27 May, 2015

On the patch

Back out on the patch to see how things are getting on. Bird wise, a Willow Warbler and several Whitethroats appeared to be holding territory, and it's always nice to catch up with the local Bullfinch. Due to its small size and neglected state, Stokes Field can be a little off and on when it comes to spring bird passage - and probably more off than on - but it will take some doing to beat April 2013 when Tree Pipit, Redstart and Red Kite were logged during the duration of the month.

Today's Willow Warbler was interesting in that it was regularly incorporating Chiffchaff notes into its song; albeit at a more erratic and sped up pace than the latter species. A quick Google search found this interesting article on song 'mixing' in Phylloscopus warblers.

Out in the grassland, the stunning Commophila aeneana was flying in the same field as last year in spite of initial worries that trampling by dog walkers over the winter period may have had a detrimental effect on the population. Despite the abundance of the foodplant (Common Ragwort), the moth is very scarcely distributed throughout the county, and currently only known from around ten sites. There were plenty of other insects about to keep me occupied for a good three hours, and it will be interesting to see what else appears there in the next few weeks before I head off to work on a farm on the Isle of Mull for the summer - major bombshell dropped.

Commophila aeneana

Alabonia geoffrella - the moth that gets cooler every time you look at it.

Epiblema costipunctana - a common tortrix on waste ground at this time of year.

Cydia nigricana - lots were flying around the foodplant, Common Vetch.

Red-and-black Froghopper

Xanthogramma pedissequum


Ali said...

Mull - nice!

Ben Porter said...

Great selection of micros Billy! I am literally drooling

Billy Dykes said...

Thanks guys. Fingers crossed there will be some interesting micros on Mull to keep me occupied ;)