silver-streaked Case-bearer Coleophora limoniella (left) and Saltmarsh Case-bearer Coleophora atriplicis (right), Warham Greens, 5th July

 

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Bud Moths Spilonota occelana, Warham Greens, 5th July

 

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possible Saltern Groundling Scrobipalpa instabilella (left) and Saltern Bent-wing Bucculatrix maritima (right), Warham Greens, 5th July

 

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New Tawny Tubic Batia lunaris (left) and Buff Cosmet Mompha ochraceella (right), Warham Greens, 5th July

 

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Large Saltmarsh Conch Phalonidia affinitana (left) and Flecked Snout Nemotelus notatus (right), Warham Greens, 5th July

 

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Hawthorn Argent Argyresthia bonnetella (left) and Ribwort Slender Aspilapteryx tringipennella (right), Warham Greens, 5th July

 

Friday 4th July

Possibly my best evening ever for moths at home! A total of 76 different species in the bedroom including 3 that I've not recorded here before: the stunning Green Silver-lines, a Small Yellow Wave and best of all, my first ever White-triangle Button Acleris holmiana, a very attractive and distinctive micro. Other goodies included the distinctively marked White-foot Bell Epiblema foenella, my first since 2011 and 4 Bulrush Cosmets Limnaecia phragmitella. I'd only recorded the latter species once before, way back in 2009, so to see four in one night was quite unexpected.

Others new for the year were Bordered Carl Emmetia marginea, 2 Small Dingy Tubics Borkhausenia fuscescens, 2 Buff Cosmets Mompha ochraceella, 2 Mother of Pearls Pleuroptya ruralis, 2 Dingy Footmen and Purple Clay. Other noteworthy moths included 2 Cork Moths Nemapogon cloacella, 2 Hawthorn Ermels Paraswammerdamia nebulella, 3 Diamond-back Moths Plutella xylostella, 3 Burdock Nebs Metzneria lappella, Rose Tortrix Archips rosana, Large Ivy Tortrix Lozotaenia forsterana, 2 Nut Bud Moths Epinotia tenerana, Base-lined Grey Scoparia basistrigalis, Gold Triangle Hypsopygia costalis, Peach Blossom, Buff Arches, Grey Pug, Green Pug, 4 Swallow-tailed Moths, Peppered Moth, Elephant Hawkmoth and Short-cloaked Moth.

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Small Yellow Wave (left) and Green Silver-lines (right), Bawdeswell, 4th July

 

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White-triangle Button Acleris holmiana, Bawdeswell, 4th July

 

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White-foot Bell Epiblema foenella, Bawdeswell, 4th July

 

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Peach Blossom (left) and Buff Arches (right), Bawdeswell, 4th July

 

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Short-cloaked Moth (left) and Base-lined Grey Scoparia basistrigalis (right), Bawdeswell, 4th July

 

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Burdock Neb Metzneria lappella (left) and Buff Cosmet Mompha ochraceella (right), Bawdeswell, 4th July

 

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Bulrush Cosmets Limnaecia phragmitella, Bawdeswell, 4th July

 

Thursday 3rd July

Popped in to the patch on the way home from work. Not many birds but quite a few moths. Best of the bunch was a Meadow Dwarf Elachista triatomea - a poorly-recorded species for which there are only 11 county records since 1874 (mind you, 6 of them were last year, so presumably under-recorded). 10 Cherry Fruit Moths Argyresthia pruniella, 2 Cinereous Groundlings Bryotropha terrella, Marbled Conch Eupoecilia angustana, Barred Marble Celypha striana, 3 Common Cloaked Shoots Gypsonoma dealbana, Latticed Heath and Cloaked Minor. Best of the moths at home were Triangle-marked Roller Ancylis achatana and 2 Swallow-tailed Moths.

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Lapwing, Bittering, 3rd July

 

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Meadow Dwarf Elachista triatomea (left) and Marbled Conch Eupoecilia angustana, Creaking Gate Lake, 3rd July

 

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Riband Waves, Bawdeswell, 3rd July

 

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Triangle-marked Roller Ancylis achatana, Bawdeswell, 3rd July

 

Wednesday 2nd July

A quick jaunt round part of Syderstone Common during my lunch break produced little in the way of birds but a few insects, including the likes of Emerald Damselfly, Broad-bodied Chaser and a few Barred Grass-veneers Agriphila inquinatella.

I was at the new house in North Elmham after dark so thought I'd get the moth list off to a start by leaving the light on and door open. It wasn't very effective with just 10 species in the time I was there, but these included Barred Marble Celypha striana and White Plume Pterophorus pentadactyla, both of which took quite a long time before they first appeared at the old house. Back at the old house the best moth was a Blue-bordered Carpet, a species that first turned up here last year. Also good were 3 Rose Tortrices (or Tortrixes?) Archips rosana - a record count for the county! Other noteworthy micros included Obscure Groundling Bryotropha similis.

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Ruddy Darters, Syderstone Common, 2nd July

 

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clouds, Syderstone Common, 2nd July - anyone know what sort of clouds these linear ones are?

 

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White Plume, North Elmham, 2nd July

 

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Blue-bordered Carpet (left) and Cloaked Carpet (right), Bawdeswell, 2nd July

 

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Common Cloaked Shoot Gypsonoma dealbana, Bawdeswell, 2nd July

 

Tuesday 1st July

Stopped off at the patch on the way home from work. Not much doing bird-wise: 3 Common Terns and 2 Little Egrets on Poplar Lake and 3 Little Ringed Plovers on one of the gravel pits. The sites where these bred last year have been drier this year so not sure if they've had any success at all - none visible from anywhere I can access anyway. Best moth was an Oak Carl Tischeria ekebladella, my first of the year.

Nothing more exciting than an Elephant Hawkmoth at home, though Common Rustic agg. was new for the year.

 

 

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