Friday, 27 August 2010

Friday 27th August 2010

More Exciting Moth Trapping and continuing Wader-fest ...

There was a real Buzz about the place today ...

A couple of pints of fairly strong ale (6% so they told me) at the weekly Oddies pub quiz, a resultant late night after staying for a couple more games of free pool (and I was on fire, all that practise on facebook flash games such as 'Pool Master' really having paid off ...), and I managed to drag myself out of bed in time to get to the moth trap by 6am. Too early for me, but not quite early enough for the trap - it was getting light. Medium results, nothing too exciting, although 2 Frosted Oranges (should be a kind of confectionary really) in close proximity were new for year, and another sign of impending autumn. A Brimstone was the sole moth outside the trap. The exciting totals;

Large Yellow Underwing 14
Flounced Rustic 8
Straw Dot 3
Frosted Orange 2
Purple Bar 2
Setaceous Hebrew Character 2
Brimstone 1
Common Rustic agg. 1
Small Square Spot 1
Early Thorn 1
Small Fan-footed Wave 1
Common Carpet 1

Burying Beetle 1

Incidentally, the pub is called 'The Oddies', nothing to do with birding celebs whatsoever. Don't know if Bill has ever popped in, but I doubt it somehow. Inevitably any bird questions which do come up in the quiz I invariably get completely wrong.

Left the field and was at Argal by 7am - no rain this time. Half the Swallows upped and left again by 7:30 or so, and my walk around the perimeter was again actually fairly interesting. First waders were 2 Common Sandpiper, with another seen further around. Some distant calls alerted me to at least 2 Curlew, flying over the water and then up and past Mabe Church on the skyline. A Greenshank performed well, also working the shoreline, with another shortly after, flying past, and the first then taking flight too. There was a noticeable difference in size - not something I've really noticed before, and leading to obligatory self-doubt and worries over reverse stringing - what if the larger one was a Bar-tailed Godwit, say, or the smaller one a Marsh Sandpiper?? ... Probably not, as the second would be a first for cornwall, and the second first a pretty good bird given the location, but still ... A Kingfisher was glimpsed flying up and into the trees and presumably to the pond in a neighboring garden, and the Mallard numbers noted were marginally up on Wednesdays, with 23. Four Grey Heron graced the shores with, wait for it, a stunning white heron sp. - my first Little Egret at the site. Not unexpected, but still very nice. A Tuftie, 27+ Black-headed Gulls, 3 Moorhen and 3 Cormorant completed the line up, with further views of a single Ringed Plover again. All nice, considering the reservoir is my new (ish) local patch, hence it should not actually have any birds, and the 8 or so fishermen camped out in tents on the shoreline at regular intervals.
Other more traditionally terrestrially-based avian lifeforms included a brace each of Rook, Bullfinch, numerous calling young Willows/Chiffs (really lazy, should pay more attention, although both seemed present in good numbers), 3 Grey Wagtail by the dam, the splendid sight of a male Sparrowhawk in full flight being harried by c.100 Swallows, as it fled the airspace over the waters and dived into the trees, and a woebegone and constantly calling young Buzzard sat in a large bush.

Views over College are a little more restricted at the moment, but 42 Coot, the swans , 19 Mallard (presumably most the result of on-site anatid procreationals), 3 Grey Heron, 10 roosting Cormorant, 20+ Herring Gull of various ages and a copper underwing sp.moth (year tick) which tumbled out of the canopy and onto the boardwalk in front of me were the highlights. One day soon I'll try and bring the moth trap down into the woods around the lake ...

Argal Reservoir

Little Egret
Ringed Blob

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