Friday, 10 April 2015

10th April - We Skipped The Light Fandango

For those who missed the postscript report added to my last post my first Swallow of the year was seen on Wednesday the 8th at the horse stables along Gradwell, my earliest for a while, but then the last few years we have been away for much of April.

Another sighting of note was of again Red-legged Partridges, this time two ran (yes ran, when it would have been quicker to fly!) across the Winchester Road near the old Charters site on Thursday 9th.  Presumably this must have been one of the birds that was in my garden last month, surely there must be better places for them to be.  Interestingly there have been national reports of game birds turning up in strange places, notably a Red Grouse on the Isle of May, maybe it has something to do with the time of year

The good weather has continued through the week, and as a result things have started to hot up in and around the garden.  Most notable has been the Starlings, and in particular one individual male that has taken to singing in the tree outside my office window.  

A stunning young male that has been having rather a bit of luck with the ladies.  He has been singing for most of the day today.

He sits there singing away, bristling the feathers, and finally waggling his wings.

Its the waggling of the wings that seems to do the trick, as when this occurs a female if passing seems to be unable to resist it.  She drops in next to him, nuzzles his neck, which seems to be the invitation for him to hop on.  I have no doubt that very soon there will be the sound of noisy neighbours.

He has been successful three times today, but eventually his luck ran out and he decided it was time to leave as you can see from this piece of video.

Another good sign of things warming up was at last some moths in the trap overnight, its nice to have them back. We started off with the common species that for now are interesting because I haven't seen them for awhile, but it will not be long before I am moving past them.  First up the Hebrew Character.

Followed by three different colour variants of the Common Quaker.  Chestnut in colour.

A pale creamy colour

And one with no distinct patters.

Getting a little bit more interesting, the  Early Grey

They are so cute close up!

This one I believe to be Brindled Beauty, there is a Small Brindled, but I do not think it is this one.

Again wonderful antenna and the furry back.

Finally this one had me guessing, mainly becauase all the photographs seem to show a more paler coloured moth.  However I believe this to ba Pale Tussock.  The way it sat with the furry legs pushed forward is exactly like a Tussock, and when I looked them up I found that there is a melanic sub species, f. concolor, which is now frequent in Southern England.  This variant has the plain blackish forewing and darker grey hind wing that you can see in this indiviual.  However as is always the case I could be completely wrong, if that is the case then please let me know, I am not too proud to ask for help identifying these wonderful insects.

Look at the fur around the eyes, and on the fore legs

It is due to rain overnight, and as a result may put down some interesting migrants, but maybe not here we shall have to see.

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