Thursday, 26 August 2010

Wednesday 26th August

Exciting Moth Trapping results.

Checked the trap at 5.45am on Weds 25th. So to be strictly accurate, these results should be for Tues 24th Aug. Clear and full moon overnight :-

Large Yellow Underwing 16
Flounced Rustic 10
Set Heb Character 3
Orange Swift 2 (f)
Mullein Wave 1
Common White Wave 1
Garden Carpet 1 (possibly NFY!)
DB Tw Spot Carpet 1
Rosy Rustic 1
The Lychnis 1
Flame Shoulder 1
Common Rustic agg. 1
Obligatory Pug sp. 1

First multiple occurence of LYU this year. Not a bad catch considering how others up and down the country have been faring of late, but to be honest not a lot to get up at 5am and drive off into the countryside for.

Massive Frenzied Wader-fest at Argal Reservoir.

After waiting for it get light enough to check the trap and dodging the intermittent light rain showers which delayed the checking of aforementioned, I upped and drove the couple of miles to the local birding hotspots of  College and Argal Reservoirs.

It's been far too long since my last visit, and in the meantime water levels have dropped at Argal Reservoir by an astoundingly good metre or two, so lots of exposed shoreline (some mud, mostly granite 'gravel', with the odd 'cornish hedge' exposed), with the result that some waders were on display. I was hoping for some hot wader action, given the time of year and the fact that Stithians, about 3 miles distant as the rarity flies, has had up to 7 species (not sure how unusual that is?), but multiple Wood Sands, LRP and Ruff never too bad ... A walk around the perimeter this morning 7:20 am onwards, and the following were recorded:-

Greenshank 2+ (mobile)
Common Sandpiper 1
Ringed Plover 1

Not quite as good as Stiths, admittedly, but fairly outstanding nonetheless (only seen a flock of Curlew once in the fields with a single flyover, and fairly regular winter Snipe up until this point), oops ... maybe I should have been checking the reservoirs a leetle more frequently over the last month ... The Ringed Plover caught me a little by surprise. Now just need to get down there a little more regularly and put up my ... 'Yank Shorebirds Welcome Here!!' sign ... Non-Shorebird (Reservoirbird?) stuff included:-

Grey Heron 3 (1 ad, 2 imms)
Mallard 15 (1 of which was a youngster with mum)
Tuftie 1
BH Gull 23+
Cormorant 1
Swallow c.500 (stupid numbers - c. 300 flew up from the dam wall flushed by a BH Gull, whilst c. 200 where still hunting over the waters)
Sand Martin 1 (that I noticed!)
Chiffs and Willows - a fair few, didn't pay that much attention to them tbh.

It started to rain as I was nearing the end, but undaunted (stupid) I carried on to College where I was greeted by the improbable sight of lush vegetation, a family party of 6 Mute Swan, and 27 Coot, 3 Moorhen  and half a dozen Mallard at the bottom end. Summer and Autumn all rolled into one. Total:-

Mute Swan family of 6
Canada Goose 2
Coot 27
Moorhen 4
Mallard 11
Little Grebe 1
Big Gulls lots in the foggy rainy haze

Just need to work out how to get some pics of things up on here now ...


  1. I am sooooo jealous Dan!!! After 3 years of patching Argal the water levels never dropped and I only notched up a Common Sandpiper plus the usual wintering waders (Curlew, Lapwing, Snipe and Woodcock). Cracking stuff! Keep checking it out if you get the chance, last time the water level dropped seriously (in the 70's) shed loads of stuff turned up from the states.

  2. Soz mate!!! We really should have checked it out the other week - scrubbed PG etc. Oh well. Anyway, think I'm back into checking it for the autumn now, and some rare vagrants would certainly be nice ....