Saturday 29 October 2022

Crimson Speckled

With so many turning up on these unrelenting southerlies, I decided to put some effort into finding my own Crimson Speckled. The Maer seemed like a sensible place to start looking and, sure enough, within a few minutes  I flushed this beauty from some rough grass. I found my first one back in October 2013, on Orcombe Point, and have since seen a couple abroad, but each one is a real treat.

Not much bird news today. It's too windy really. Orcombe Point was blown out but a late Whinchat was good to see. Otherwise - 6 Common Scoter offshore and a flock of c40 Skylarks in the top fields.
Off Mudbank - 1 juvenile Arctic Tern, 1 Sandwich Tern, a first-winter Mediterranean Gull, 1 Grey Plover, 25 Black-tailed Godwits, 1 Greenshank, 6+ Redshank, 1 Ringed Plover and c75 Turnstones. Still 2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese in with the (uncounted) Dark-bellied birds.

A late Whinchat on Orcombe Point. Flighty in the strong wind.

Juvenile Arctic Tern - Mudbank. Not good photos but I very rarely get the opportunity with this species in Exmouth.


  1. Superb result with your Crimson Speckled hunt! I must put some effort into finding my own. 👍

  2. Thanks Gav - would imagine it would be worth walking through the vegetation at the top of the beaches near you. They're easily disturbed. Good luck if you give it a go. All the best. Matt.

  3. Great find with the Crimson Speckled, Matt. I flushed one whilst walking on Peak Hill, Sidmouth last Sunday, which was a new moth for me. The recent records mainly seem to be confined to to the coast.

  4. Thanks John, there have been a few further inland but most, as you say, have been coastal. Relatively few in light traps too. Considering the numbers being recorded there must have been hundreds, if not thousands blown in by these southerly winds! All the best. Matt.

  5. Well done on your Crimson Speckled! Amazing, unprecedented numbers along with so many other species. I think 5 new moth species for the UK last month & a new shieldbug too!

    My only UK Crimson Speckled was not surprisingly Scilly, where they've had a few again this year. Think Dungeness had 12 one day!

    A late Whinchat. Been my best ever autumn for this species locally & they seemed to be around for a long time.

  6. Hi Neil - the mothing has indeed been spectacular, but I've rarely run the trap due to the high winds and rain. I probably should have been braver, and dread to think what I've missed! Its weird how I've seen more late Whinchats this year than birds at traditional times. If you'd asked me in September I'd have said its been a terrible autumn for them. Hope you get some good November stuff. Matt