Sunday 31 May 2020

Blyth's Reed

Juvenile Dartford Warbler - East Devon Commons.
A trip over to the stunning Beer Head this afternoon - believe it or not my first ever trip there! Kevin Hale had made the superb discovery of a singing Blyth's Reed Warbler - a bird I still needed for Devon.
On arrival the bird was singing and it sounded spot on - like a slowed-down Reed Warbler with melodic, at times Nightingale-like fluty phrases between the 'chunters'. After about an hour however it speeded up considerably, and sounded much more Marsh Warbler-like with breathless, hurried phrases and spells of frenetic mimicry that included House Sparrow-like 'chirrups', Yellow Wag-like 'tsweeps', Whitethroat-like 'churrs', Chaffinch-like 'chinks' and even Green Sand-like 'kluweet-weets'. This floored me a little bit and I realised how untrained my ears are to the rare 'acros'. The doubts started to creep in and I was leaning much more towards Marsh, but it sounds like the consensus is now firmly back in the Blyth's camp which is great news. Habitat-wise it certainly felt better for Blyths but you can never me too sure with migrant birds.
Huge thanks to Kevin and great to see Ernie,  Clive, Ian and Gavin. A thoroughly educational afternoon and a sharp reminder of the pressing need to purchase some recording equipment!

July Belle


Juvenile Linnet.

Saturday 30 May 2020

Alder Kitten

Alder Kitten - the first I've ever trapped. My only previous one was trapped by Martin.
Maro species trapped in the last couple of mornings included Common Swift, Figure of Eighty, Treble Brown Spot, Garden Carpet, Red Twin-spot Carpet, Ruddy Carpet, Purple Bar, Broken-barred Carpet, Common Marbled Carpet, Sandy Carpet, Common Pug, Freyer's Pug, Grey Pug, Double-striped Pug, Clouded Border, Scalloped Hazel, Peppered Moth, Willow Beauty, Light Emerald, Eyed Hawkmoth, Poplar Hawkmoth, Elephant Hawkmoth, Alder Kitten, Sallow Kitten, Pale Tussock, Buff Ermine, Cinnabar, Heart and Dart, Shuttle-shaped Dart, Angle Shades, Flame Shoulder, Large Yellow Underwing, Setaceous Hebrew Character, Bright-line Brown-eye, Common Wainscot, Knot Grass, Dark Arches, Dusky Brocade, Marbled Minor agg, Treble Lines, Vine's Rustic, Mottled Rustic, Straw Dot and Snout.
Micros included Hawthorn Moth, Ruddy Streak, Brindled Plume, Light Brown Apple Moth, Barred Marble, Southern Bell, Red Piercer, Bee Moth, Thistle Ermine, Small Magpie, Rusty Dot Pearl, Meadow Grey, Little Grey and Narrow-winged Grey.

Sallow Kitten

Alder and Sallow Kitten.

Singing male Dartford Warbler.


Sand Martin


Bee Moth

Figure of Eighty

Dusky Brocade

Meadow Grey Scoparia pyralella

Southern Bell Crocidosema plebejana

Treble Brown Spot

Friday 29 May 2020

Scalloped Hazel

Scalloped Hazel

Hawthorn Moth Scythropia crataegella.

Brindled Plume

Common Swift

A box-fresh Elephant Hawkmoth - my first this year.

Tuesday 26 May 2020


Elm Bent-wing Bucculatrix albedinella - approximately 9mm in length but a smart little thing and a new species for me.

Maiden's Blush - very little blush on this slightly tatty one but a great moth.

Broad-bodied Chaser (male).

Broad-bodied Chaser (female).

Little Emerald - haven't seen one of these for years but not an uncommon moth.

Inlaid Grass-veneer Crambus pascuella.

Pebble Hook-tip

Treble Lines - another, more swarthy form, that I don't recall seeing before - compare with photo below.

Ribwort Slender Aspilapteryx tringipennella

Mottled Pug

Common Pug

Marbled Conch Eupoecilia angustana

Dark-barred Tortrix Syndemis musculana

Juvenile Dartford Warbler.

Large Long-horn Nematopogon swammerdamella.

Male Stonechat - one of the many 'rubicola' or 'continental types on the pebbled heaths displaying massive white collar, large unmarked white rump (with limited streaking on upper-tail coverts) and a huge amount of white in the wing coverts.

Fiery orange on the breast but white from the belly intrudes on to the centre of the breast - same individual below.

A second male 'rubicola' type. This type predominates on the commons. Below a more typical 'hibernans' type. Some limited white in the rump of this one.