Big, Blue, Yellow-browed and Educational (again!)

Another day, another Clifden nonpareil, I caught three last week in my garden moth trap and today, yet another. The influx has been huge this year, I had only ever seen three before and until five years ago this was a species that I knew only from the pages of the book and could only dream of ever seeing.

another big blue one

another big blue one

As you can see they really are big and, thanks to the nick in the wing of this one, you can see the blue band in the hind wing. I was due to go to Blashford Lakes first thing today and when I got there Ed had run the moth trap so we had a quick look through it, as we did so he heard a yellow-browed warbler calling. We had brief views of it in one of the willows behind the Building, my second in the space of a week. Curiously the last was also after I had caught a Clifden nonpareil in my garden moth trap and then visited a Wildlife Trust Education Centre. The warbler is a good “first” for the reserve, although with such an influx this year perhaps not the most unexpected.

We had a quick look at a few sites around the reserve where work is planned for this winter, with nothing of great note being seen, although a sand martin over Ibsley Water may well be my last of the year. On our way back to the Centre

we saw a number of grasshoppers near the main car park, looking closely we saw they were lesser marsh grasshopper, a species I had only ever seen in one small area f the reserve before.

lesser marsh grasshopper

lesser marsh grasshopper

The long, pale stripe along the wing identifies this species which is commonest on the edge of saltmarshes by the coast.

I then headed off to Farlington to help moving some cattle, which did not quite go to plan, a snot all of them went where we wanted. In the Bushes I noticed that the crop of hawthorn berries this year is amazing, some of the bushes are more berries than leaves.

hawthorn bush covered in berries

hawthorn bush covered in berries

There will be lots for the autumn thrushes to eat.

hawthorn berries

hawthorn berries



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