Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Stonechat - Beeley Moor

It doesn't look like the Stonechat has had a particularly good breeding season on the moors this year. I have only seen three or four pairs in the Beeley/ Harewood Moor area and this female is the only bird I have seen with young. She was feeding at least two fledged young yesterday, in a good year they can raise several broods but we are getting towards the end of the breeding season now.
Stonechat - female

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Cyclone over Upper Town, Osprey, Red Kite & Quail

Just back from a week in Spain and observed an unusual meteorological effect over Upper Town this morning which looked like a cyclone, a narrow column of rotating air. These are known as tornados when the column makes contact with the ground.
Cyclone over Upper Town
I was on Screetham Lane with a Quail calling intermittently, which has been present since Tuesday. 
An Osprey was sat on a post on the moor eating a fish before it took off in the direction of Ogston Reservoir, where there are up to three birds at present.

Late morning a Red Kite circled over Beeley Triangle.
Quite an interesting morning!

Friday, 10 June 2016

Wheatear with young - Long Dale, Hartington

One of the great great things about this area is the variety of habitats in close proximity. For example, the Wheatear occurs on passage in both Spring and Autumn on Beeley Moor but I have only known it stay to nest on a couple of occasions over the years. However, just a few miles away in the White Peak it is a reasonably common breeding bird in the summer. 
This morning I went to see how they were doing in Long Dale near Harrington. Some pairs already had fledged young whilst others were still feeding young in the nest. Just a few more weeks and they will be vacating the breeding areas as they start there journey south for the winter.
Wheatear female with young
Wheatear male, starting to look a bit worn
Wheatear female carrying food to the nest

Banded Demoiselle - Darley Bridge

Saw this lone male Banded Demoiselle by the cricket ground at Darley Bridge this morning. This appears to be as far north up the Derwent that they occur, locally at least. 
They are surely the most striking of the dragonflies that occur in the area.

Banded Demoiselle - male

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Peregrine Falcon second calendar year - Bent Lane

Quiet morning with nothing much in the moth trap but nice views of a second calendar year Peregrine on Bent Lane. 
It's still got juvenile tail feathers and outer primaries and secondaries but the inner growing primaries and secondaries are adult. The breast looks to be a mix of juvenile streaks and adult barred feathers. 
Looks like it has fed recently as it still has blood on its talons.
Peregrine - second calendar year

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Small Clouded Brindle - Darley Dale

A scarce but fairly widespread species in Derbyshire, I only catch odd ones at home. This one is in better condition than the one previously posted and shows the characteristic white edge to the kidney mark.
Small Clouded Brindle

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Cistus Forester - Longstone Edge

I've never seen so many Cistus Forester on the wing on Longstone Edge, there must have been several hundred with many feeding down by the roadside this morning. I even managed a flight shot!
It's a scarce moth nationally, it's distribution limited by the availability of its favoured limestone grassland habitat with the larval food plant Common Rock-rose.

Cistus Forester

Cistus Forester UK distribution ©NBN Gateway

Bird's-nest Orchid and Toothwort- Great Shacklow Wood

A good showing of Bird's-nest Orchids at Shacklow Wood, although the flowers are not quite open yet.
As usual there are some flowering spikes of Toothwort in the same area, which clearly like a similar Beech woodland habitat and like the orchid lack any chlorophyll hence the lack of any green colouration.

Bird's-nest Orchid

Monday, 6 June 2016

Curlew in Cotton Grass - Beeley Moor

The Curlews are very vocal at the moment presumably watching over small chicks on the moor.

Painted Lady - Wragg's Quarry, Beeley Moor

A rather more cooperative Painted Lady in Wragg's Quarry this morning. 
Painted Lady

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Painted Lady - Clough Wood

Looks like the Diamond-back Moth numbers are in the decline, only two in the trap this morning but Painted Lady's are on the move with large numbers on the East Coast. I had one today at Clough Wood and Ken Orpe has reported another dozen at various locations in Derbyshire.
Painted Lady

Pied Flycatcher - Darley Dale

At least one pair of Pied Flycatcher are now feeding young. The male and female making a similar number of visits to the nest.
Pied Flycatcher - male with food

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Woodcock and Nightjar - Matlock Forest

Made my first evening visit to Matlock Forest, plenty of Woodcock rodding from around 21:30 with over a dozen sightings and a male Nightjar started calling at 21:50 then started churring at about 22:00. 
There is plenty of habitat for Nightjar after the clear felling last year and it will be interesting to see which areas are occupied.
Woodcock in 'rodding' flight

Adela reaumurella, Green Longhorn Moth - Flash Lane

A fairly common species in England and Wales and found locally in open woodland areas. It is one of a small number of micro moths with greatly elongated antenna. In Adela reaumurella they are twice the the forewing length in the male as in this photo. 
Adela reaumurella - male

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Oystercatcher - Chatsworth

Came across what I assume is the same Oystercatcher I saw on the 24th in front of Chatsworth House today. It's possible that there could be a female nesting somewhere along the river towards Rowsley but it may just be a lone bird. Nine Redstart and two Pied Flycatcher in song during my walk.
Another 12 Diamond-back Moths in the moth trap this morning plus one in the grass at Chatsworth also Scarce Tissue and Herald Moths.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Diamond-back Moth influx

I didn't run my moth trap on Monday night but saw that there were large numbers of the Diamond-back Moth trapped on the East Coast from Shetland down to Norfolk so ran the trap last night and caught at least 15.
I usually only catch one or two each year and it has featured before on the blog, although they are generally rather darkly coloured whereas those involved in this influx are pale.
They have clearly crossed the North Sea from the east as there are few records on the South Coast which is incredible for this tiny moth which is less than 10mm in length.
Why huge numbers should cross the North Sea, all at the same time, is one of those mysteries that make wildlife watching so interesting and unpredictable - even in land locked Derbyshire!
Diamond-back Moth, Plutella xylostella

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...