Tuesday, 30 June 2015


This unlucky Moth was and now being wrapped up by a spider. Probably a Thorn judging by the colour.
My own trapping is pretty hectic peaking on the 26th with 59 individuals on 23 species but all returned to nature alive, some yet to be ID'd. This Elder Pearl was a nice addition yesterday.
along with Peppered Moth on Saturday night.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Betty blue

Some hot sun on Friday lunchtime saw me at Banks Pond as many species took to the wing. Up to six 4 Spotted Chasers were doing what their name suggests but far too active to get any shots not so the Lesser Whitethroat that sang continuously from cover not showing once. Butterflies were abundant mainly Meadow Brown but this female was one of a dozen or so Common Blues.
I'm not sure if she was called Elizabeth though
Thought I had a six spot Burnet till I noticed the long red bar along the costa (hey technical eh) which meant Cinnabar Moth.
Then hunted around for some micro species to test mine (and more likely the county recorder Tom's) ID skills. Most numerous (three) was Chrysoteuchia culmela but I think the above is Celypha lacunana.
and this dried out reed stem gives camouflage to the, at first view headless, Blastobasis adustella. Sorry if moths don't turn you on but you've got to love the names which I hasten to add may be totally incorrect.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

There's gold in them thar hedgerows

There I was taking advantage of the late evening sun last night looking for micro moths up the Bridle track I came upon one of these. Male Gold Swift new for my list and then
another one. Well talk about buses
and today in my garden another doubler this time Two spot ladybird.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Skip and spec

Large Skipper not particularly common on my patch especially in comparison to the smaller relative
The new kid on the block making an appearance for the third year since it arrived

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Start at the end

After Quail notched up 99 on the PC list last night I headed out with fresh optimism this morning but was rewarded by a number of interesting if distant views. Firstly a Cuckoo being challenged a by Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Jay. A somewhat unusual combination. Then a Gropper actually seen rather than heard but further on no Quail was to be re-found. Whilst looking a male Redstart appeared briefly on the Bridle track but vanished before I got close. So it was back home for some work. By 3.30 I was going up the wall so out in developing sunshine to find some interesting moths a nice Large Skipper and a couple of Speckled Wood. Best of all though, old Red showed again perching briefly before launching off into the bushes.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Fur coat but no....

.. new species last night. The cold nights have hampered mothing in June thus far with 16th the exception when 30 pitched up of 17 different species including two new to my list being Common Swift and Marbled Minor and a number of different Pugs. These White and Buff Ermine were two from 9 of 7 species last night. I'd look forward to warmer nights but more likely is rain as race week approaches.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Fishered out

After a small curry and chips (must watch the waistline you know) from Newburn Chippy I spent an hour at Reeth Pond (apparently should be spelled Reigh and also  known as Throckley Pond). It's a fishing pond managed as part of Newburn Country Park located one field north of Blayney Row and accessed by footpath from there, Heddon Haugh or the bank top road. Long and thin with high trees on the south side and scrubby path with fishing platforms on the north it can appear a bit scruffy but is a bit of a gem although not always for photography due to the reduced light levels.
I can generally guarantee a Kingfisher sighting but nearly always as a one off passing turquoise streak in the murk. This occurred almost immediately I arrived and then again a moment later. As I peered what would be downstream, another bird another whizzed past my elbow. I walked down the path picking up two young Little Grebe being fed by an adult, two Mallard families, the ubiquitous Moorhen and accompanied by singing Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Robin and Garden Warbler the brief views continued, 8 times and not a shot taken!
At the west end where there is a larger area of water where I found an adult Kingfisher perched on a post just below my feet but it flew off to where I had just come from before the camera even reached the eye and followed by a second with a third calling on the far bank. A family party I assume. Trying a different approach I settled down at one of the fishing platforms and waited but to no avail. Perhaps it was the white shirt but the birds demonstrated great aplomb at approaching up the pond then diverting off over trees when they saw me.
Photography results next to nil as none of Kingfisher and most of the Little Grebe shots trashed. Worth a return in bright sunny weather when even if no birds are on view it's a good place to photograph coarse fishes basking or perched Dragonflies assuming it ever gets warm this year.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Feed me

My brother and his partner are up for the weekend on their yearly visit to the Puffins on Farne and to feed the Rooks at Alnmouth. Creatures of habit.........my sibling and partner that is.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

The witch is back

26th June I found this Mother Shipton near Bank's Pond
Today I re-located what may be the same individual but somewhat the worse for wear
Also today my first Speckled Wood of the year and a Lesser Whitethroat singing from this hedgerow. For some reason this is their favourite spot on my patch having been present there in probably five of the last ten years but quite why its so good for them I don't know. A large dense planting of Whitethorn with Hawthorn but next to a fairly busy (in the context of my patch) junction, consequently no pictures were had.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Fly eat fly

Some behaviour I haven't seen before. This Orange tip seems to have been taken by what I presume is a Sawfly. The fly with single the lifeless butterfly occasionally made flights up over the bush it was in, the 'flat', floating butterfly attracting my attention. My book (Collins Complete Guide to British Insects) says sawflies are partly carnivorous so perhaps proof of the pudding.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Cuckoo wasp

Whilst chatting to Christopher at Banks Pond the other day this brightly coloured specimen landed in front of us. Chris recognised it instantly as Ruby trailed wasp and spent the enxt ten minutes waiting  for it to re-appear which it did several times before he eventually got a shot of it
Hopefully he got a better shot sufficient to tell if it is Chrysis ignita or angustula. Betting is on the former as we're at the northern limit of the latter although the golden tinge to the underside suggests the latter. Life's too short. I'm still trying to ID three micros from Friday night although a good crop saw three new macros. Clouded Silver, Rustic Shoulder-Knot and Small Clouded Brindle of 12 different species.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Spot the dragonfly competition

Send me ten quid and 100 crosses to find the dragon courtesy of Northumbrian Birding
and Trog trog. Actually don't bother because in that great old tradition there wasn't one other than the Common Darter I had hidden further up the path!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015


Yesterday one of three Blackbirds about ready to step into the world
The nest perfectly located in the middle of a Berberis bush just feet from my front window by yesterday evening there was just one in the nest and this morning they had all fledged
A proud father with a tender morsel looking for his brood