Sunday 28 May 2017

Bottle-nosed Dolphins, Small Grass Emerald and Fox Moth

Red Kite - one of 7 or 8 seen heading east, from the back garden, yesterday. Their wander-lust takes them all the way down to west Cornwall only to return almost immediately, presumably back to the home counties.
The birding has hit a summer trough here in Exmouth so it was nice for Nick and I to sit and watch a pod of c10+ Bottle-nosed Dolphins off the seafront this morning, thanks to the heads-up from Lee. They were milling around out in the bay, more towards Dawlish then Exmouth, but decent scope views were had. With Lu and the kids spending large amounts of time down at Exmouth festival I was able to get out on the commons with the dog. Not much in the way of birds but two day-churring Nightjar and a family party of 4 or 5 Mistle Thrushes were noted. I spent very little time looking but a single Red Kite was seen today from the garden - tracking north upriver.
Yesterday at least 7 Red Kites were seen from the garden and off Mudbank there were 7 Bar-tailed Godwit, 3 Grey Plover and 6 Whimbrel. A quick squiz off the seafront produced 4 Sandwich Tern, a single Common Tern, c15+ Common Scoter, 4 Sanderling and 4 Guillemot.
The day before, on the 26th, I had 1 Great Northern Diver, c20+ Common Scoter, 8 Manx Shearwater, 2 Shelduck, 1 Sanderling, 1 Sandwich Tern and 2+ fs Mediterranean Gull off Orcombe Point, but I managed to spectacularly miss a Black-browed Albatross by a few minutes! Nice one Spencer. I'll get over it one day!
Small Heath - Woodbury Common - one of several on the wing today.

Small Grass Emerald - good numbers of these beauties on the wing on Woodbury Common today. Similar numbers of Common Heath were seen too.

Presumed Swollen-thighed Beetle?

Honey Bee

Buff-tailed Bumblebee - worker. Thanks Nick.

Juvenile Nuthatch

Fox Moth - a male and my first one ever despite having seen numerous larvae.

Presumed Lead Belle - flight season a better fit for this species and zigzag outermost cross-line is well defined. I'd feel happier if the central spots were more tear-shaped but I reckon it's probably Lead rather than July Belle, which should be on the wing from mid June according to Waring and Townsend.

Brown Silver-line


  1. Jealous of those moths Matt. Fox moth is fab. Your BB is a Buff-tailed worker I think. Yellow bands on thorax and abdomen, but not connecting the two, and a buff tinge on the white tail where it joins the black. Definitely a worker because it has pollen in its baskets and makes don't gather it.

  2. Thanks Nick. It was one of at least two in the garden so guessed it was something common. I heard the Fox Moth before I saw it - the sound of its wings buzzing against the long grass. See you soon. Matt

  3. So sorry you missed the Albatross Matt. I know that feeling when you've been at a location then you later find out you've missed a great bird. I was hoping it would have hung around for others to connect with. I'm still in shock about seeing it.