The number of butterflies moving through the garden improved over the weekend with Brimstone, Large and Small Whites a Small Tortoiseshell, and several Gatekeepers. The Goldfinches continue to empty the bird feeders, and there has also been a family party of Long-tailed Tits coming to the feeders and for a bath and drink.
The House Martins now have a second brood above the lounge canopy. It seems that they will nest early in the year then once the first brood has fledged they look to have a second brood in another nest. Our nest was left for the second brood this year, and the young can be heard calling as the adults fly in. As we worked in the area of the nest on Saturday, the adults seemed to be concerned by our presence with plenty of alarm calls as they flew low past us.
I took part in the House Martin BTO survey this year, my allotted square being just north of the A31. The squares are selected randomly, and the area I surveyed had mostly bungalows and houses less than five years old. As a result I had to return results of no House Martins at all which is a shame. Around home the sky now seems to be full of them.
One other bird of note over the garden was a Red Kite on Sunday Morning, how long will it be before the Daily Mail is call for these beautiful birds to be controlled?
I did though manage to put the moth trap out Saturday evening, and Sunday morning there were mixed results with a very small amount of moths, but two new ones for the year. First up though was a nice Rustic.
And a moth that over the next few weeks and months I will probably see a lot of, the Large Yellow Underwing. This moth has been described to me in the past as "rectangular" and this is due to the way it holds its wings folded back, flat along the body. The wings are held in place by a coupling mechanism for the front and rear wings of the moth. There is loop on the underside of the forewing called a retinaculum and this connects with the frenulum, a spine at the base of the forward or costal edge of the hindwing, holding the wings closed at rest.
When disturbed it scuttles about on the floor like a mouse, having quite strong legs as you can see here.
New for the year was this Small Magpie.
And this delightful Lesser Swallow Prominent, identified from the Swallow Prominent by the shape of the white triangular patch on the edge of the wing. In the Swallow Prominent this is two white lines.
Hopefully the weather will behave this week and I get the chance to spend a little bit of time in some more conducive conditions, There are signs that the autumn migration is under way with reports of migrant birds around the south coast. All will be dependent of course that I can move after the exertions in the garden this weekend, Everyday hurts!