Wednesday 24 July 2019

Waved Carpet

Waved Carpet - my first here in Exmouth and a scarce species, more or less restricted to the south-west and extreme south-east. I was chuffed to see one that Martin trapped in June 2017 but never expected to get one here, in the garden.
Some nice moths in the trap last night, following an intense overnight electric storm. Rusty Dot Pearl was the only immigrant species but Small China Mark, Water Veneer, Pebble Hook-tip, Coronet, Ruby Tiger, Yellow-tail, True Lover's Knot, Royal Mantle, Kent Black Arches, Jersey Tiger and Waved Carpet were all vying for attention.
Whilst going through the trap I could hear at least one Ring-necked Parakeet. It sounded like it was coming from the line of poplars alongside Lower Halsdon Farm. Otherwise just 30 Whimbrel off Mudbank noted today. Incidentally, a work colleague of mine reported Ring-necked Parakeets at Withycombe Rugby Club a couple of weeks ago. Looks like they're really becoming established as part of Exmouth's avifauna!

Caterpillar sp - found crawling on the outside of the trap.

Yellow Shell

Acorn Piercer - Pammene fasciana.

Royal Mantle

Straw Dot

Kent Black Arches

Monday 22 July 2019

Svensson's Copper Underwing

Svensson's Copper Underwing - yet another Exmouth garden first, or at least it's the first time I've identified one.

Two adult Roseate Terns on Bull Hill shortly before 7am this morning. Lee's pretty sure they're two of yesterday's birds. Lee has also received information that Saturday's individual was ringed as a pullus at Rockabill, Ireland on July 4th 2017. Thanks Lee.
Also off Shelly Beach - 120+ Sandwich Tern, at least 6 Common Tern and at least 5 Mediterranean Gulls.
Nearby off Mudbank - 25+ Whimbrel and 5 Mallard.

The black labial palps, tipped white, are a useful identification feature. Ideally you'd look at the underside of the hind wing for a firm identification, but this would involve anaesthetising the moth which I have neither the means nor the desire to do!

Swallow Prominent

Plain Conch - Phtheochroa inopiana

Marbled Green

I think this is Rock Samphire

Rosy Cloaked Shoot - Gypsonoma aceriana - a brand new micro for me. It has presumably wandered over from the line of poplars at Lower Halsdon Farm.

Least Yellow Underwing

Sunday 21 July 2019

Small Marbled and Four Rosys

Small Marbled - I've seen plenty of these in France but this is the first one I've ever trapped. It's a truly tiny species which could easily be over-looked as a 'cochylis', but it's an immigrant 'macro' and a pretty rare one at that. The only other immigrant species last night were three or four Silver Y and one or two Rusty Dot Pearl.
I had to rub my bleary eyes first thing this morning when my first scan of Bull Hill, from Shelly Beach, revealed four Roseate Terns sat together in a tight bunch. Once I'd convinced myself they simply couldn't be anything else I texted the news out. I then enjoyed prolonged views of them fishing together in the river, and later they settled at Dawlish Warren, as predicted. Here they allowed Lee to get a further three ring reads (one bird was un-ringed). Remarkably all four were different to yesterday's bird. Perhaps we're seeing a return to this species being regular on the Exe again. I do hope so!
Also counted this morning were 120+ Sandwich Tern and at least 4 Common Tern. I'm sure there were more than six Mediterranean Gulls out there but no juveniles which is a bit odd.
The only other birds of note today were 3 Grey Herons 'in-off' from Maer Rocks early this morning (with a fourth bird on the rocks) and a Peregrine over Shelly Beach.

Small Marbled

This is the first White-line Dart that I've ever trapped. I sent this photo to Barry Henwood, just to confirm it's not the very similar Coast Dart, which apparently doesn't occur in Devon.

Double-striped Pug - this and the following species are all common moths but I'm in the process of updating my moths pages (see menu bar above).


Willow Beauty


Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (male) - two females were also trapped last night, along with my first Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing of the year.


Dingy Footman

Dot Moth

A big thank you to Lee for letting me use these beautiful photos. Wish I had half his photography skills!

Saturday 20 July 2019

Roseate Tern

Roseate Tern (bottom left) - photographed from Shelly Beach early this morning. Lee had slightly better views at the Warren...

Thank you for this beautiful image Mr Collins! Lee managed to get a ring read on this bird but anticipates a lengthy wait before getting any details. This is the first Roseate Tern I've had in Exmouth for nearly two years. I used to take it for granted that I'd get them every spring and summer off the seafront, but their status locally has done a sharp U-turn and they're now very scarce, despite numbers on the main UK breeding sites apparently on the up.
The clear highlight this morning was a ringed adult Roseate Tern (though I didn't realise it was ringed until Lee picked it up at the Warren) roosting with other terns on Bull Hill. Unfortunately it was always very distant for me but I enjoyed watching it all the same. It was in the company of 110+ Sandwich Tern, 10+ Common Tern and large numbers of Black-headed Gulls. Also in the estuary this morning - 1 Common Gull, 6+ Mediterranean Gull, 15+ Whimbrel, 20 Canada Geese and 4 Mallard.
Nearby off the seafront - 4 Common Scoter.
Grayling - Colaton Raleigh Common. Good numbers of these seen this afternoon along with numbers of Small Heath and Keeled Skimmer.
Pair of Small Red Damselfly - I've been after a photo of a female for a while.
Finally - another shot of the Roseate Tern taken at Dawlish Warren, from Lee. I think this shot is stunning. Thanks again Lee. Look forward to finding out where it's from and how old it is.

Thursday 18 July 2019

The Campion

The Campion - only my second ever and another first for me in Exmouth. Every Lychnis is carefully checked for this species. This one has a lovely pinky flush to it, but even without this the Campion can be identified by the round-ended indent, pointing inwards from the leading edge, between the angled oval and kidney marks. On Lychnis this 'indent' is straight-edged because the edges of the oval and kidney don't actually meet. I haven't explained that very well but see below:

Scarlet Tiger

Scarlet and Jersey Tigers
Small Angle Shades - I always feel compelled to photograph this subtly gorgeous moth - a species I trap relatively frequently.

Wednesday 17 July 2019

White-line Snout

White-line Snout - my second, following one Martin trapped last year, but the first here in my Exmouth garden.
Today's only bird news - 24 Whimbrel, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull, an adult Common Gull and two Common Tern off Mudbank on this afternoon's rising tide.

Poplar Grey

Small Dingy Tubic - Borkhausenia fuscescens.

Common Yellow Conch - Agapeta hamana.

Small Skipper

Poplar Hawkmoth caterpillar on Sallow.

Small Blood-vein