Saturday, 30 August 2014

Little Egret an unexpected record

Ken observed six egrets flying down the valley from Hackney and watched them fly up the hillside over Masson yesterday morning. He managed to get a photos from about a mile distance, which I've included for interest. I think there is little doubt that the birds were Little Egrets.
Numbers of Little Egrets have increased dramatically in the UK since the turn of the century and can now numbers in hundreds on the South coast. There has been a corresponding increase in Derbyshire with August the peak month. Given the direction they were heading in they may turn up at Carsington Water.
Quiet on the moor this morning, the Black Redstart is still around, the Osprey was last seen on Tuesday.
Egrets over Masson

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Marsh Harrier - Harland Edge, Beeley Moor

Doug Aston had brief views of a 'cream crowned' Marsh Harrier over Harland Edge then over the moor towards Hellbank Plantation early afternoon yesterday and managed a record photo before it was lost to sight.
Marsh Harrier (Doug Aston)

Monday, 25 August 2014

Pyrausta aurata

An Autumn example of the Pyralid Pyrausta aurata, this one is rather worn with many of the red scales on the wings missing. The moth which has a wing length of only 7mm looks black at a distance but is quite striking close-up. It is a moth of limestone grasslands, its larva feed on Majoram and other mints.
Pyrausta aurata

Red Grouse take off

I got a nice sequence of a Red Grouse taking flight off the Coach & Horses rock formation at Derwent Edge yesterday. With more or less continuos drizzle this morning James assisted with editing the photos to make a montage which looks quite effective.
Red Grouse

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Red Grouse in heather

With a reasonable weather forecast I decided to go for Red Grouse in the still flowering heather. As I've mentioned before there are too few on Beeley and East Moor to make a search there worthwhile so I went up to Derwent Edge where they are much more plentiful, despite having entered the shooting season.

Red Grouse

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Osprey - Rowsley

My first Osprey of the autumn in the usual area between Rowsley and Congreave this morning. Ken had seen it yesterday afternoon and we saw it twice again this morning. 
It left in the direction of Youlgreave and its possible it could fish in the pool there I guess. There is more chance of a bird hanging around in the Autumn than Spring so its worth keeping a look out for it. 
Judging be the lack of pale tips to the flight feathers, some of which look a bit worn and the very dark central bar separating the underwing coverts from the secondaries it looks like an adult.


Wheatear in the pink

Came across a fine male Wheatear on the moor this morning which made a nice shot in the sunshine and heather.
Wheatear - male

Black Redstart - still around

I finally caught up with the Black Redstart on Tuesday evening and it was still by the old farm, on the B5057 heading towards Stonedge, this morning. It looks like its moulting although I only managed to get a very distant record shot. It's been there for almost a month since Ken found it at the end of July so it may stay a while longer.
Black Redstart

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Deep-brown Dart - new for garden

This is my first record of Deep-brown Dart in the garden and only my second for Derbyshire. It looks like this is a species that is moving in to the area as Simon Roddis has caught 3 or 4 in Darley Dale in the last couple of years.
Deep-brown Dart

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Broad-barred White

I've run the moth trap a couple of times since getting back from France but, with cool overnight temperatures, moth numbers have been low but I have added Least Yellow Underwing, Dusky Thorn and this Broad-barred White. I usually catch one or two per year of this well marked moth but for some reason haven't posted it on the blog before.
Birds were few and far between on the moor this morning and it looks like I've missed the Black Redstart and Marsh Harrier but the heather is looking good.
Broad-barred White

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Black Redstart - Stonedge

I have just returned from a fortnight in the French Alps, I'll post some of the wildlife highlights on Flickr in the next few day, consequently I have no personal news but Ken sent me a couple of photographs of a Black Redstart which has been present for at least 10 days near Stonedge by the B5057. Not sure if it is still in the area but it will be something to look for at the weekend. Ken also mentioned that there has been several Marsh Harrier sightings on Beeley and East Moor in the past week.
A Derbyshire rarity there are generally only a couple of records a year in the County so this is a good find and a species which could be easily overlooked so well done Ken!

Black Redstart (c.Ken Smith)

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