Saturday, August 27, 2011
It has been a long time coming, but it was definitely worth it! My longest most irritating bogey bird has finally been and gone and been a-ticked. I can't count the number of hours I have spent attempting to twitch the untwitchable Pied Flycatcher, the amount of frustration I have experienced or the number of times I have thought, aha, this is the day I find a Piedy Fly.
I only feel sorry for the Peterborough area listers who were out of town today, notably John Saunders and most painful of all Brian Stone, who has 'needed' Pied Fly longer than me.
This first-winter bird turned up in Marie Barton's exceptional garden in Murrow, in the east of the PBC area. Last year she had a Yellow-browed Warbler there (which proved elusive). It arrived yesterday and thanks to some nasty weather last night, and her persistent viewing this morning, it was still around at around 12.30pm. Jasmine and I arrived at 1.30pm and were given grandstand seats for the wondrous action in the front garden (which looks a perfect Pied Flycatcher spot). Thank you very much, Marie.
My digiscoping camera was out of juice, but I managed these snaps with the DSLR and 300mm lens.
Bogey finally picked, I am very happy.
Posted by Mike Weedon at 7:11 PM
Thursday, August 25, 2011
In the early 2000s, when I was new to Peterborough, I used to think Wheatears were pretty scarce passage migrants in these parts. These days, they are regular as clockwork and in good numbers, usually dozens per year in the Peterborough area. One of the most reliable sites, be it spring or autumn is Maxey pits' Etton Road site.
There is a particular slope with gravelly rabbit holes which they appear at with incredible consistency. They use the hole entrances as retreats/look-out posts whenever a human comes near. It is fascinating to think how they must fly by on their long movements north and south and home-in on this tiny patch of ground.
Incidentally, I think the black lores make this bird a very fresh male.
Anyhow, these shots were digiscoped with the Canon Powershot S95 and in my opinion show that is a very capable digiscoping beast. Though the photos were taken at about 1/80sec hand-held, in rather dim light, they are pretty darn sharp.
What do you think?
Posted by Mike Weedon at 7:36 PM
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
I have had several Clays this year, and when I saw this moth it struck me that it was its similar rare (in these parts) confusion species, White-point. My photos are so bad, that I may find it hard to make a convincing case. Then again, they may be good enough to make a chump of me. What do you think, mothers, White-point or Clay?
STOP PRESS: The experts on Cammoths have confirmed that this moth is indeed a White-point, which has been recorded in good numbers apparently this year in Cambs. I believe there have also been a couple of VC32 (northants) records this year.
Posted by Mike Weedon at 7:24 AM
Thursday, August 18, 2011
We have and a brilliant year for warblers in our maturing garden, with seven species now recorded. The first Sedge Warbler of the year remained an unseen singer, deep within a bush, but this little fellow is more extrovert, coming to feed on insects among our pond's vegetation. I snapped this this morning while I was processing moths this morning.
Posted by Mike Weedon at 7:33 AM
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
John Saunders found a Wood Sandpiper at Maxey pits this morning. I went to check it out at midday and found there were two there. This is a very distant digiscoped photo of the less boldly marked of the two. My own particular jury is still out on the Canon Powershot S95 as a digiscoping camera, but it does excel at very long range shots.
Posted by Mike Weedon at 2:54 PM
Friday, August 12, 2011
Saturday, August 06, 2011
This moth, caught on 2nd August was the sixth Toadflax Brocade I have caught this summer in our Peterborough garden. There is clearly some kind of population around here, while no one else in VC32 (Northants and P'boro) has yet recorded one as far as I know. These are lovely little moths, and at least the ID is not in doubt, unlike the Euxoa darts I have caught recently (such as the one below)...
Posted by Mike Weedon at 3:26 PM
I caught this individual last night in Peterborough, and am looking for confirmation of its identity. Any ID help would be gratefully received. As far as I can tell (if With the eye of faith, I would say that with the eye of faith, you can see traces of the little blackish arrowheads in the outer part of the wing, which would point to White-line Dart. But with no experience of these species, I may be missing other features. I have the basic ID right), the possible confusion is with the rare Square-spot Dart.
Or is it a weird-looking Garden Dart?
White-line Dart is described as 'very local' in VC32 (northants and Peterborough), though 60 years ago it was apparently very common in some localities.
Posted by Mike Weedon at 8:10 AM