Saturday, 31 October 2015

Acleris sparsana

A nice example of Acleris sparsana last night. Widespread in Derbyshire wherever the food plant, beech, occurs. Nice looking moth it flies from August to October. 
Decent catch last night with the warm weather, my first December Moth of the year, and it must be one of my earliest records. Also caught the Light Brown Apple Moth, Epiphyas postvittana. Up to 2010 this was my commonest micro moth appearing in every month of the year but since then its been very scarce, perhaps due to the colder winters.
Birds quiet on the moor, a few Redwing, Fieldfare and Wood Pigeon moving over the moor and several Brambling but a rather misty day.
Acleris sparsana

Monday, 26 October 2015

Kingfisher - River Bradford at Youlgreave

Nice views of a Kingfisher this morning at Youlgreave and with some sunshine. 
The water level on the river was as low as I have seen it, although talking to the locals I know that this section has dried up completely in the past.
River Bradford at Youlgreave

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Dipper in song

Interesting bird the Dipper, not only because of its aquatic feeding behaviour but, as most birds vocalisations are limited to calls as winter approaches, the Dippers are in full song defending winter territories much like the Robin and like that species both males and females deliver the song. 
This bird was on the River Wye at Rowsley early this morning.

Dipper in song

Friday, 23 October 2015

Black Redstart Peasunhurst nearing a 2 month stay

The Black Redstart still present this morning having been at the old farm building at Peasunhurst by the B5057 for almost 2 months. It has completed its moult and whilst it looks like a female it has been heard singing several times.
A Great Grey Shrike was seen briefly at the Triangle on Wednesday by Mick Taylor but has not been seen since, bird was also present at Leash Fen on Tuesday.
Black Redstart

Monday, 19 October 2015

The Streak

I've been away for a week, and it looks like all the winter thrushes have arrived whilst I was away. There were around 400 Fieldfare and Redwing on Bent Lane and several hundred more around the Triangle this morning.
I put the moth trap on last night with no great expectations but was pleased to catch The Streak. It's a moth a seldom catch although it's probably reasonably widespread in the area with the food plant, Broom, occurs.
The Streak

Friday, 9 October 2015

Silver Y

I was reminded, after posting the Dark Sword-grass below,  as I walked across a set-aside field on Screetham Lane that the Silver Y is, by a long margin, our commonest immigrant moth. There were dozens of them this afternoon feeding on the remaining thistle flowers.
Whilst large numbers do cross the North Sea and English Channel each summer they do breed here, which augments the migrant population.
Several groups of Redwing around the moor, one party had a Ring Ousel with them which the Redwing appeared to be trying to chase away. A juvenile Stonechat near the Triangle.
Silver Y

Dark Sword-grass - another migrant moth

A few more of the regular autumn moths trapped this week with the warmer weather; Green-brindled Cresent, Blair's Shoulder-knot and the first of the autumn Epirrata moths, the November Moth.
Pride of place though goes to the Dark Sword-grass caught last night. 
The only immigrant moth which I catch with any regularity it is still a rarity with only one or two records most years, usually in the autumn.
Dark Sword-grass

Monday, 5 October 2015

Red-line and Yellow-line Quaker

Both Red-line and Yellow-line Quakers new for the year over the weekend but very little else in the moth trap.
Red-line and Yellow-line Quaker

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Redwings return

My first Redwings of the autumn on Flash Lane this morning, at least twenty birds with around 50 Mistle Thrush. Ken had also seen Fieldfare.
The Redwing looked dark, are these Turdus iliacus coburni from Iceland rather than nominate iliacus from Scandanavia and Russia? Looking in Martin Garner's Challenge Series Winter they certainly show the heavy breast streaking and darker crown and ear coverts. Interestingly, there have still been very few Redwing on the east coast so have these birds come from the NW?
I've provided a more detailed write-up on the Redwing on my Wildlife Diaries site and included additional photos of Icelandic and nominate Redwings for comparison.

Red Deer Rut - Big Moor

Made my first trip of the autumn up to Big Moor to have a look at the Red Deer rut. Many of the big males already have their hinds in tow and there was a lot of bellowing but the light was poor first thing.
Red Deer stag

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Pink-footed Geese over Beeley Moor

I missed the first Pink-feet of the autumn which where reported last weekend but surprisingly, given the overcast and rather misty conditions this morning, two groups of about 170 birds flew west over Beeley Triangle this morning. 
Two Crossbill flew over Flash Lane which are the first I've seen for a while.

Pink-footed Geese

Friday, 2 October 2015

Common Lizard - October record for Beeley Moor

I can't recall having seen Common Lizard before in October. Usually they have disappeared to start their winter hibernation by early September on Beeley Moor but the weather has been so warm recently it has encouraged them to bask a little longer. 
I saw a couple of juveniles today and no adults so it may just be the youngsters remaining.
I've also seen Brimstone butterfly today along with several Small Tortoiseshell and a Red Admiral.
Common Lizard - juvenile

Bright-line Brown-eye larva - Beeley Moor

Whilst watching Common Lizards on a drystone wall this Bright-line Brown-eye larva appeared. It looked like it was looking for somewhere in the rocks to pupate.
Bright-line Brown-eye larva

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