Friday, 31 August 2012


Off to Sao Miguel in the Azores tomorrowtaking 46 students on a field course. Unlikely to have too much time for any serious birding but there is plenty to see anyway:

Plenty of scenery (I fancy a Black Skimmer on one of these lakes!)

 Some cool extremophillic microorganisms living at pH1 and 95 degrees!

Lots of invasive species
And some endemics too. This picture is of part of a reforestation program to restore Azores Bullfinch habitat.

Hopefully I'll have internet access and be able to post some nice pics through the week.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Plenty more moths

A busy weekend trapping in the mist gave way to much lower numbers this week. The drop in numbers seems to correlate well with the lack of mist as temperatures have dropped only by a degree or so. No more Jersey Tigers once the mist had gone...... Not big numbers but god variety with several new species - several needing ID help!

Kent Black Arches

Black Arches

Six-striped Rustic

Nut Tree Tussock

Chinese Character
Square-spot Rustic

Purple Bar

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Mmmmm Stripey!

A couple of good nights mothing in the mist (plus a Convulvulous hawk in the field). Best species was this:

Striped Hawk Moth
Lots of other stuff too aside from the industrial quantities of Large Yellow Underwing:

Ruby Tiger - New for me

Drinker? or too worn to tell

Jersey Tiger (lutescens) - 10 over the last 2 nights

4 spotted Footman - NFM

Iron Prominent - NFM
Svenssons Copper Underwing - NFM


Jersey Tiger 3
White Ermine 1
Flame Shoulder 5
Brimstone moth 1
Willow Beauty 3
Lesser BBYUW 5
Early Thorn 1
Ruby Tiger 1
Dark Arches 1
Magpie 1
Svensson's Copper Underwing 2
Yellow Barred Brindle 2
Shuttle-shaped Dart 1
Lesser YUW 1
Riband Wave 2
Common Rustic agg. 1


Jersey Tiger 7
White Ermine 1
Flame Shoulder 11
Willow Beauty 3
Magpie 2
Rosy Footman 2
Setaceous HC 3
Garden Carpet 2
Riband Wave 2
Early Thorn 1
Shuttle-shaped dart 1
Striped Hawkmoth 1
Lesser BBYUW 4
Ruby Tiger 1
Red Twin-spot Carpet
Common Footman 5
Single-dotted Wave 1
4 Spotted Footman 1
Svensson's Copper Underwing 2
Iron Prominent 1
Yellow Barred Brindle 3

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Some Italian Moths

Just a few bits and bobs at windows. IDs are based on what I would expect in the UK but I don't know if there are similar species in Italy for confusion.

Scarce Blackneck

Ruby Tiger
Scalloped Hazel relation??

Friday, 17 August 2012

Some History

While I was away, I got an email saying that someone had saved some papers on Dragonflies for me which were about to be thrown out when a room was being renovated. The apparently come from the collection of the late Jack Spittle. Yesterday I went to pick them up. I assumed that they would be quite recent but most are actually from the 40's and 50's. They include a reprint of the paper on the discovery of Dainty Damsel as new for Britain:

There are lots of reprints of papers by the great A. Eric Gardner and some are signed:

This is his work on Dragonfly biology and is signed with the note "Best Wishes for the New Year".

Sympetrum meridionale at Dawlish IDed retrospectively (does sub-teneral suggest that it may have bred?)

About the length of paper that keeps my attention!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Hummingbird Hawks

Just back from 2 weeks with the In-Laws in Italy. I need a bit of time to sort out some photos for a proper blog post but for now I'll leave you with some of the fruits of trying to hide quietly in the garden in the mornings to escape being force-fed pasta! Most of the photos are at 1/1300 or 1/2000 of a second and I still haven't managed to freeze the wings.