Sunday, 19 June 2016

coastal wildlife by our caravan

Rain ruined the end of the weekend for our stay at the caravan but we had a fabulous day Saturday! We went for a big walk along the coastal path to our favourite haunt - Burry Holms, a tiny island off the mainland, next to a massive, and the best, beach. So along the way we always see things such as little creatures and birds and therefore our walk takes a lot longer than most other people who are just out for a walk!
We take photos when and where we can.  Saturday provided quite a variety of wildlife...

my all time favourite, the Fulmar, perching on the rocks. I know I posted these before but on this walk I can never resist taking a photo of them!

Looking out from a part of Burry Holms towards the sea there was quite a large gathering of Herring Gulls.

Another favourite - the Gannet. Several were sitting on the sea in the distance and occasionally 2 or 3 flew past us, quite close by, on the incoming tide. 

Record shot of a Shag. Smaller than a Cormorant and generally harder to see.

Above and below a Grey Heron. Unmistakeable and most non birding people can identify these. 
 Landing shot here, gives you an idea of the sheer size of them.

 The weather was great but forecast to rain Sunday (today) so we took the opportunity to use the small heath trap moth trap outside the caravan - first time for it this year. We trapped a small variety of moths, enough for us to get back into it...

Green Carpet

Scallop shell - a 'WOW' moth !

Grass rivulet - tiny but has a lovely sandy colouring.

Lychnis - common this time of year.

This micro moth appreared on my husband's arm during our walk on Saturday. Agapeta zoegana. Very bright yellow with some brown markings and a yellow head. Quite well distibuted throughout UK. 

A large fluffy caterpillar yet to be identified!

Meadow Brown butterfly trying to hide in the grass, another record shot.

The coastal paths are edged with lots of these bright purple flowers. I will endeavour to identify these too.

On our return walk we spotted this! Not the best photo but it was quite remarkable and something one wouldn't forget in a hurry. We got out the insect book and found it straightaway. It's a type of Scorpion Fly called Panorpa germanica.

Antoher insect we found was Corizus hyoscyami - an easily recognisable bug. Found throughout England and Wales. You can do a general google search on it's name to see images online! It's red and black!

Friday, 10 June 2016

National Moth night and the night before it

It's all moths at the moment!
Possible rain forecast next 2 nights for where we are so at least we've done one night for National Moth Night.
We trapped 154 individuals of 33 species - a good selection overall.
New ones for the year were...

 Small Seraphim - a local species meaning they're not very common and only found in specific parts of the UK.

Foxglove pug


Bee moth - as expected with a name like this found in/near bee and wasps nests. The larvae feed on the comb in the bee/wasps nests. 

Small Fan-foot - one of a few very similar speices. Common.

Celypha lacunana

I think the 'WOW' moth here is the Small seraphim,  and the Bee moth which is quite a coloured individual.
Having to get up earlier now as daylight is early - setting the alarm for 4.30 a.m. but not really moving until 5 a.m. Also needing to spend more time looking for moths around the outside of the trap, all over the grass, many bushes and the fences - they really do settle anywhere and everywhere!

The night before, night of 8th  June, we trapped 57 individuals of 37 species so you can now see how wide ranging it is - always weather dependent and which species are new on the wing.
New ones for the year were...
 Shears - fairly common in UK. This was the 'WOW' moth!

Green Carpet

Mottled Beauty

Eudoina pallida - a micro moth, also a lifer for us. Good camouflage.

Small Angle Shades - a pretty looking moth, quite easy to identify. Nothing like the similar sounding moth 'Angle Shades'.

Heart & Club - very easy to identify. Common in southern half of UK.

Riband wave - very common in the summer, but markings are variable. Can often have a dark band going across the middle of wings.

Chrysoteuchia culmella - a very common grass moth.

 Silver Y - named for the diagnostic 'y' marks on the wings. These are migrants to the UK given the right weather conditions from the contintent. Can also be seen in daylight feeding or 'nectaring' on flowers.

And lastly  this extremely well marked Common Marbled Carpet.

Well I hope you've been able to find a National Moth Night event to visit and that you enjoy it. Thanks for reading.

Monday, 6 June 2016

mega moth activity....

It was very hot last night which resulted in a huge amount of moth activity! A total of 152 individuals of 33 species!
To my surprise was a staggering amount of Diamond-backed moths - they were everywhere. A total of 64 ! 
The first moth I tubed was crawling around the grass next to the trap. I recognised the species shape straightaway (footman species) and noticed it was orange! Lovely. Then when I checked the book afterwards it was actually called Orange Footman but I hadn't realised it was a complete lifer for us! Meaning this was the first time in our lives we've seen this species. And here it is....

The next most amazing moth one will ever see is the beautiful Elephant Hawkmoth. Always a delight. We had 2 overnight in the trap. A generally common occurring moth in the UK. 

Remember Buff Ermine last week ?! Meet White Ermine. It is wonderful to see even though it's white with black spots. Quite common in the UK. 

This is Alder Moth has very striking dark markings. 

Green Pug - all pug species are quite small but certainly not micro moths. Named for obvious reasons! Although not all are completely green. Quite common in the UK.

This is a mirco moth - Small Magpie. Easy to identify and common in the southern half of UK, less common in the northern part. 

Clouded Silver - a sweet name for something so simple looking.  

Here is a Figure of Eighty. Look at the pattern on it's wings that resemble '80'. 

A very well marked Marbled Minor moth. So well marked that I thought it was a different species. 

Crambus pascuella - commonly known as Grass Veneer. It's another micro moth and is often found in the grasses.

Final micro moth for now - Notocelia cynosbatella. Quite common and just about easy to identify as it has orange/yellow mouth parts.

I found this one by chance later in the morning whilst bush bashing in case there were any I had missed! Yellow-barred Brindle. 

WOW! What a catch! Keep watching this space for more moth news - as the season quickly progresses and with all this heat we'll get loads of moths. Next up is National Moth Night later this week so come back and check our findings then. Bye for now.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

June 2nd moths...

A cooler and clearer night here resulted in fewer moths than the other night. 
New ones for the year were...

Buff Ermine - above and below. Always a delight to see. Cream coloured with a few black marks as you can see. Very common throughout UK  . There were 2 outside the moth trap.

This is a Light Emerald. A pale green coloured moth with a slight red mark at the tip of the wings . Also very common in UK. We also had 2 of these.

And below is a Common Swift. A very small moth, one of 4 swift species. this being the most common of them. Even though it is small, it is still a macro moth but it's not as small as micro moths  .  

Next week, 9-11 June, is National Moth night - an annual event to celebrate and raise awareness of all the work of moth recorders. It has a different date and theme each year. This year's theme is Hawkmoths - always a favourite with anyone.

You can read more about it here and look for any events happening local to you - 

 I really do hope you will take the opportunity to attend an organised event to see these amazing creatures and that this will spark your interest. Enjoy.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

the garden

Remember a little while ago we were preparing a part of the garden for a wildflower patch ?!
Well this is it now! 


Our wildflower mat arrived last week as rolled up turf, already planted with wild flowers suitable for bees and birds. All we had to do was unroll in the place it was going, water it every day for 2 weeks and then check it has rooted. Each day it looks better. 

The Poppies look wonderful.

As does the Cornflower

It is a mixture of grasses and wild flowers, Also seen here is Red Campion.

This was bought from

We also have another new addition to the garden completed the last few days....

a bug hotel !

Our daughter really wanted for quite some time. She helped of course and is pleased as punch with it!

front view

close up of front - waiting to gather few more natural materials to fill some of the pots, otherwise all full, all way round.

side view

We're just waiting for something to move in now !