Sunday, 28 September 2014

Red Deer rut - Big Moor

It's the start of the rutting season for the Red Deer. This superb stag had around 50 hinds with him along with a mix of younger stags.

Red Deer

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Yellow-legged Gull - Upper Loads

This adult Yellow-Legged Gull, with around 40 Lesser Black-backed Gulls was following a tractor ploughing a field at Upper Loads this afternoon. An increasingly regular autumn and winter visitor to both the Ogston and Carsington gull roosts this is the first I have recorded locally but is not unexpected as the number of Lesser Black-backed Gulls increase during the autumn.
Interestingly the white mirrors on the primaries are quite large on this bird which is sometimes given as a feature of birds originating from eastern Europe.
The Black Redstart is still around, this is its 61st day in the area I think. A single Merlin over Beeley Moor but otherwise rather quiet.

Yellow-legged Gull

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Linnet flock

Starting to feel much more autumnal with cooler temperatures overnight but some lovely sunshine this morning, especially following yesterday's grey overcast weather. Finches are starting to build up on Screetham Lane with around 200 Linnet. Also single Golden Plover with the Lapwing first thing.
Two sightings of the same Marsh Harrier this morning, I missed both, but the Black Redstart still present and what is presumably the same female Merlin seen carrying a Meadow Pipit.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Garden Dart

Another new moth for the blog, the Garden Dart, again courtesy of Simon, and taken in Darley Dale. 
i have caught it in the past but not for several years and I would describe it as scarce locally. I caught a Neglected Rustic last night which is rare away from the moors.
Garden Dart (Simon Roddis)

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Gold Spot

Although I've featured Lempke's Gold Spot a couple of times and included a comparison with Gold Spot I haven't actually posted Gold Spot previously. This one, caught last night, is a nice example showing the darker general coloration and the white oblong near the wing tip end in a point on it's inner edge rather than with a blunt edge as in Lempke's
Gold Spot

Monday, 15 September 2014

Loch Garten Osprey 'Millicent' roosts at Rowsley 24th August

Thanks to the individual who posted the comment on the Osprey record from 23rd August providing details from the RSPB web site of the satellite tracking information on Millicent.

There is more information here, but I've included the extract and map below.

The detail is as follows: At around 10.30 GMT on 24 August she passed into England just N of Catcleugh Reservoir, Northumberland where she may have had a refuelling stop.  At 13.00 GMT she was W of Barnard Castle and crossed into S Yorkshire just after 15.00 GMT travelling S to pass between Bradford and Leeds before finally coming to roost at 19.00 GMT in woods N of Rowsley and E of Bakewell in Derbyshire.  She travelled 310 km on this day.
There is limited data for 25 August but she appears to have had a late start at 11.00 GMT travelling SSE.  She may have spent some time exploring the River Derwent in the Matlock area.  She may have only travelled 12 km or so during the day.  On 26 August at 09.00 GMT she was travelling SSW from Cromford, Derbyshire passing over Birmingham and Ross on Wye before coming to roost at 19.00 GMT in woods on the Gloucestershire/Monmouthshire border, 6 km SSE of Monmouth.  Millie travelled 170 km today and overall around 490 km for the three days.  She has also reached some real heights of 1320 m and speeds of 41 kph!

According to the blog she had arrived in Mauritania on the west coast of Africa by the 7th September.
Route taken by Osprey 'Millicent'

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Peregrine in a tree at Chatsworth

Although they are more commonly seen sat on rocky outcrops in quarries or on the moors the Peregrine will also use trees as a vantage point. This bird was sat in a large tree near the river at Chatsworth.

Pink-barred Sallow on Autumn leaves

Still not much variety on the moth trapping front but a nice Pink-barred Sallow last night and a migrant Silver Y.
Pink-barred Sallow

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Short-eared Owl new for the year

I flushed my first Short-eared Owl of the year, a juvenile, near Bent Lane this morning. It flew almost directly away from me for about 50 metres then landed in an area of bracken so the photos are not great. I left it there in the hope that it might stay in the area and hunt this evening.
A female Merlin by the triangle was the only other bird of note, there was a significant increase in the number of Meadow Pipits on the moor this morning so plenty of food on the wing.
A couple more sightings of Marsh Harrier during the week including a bird with wing tags indicating it had fledged in Norfolk.

Short-eared Owl

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Black Darter - Wragg's Quarry

Several Black Darter on the wing in Wragg's Quarry this morning. The last of our dragonflies to emerge the main flight period is August so they may not be around much longer. 
A word of caution, there are more bee hives in the quarry than in previous years and they are quite aggressive so watch out!
Black Darter - male

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Mouse Moth

Another moth that has certainly declined in my records. I used to catch several each year a decade ago but this is the first for three years, so again is new for the blog. Named for its colour and its habitat of running rather than flying when disturbed.
I was on the moor first thing this morning and saw the Black Redstart in the old farm on the B5057, now present for its 41st day since Ken first found it in late July and making it one of the longest residing Black Redstarts recorded in Derbyshire.
Mouse Moth

Nightjar - first summer male

George sent me another photo of the Nightjar trapped on 24th August on Beeley Moor which he aged as a first summer male. This photo clearly shows the white mirrors in the three outer primaries.
Nightjar 1st summer male (George Briggs)

Friday, 5 September 2014

Hedge Rustic - new for blog

Typically for the time of year the moth trap at the moment is full of Large Yellow Underwing with a small number of other species. This morning the catch included this Hedge Rustic. Described as common in England it is by no means so in the Peak District I catch the odd one or two but not in the last couple of years. Like most of the moths at the moments this one is not in great condition.
Hedge Rustic

Monday, 1 September 2014

Nightjars - Beeley Moor

The only regular bird ringing on Beeley Moor is carried out by George Briggs, his main focus is Meadow Pipits in the Spring and Autumn and thrushes over the winter but he is also licensed to ring Nightjars and has caught several birds over the last few years including a bird first caught in the Clumber Park area in Nottinghamshire. 
During August George caught three birds and he has kindly sent me the photos, he has aged the top two as juveniles and the bottom as possibly a first summer male.
Nightjar 08/08

Nightjar 14/08
Nightjar 24/08 (George Briggs)

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