Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Red Deer at dusk - Chatsworth

I've been to Chatsworth the last couple of evenings with James looking for the Red Deer. We found this stag with about 30 hinds and I managed to catch it bellowing and exhaling a cloud of water vapour just as the sun was going down.
Red Deer

Brambling - Bent Lane

More of that lovely autumn orange this morning, this time in the form of a flock of Brambling feeding on the Beech mast on Bent Lane. The flock numbered well over 100 birds with a few Chaffinch in with them. The weather was terrible but the birds were reasonably cooperative and gave some nice views. Hopefully they will stay for the winter.


Monday, 28 October 2013

Padley Gorge - autumn colours

Went up to Padley Gorge with James this afternoon and this is one of his photos. The colours were great in the late afternoon sunshine.
Padley Gorge (James Butler)

Scarce Umber - first of the Autumn

My first Scarce Umber of the Autumn. I love their orange colour, so well matched to the colour of autumn leaves. Also last night; 3 Satellite, 2 Chestnut, 2 Silver Y, Yellow-line Quaker, 10 Red-green Carpet, 5 Juniper Carpet, 2 November Moths and a single Spruce Carpet which is a good catch for the end of October.
Scarce Umber

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Red Grouse in the sunshine

After raining most of the day yesterday it did brighten up in the afternoon and James and I took the opportunity to photograph the Red Grouse on Derwent Edge, we were also hoping for Mountain Hare but only saw one. It was very windy but at least some of the grouse showed well.

Earlier in the day there were good numbers of thrushes crossing Beeley Moor, at least a thousand, and 50 Brambling was a good count for the early winter period.

Red Grouse

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Amethyst Deceiver - Forty Acre Plantation

Another toadstool from the weekend the Amethyst Deceiver (Laccaria amethystina) found under Beech trees near Darwin Forest and quite common. Taken at a very high ISO in near darkness.
Amethyst Deceiver

Monday, 21 October 2013

Shaggy Scalycap - Rowsley

Ken and I came across this distinctive cluster of the fungi Shaggy Scalycap ( Pholiota squarrosa) at the base of a dead Alder by the river at Rowsley.
Identifying the fungi I saw over the weekend is proving a little more time consuming than I had originally thought but I think I'm making progress, they certainly have some interesting names.
Shaggy Scalycap

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Dark Chestnut and Chestnut

I have never knowingly caught Dark Chestnut in the garden before so I was very pleased last night to catch both Chestnut and Dark Chestnut together at last. Both Simon Roddis a Brian Statham trap the Dark Chestnut on occasion so it is clearly present in the Peak District but much scarcer than the Chestnut.
 Its flight period is much more restricted, the Chestnut can be caught in almost any month of the year and I catch it regularly from September to May whereas the Dark Chestnut generally flies between late September and December.
The main features to separate the two are the dark brown/ chocolate colouring and straighter forewing of the Dark Chestnut with a squarer end to the wing. The pale marks on the edge of the wing towards the tip tend to be more prominent in Dark Chestnut. There is considerable variation in both species and consequently these features overlap somewhat.

I caught another Large Wainscott last night in a catch of 19 moths of 9 species which included another Silver Y. These are good numbers for the time of year for me.

Chestnut and Dark Chestnut

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Fly Agaric - Flash Lane

The Fly Agarics (Amanita muscaria) are past their best but there are still one or two in reasonably fresh condition. With the weather poor most of the day I've continued with the fungi forays and will have a few more to post once I have a name for them.

Fly Agaric

Dipper in song

One of the consequences of the warm weather is to bring the local Dippers in to territorial mode with at least three males singing on a short stretch of the river at Rowsley. This will doubtless be curtailed by a temperature drop in the coming weeks. Very misty to day but several parties of Crossbill on Flash Lane.
Dipper in song

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Scarlet Waxcap - Beeley Moor

It has rained most of the day but I have made a couple of trips out and came across these Scarlet Waxcaps (Hygrocybe coccinea) on Beeley Moor. 
There are plenty of fungi around at the moment so there are things to look for even when it's raining. 
Scarlet Waxcap

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Another Vestal!

I was very surprised to see this Vestal in the trap last night. Initially I wondered if it was the individual I released last week re-trapped but this is clearly a different individual, for one thing this is a male, you can clearly see the feathered (pectinate) antennae which distinguish it from the female caught last week. The dark cross marking on the wing are more pronounced and it is a little less worn.
The warm southerly winds have produced a significant influx on the south coast so it's appearance is not totally unexpected and it will be interesting to hear how many others have made it to Derbyshire.
Vestal - male

Oak Nycteoline

I catch one or two Oak Nycteoline each year although they have been a bit scarcer in recent years. Most are caught in the Spring after the adult has over wintered and consequently they tend to be rather worn. This individual caught last night is in very fresh condition and shows what a beautifully marked and coloured moth this is,
Oak Nycteoline

Monday, 7 October 2013

Lesser Redpoll - Beeley Moor

I seen Lesser Redpoll on most trips up to the moor, either singles or small groups flying over, but to find a flock of over 50 this evening and to have them feeding is quite unusual.

Lesser Redpoll

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Lesser Black-backed Gull - Winster

There has been a party of gulls in the field between Winster and Grange Mill for several weeks now. Seeing them in the sunshine with the lines of what I assume is winter wheat makes quite a striking image. The group included several Herring, Common and Black-headed Gulls and there were also 7 Buzzard in the field.
Lesser Black-backed Gull

Ruby Tiger caterpillar - Beeley Moor

The Ruby Tiger is one of a number of moths which over-winter as a caterpillar. The caterpillars take the opportunity to bask in the sun both in the autumn and early spring, before they pupate, whenever the opportunity arises and today was certainly a good day for sunshine. This caterpillar was very active on one of the grit stone walls on the edge of the moor, other than taking the sunshine I'm not sure what it was doing.
Ruby Tiger - caterpillar

Saturday, 5 October 2013

First winter visitors

Had my first Redwing of the autumn over the house this morning, with several more on Flash Lane where Ken and I also added Brambling. I had a party of 150 Pink-footed Geese fly SE over Harland Edge and there were plenty of Meadow Pipits and Skylark moving west. Merlin and Peregrine made for an interesting morning but no photos I'm afraid.

Friday, 4 October 2013

The Vestal

My second ever garden record of The Vestal last night. This small moth with a wing span of just over 2 cm breeds no closer than Southern Europe but, aided by the warm southerly air stream, has travelled over 1000 miles to Darley Dale. 
The colour of the adult has been linked to the temperature experienced by the pupae. High temperatures produce a lemon yellow ground colour with a vivid pink cross band. At lower temperatures the ground colour is a duller straw yellow and the cross band is brown or black which indicates that this individual is probably from the northern part of the breeding range.
All I need now is Crimson Speckled!
The Vestal

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