Wednesday, 18 August 2010

What a Beauty...birding still taking a back seat!

The Mothing continues thanks to John Young and Tony Morris. Probably 50-60 species in the garden now, not bad for a couple of weeks. Should have done this years ago !!

I will start birding again soon once work allows me to escape from the laboratory!!

Friday, 6 August 2010

A Whole New World.............

A chance encounter with John Young in Dene Park a few weeks back and talk of Moths etc etc, found me visiting Johns' house a few days later with the offer of borrowing a moth trap, books and even some egg boxes....fantastic.
Like a kid with a new toy I set about with Louise re designing the garden in order that a moth trip could be sited and light up the neighbourhood. Lou and myself were keen to say the least and at midnight instead in being in my slumber I found myself competing with Lou for every moth that happened to venture into our airspace.
A few nights later, exhaustion setting in with working all day and with the kind help of Tony I started to be able to give names to some of these moths. It was a great new World to me and many an hour spent misidentifying them has ensued before Tony's' help!
It would appear that despite being a regular visitor to the DBO fridge over the years I've learnt very little but enthused by this new venture I feel I will also like others become addicted!!
Thumbing through the book I even found one named the Nonconformist!!
Well I never !
Shuttle shaped Dart
Oncocera semirubella
Knot Grass

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Odonata bonanza

In recent weeks I've done very little birding, instead I've turned to my other favourite subject, Dragons and Damsels. We still have a situation in the UK where birding is incredibly popular, either the casual observer, or the hardened obsessive twitcher and this exists to a lesser smaller scale with the Odonata.
A few have reached the 47 mark in terms of UK species, whilst I'm on a paltry 42 and surely it's only a matter of time before someone reaches the big 50!!
Lestes dryas is very common on the North Kent marshes these days having been a very rare damselfly one time. The picture above shows one of the 'many' at Cliffe. Incredibly someone found a few barbarus, Southern Emeralds at Cliffe still a very rare species in the UK but hopefully a new colonist.

Above Southern Emeralds
The incredible news that there was a small colony of Aeshnea affinis, Southern Migrant Hawker at Hadleigh Essex found me waiting with 30 to 40 other manic Dragon twitchers a few hours for the sun to shine and the show to commence. We were not disappointed with two males seen .
Amazingly enough a pair was also found at Cliffe ovipositing, fantastic hopefully another UK colonist
Th Odonata paparazzi
The 'elite' of Dragons discuss the finer points of anal appendages at Hadleigh.
So, no birds but the next step is Moths!!!!
Oh dear I think I've bitten off more than I can chew this time round!!!
To be continued..........................