28 July, 2021

A Migrant Warbler At The Nose

What madness is this??!?!?
Giving the classic migrating call and feeding like a banshee [ok, not best analogy], I spent a fair bit of time trying to nail this little darling as it was very mobile in the Top Dell.

Good practice for that Greenish [what? I can dream...]

I even got a good hit - not bad through all that foliage - and this is what you see here;

ID Challenge!

'Challenge' might be pushing it a bit, I admit.

It was slim pickings, bird-wise, with not even a nice juvie YLG on offer and no tasty return migrants [let alone abmigrants..] other than a few Chiffies..

There was some news, though;



Two second-generation Wall were out amongst the masses of Gatekeepers and remaining MBs and Marbles.

Common Blue

Females far less obtrusive.
Small Skipper
 Sex brand and underside of antenna tip!  :D
Coming up..
Things not lepidopterish! And maybe another post about something possibly.

Yeah, it's all excitement here.

Be Seeing You...

26 July, 2021

Post About Stuff, Things, Maaaaybe A Few Moths....

Just sticking random things together.

First up;

Detecting from my skygarden, evenings when I remember to, has yielded frequent Common Pipistrelle, plus Daubenton's / Natterer's [I can't get 'on' it for long enough to be sure..] and something at about 42khz which defies my [very poor] skills at ID.
More juvenile birds seen, including a new Blackbird brood [2], Great Tit [3+], Carrion Crow, Jay, lots of Herring Gull [no YLG juv here yet, I am looking]. Things have dropped off on the feeders; still birds coming, but nowhere the volume of even two weeks ago. GSW and Green Woodpeckers are much more in evidence, but I've not caught sight of juv.s. Swifts still about, with 7 in sight at once on Sunday.
More details to come in a future post [yes really!]

Moth numbers are low, though the hot weather upped things a bit, with lots of crambids especially. Though this is modern 'lots', as opposed to 5+ years ago lots [an order of magnitude higher...].
Entrances made by;

Small Blood Vein


White Plume Moth

Another Small Blood Vein.
Because wowzer much darker.

Small Emerald

Same insect, later on.
Showing off hindwings

Clay Triple-lines

Dingy Footman

Four-spotted Footman
[being eaten by a spider 
I can't see well enough to ID]

Speaking of spiders...
Philodromus albidus

Oegoconia caradjai, probably

Bird Cherry Ermine

Hmm, well, there do seem to be an awaful lot of moffs in this, don't there? I haven't even got to the crambids yet...

All I can say is that every other image I looked at prompted a "Oh that needs to go in x".  I am - you may or may not believe - actually planning non-moth posts of a multiple nature. With actual non-moths photographed in them. There might even be a vaguely- in-focus bird...  ::Gasp::  ::Faint::


I have a surfeit of pains about me right now [no more moaning, I know...] so I shall spare you [ok, and me] sifting through 'which Crambid is this??'. Thus, I'd better;

Be Seeing You...

23 July, 2021

Melting.. I'm Mellllting..... Pt.2; Four, Five, Six

Second post for second day. Woo, inventive.

Even hotter, with less breeze, and despite giving up far earlier, I still was struck with vicious brain pain on getting home. But enough moaning.

More of the same? Not quite.

Common Blue

The day before, a Small Copper was prowling the First Slope. This time, Common Blue.

Also, even more of these, and one actually stopped!

Six-spot Burnet Moth

You also get Fives at the Nose*, but you need them to actually sit still for a mo' to tell the two apart.. Will try again when weather less favourable for them.

Large Skipper

Small Skipper


Only one count, from Look Out, but a memorable one, with a fly-through Clouded Yellow and everything! [[Yes, yes, the Nose is always later and less than Beer Head...]]

Not just butterflies in the firing line, first up, we have what I thought was a Clearwing in flight - I got so excited... - but in fact on landing was this;

Longhorn Beetle!
[Strangalia sp.?]

Dark Bush Cricket
[well, its bum, anyway...]

Chafer Beetle

Musk Thistle

Okies, that'll do.

Be Seeing You...

[[* There are photos in past years' posts if you want to archive-delve. Presumably all standard, but Narrow-bordered are not that far away and I believe expanding their range, so until someone comes along with a licence and a net..?]]

Interlude; Birds! Gasp!

While wandering about the Nose annoying the poor insects, I did happen to see the odd bird.

Migrant-calling Chiffchaffs en route along IMD and juvie Blackcaps at the Nose, for examples.

I also gave the gulls loafing on the Lead Stone a good look - and zapped the lot - as matter of routine. You have to keep looking, after all.

Behold the first picture I took on Sunday, slightly cropped;

Gulls, more Gulls, Shag, even more Gulls..... oh what's that?

See what I missed?

Didn't miss it - or as it turned out, them - the second time, when from the bottom of the Blasted Heath [so about 2/3 down the Nose] and I spotted and fired off a salvo at a 'small wader'. Just as gulls flushed what was actually a much bigger bird [what I saw moving was a head] around a bit, showing off a lot of flashy white bits.. and a friend!

The photos are not ideal, and perhaps you need the eye of faith; into light, plus glare, plus moving subject, at long range and high zoom...

Ok, enough of the burbling;

Head turned a little to right..

I see a long straightish [upturned?] bill, pale maybe even greenish or horn, with a darker far end.

Just landed

You can see how very white it is underneath [the other one's already closed wings and effectively vanished] and up the back.

Proof [ha] of two birds

Pre-flushing, mid way between sticking-up bird and nearest gull. [Cynics; That 'rock' isn't there in the other pics. :P ]

Greenshank are not frequent birds at the Nose, as they usually [ok always in the past] just fly by. I've had them pass on a seawatch now and again in past years, but sightings [or more often hearings] are definitely less than annual. Why are these ones sat on the Lead Stone when the Exe [or even the Teign] is just up there? Well, it was pretty much high tide at the time. Slim, but all I can come up with.

I wouldn't normally subject you to such blurry horrors*, but to get something locally scarce on record [ok, on blur] is a rare treat for me.
We're not going to mention the three [three....] Red Kites which came over the Patch the same day yet managed to elude my sight. Not at all. 

Anyways, that's enough of that.

Be Seeing You...

[[* Ok, ok; I don't any more. ]]

21 July, 2021

Melting.. I'm Mellllting..... Pt. 1; One, Two, Three

A sudden and inexplicable shift in the weather has made it all hot and sunny. 
I don't approve. 
Anyone would think it was summer or something, and we all know that in actual summer it rains. Just a bit warmer rain than in winter.

Anyways, I defied my instincts - to cower in the boiling shade - and went out in the morning to the Nose, to see if anything was about. The odd wandering rarity had been found on other patches by other birders the same way after all. Duty and so on.
Also, the weekend of the Big Butterfly Count was come around again, and as butterflies are studiously ignoring even the big Buddleia down there, ::Points out the window:: I'm having to go to them. 
Go I indeed did, on both days, and made 5 timed counts. Perhaps should have been more, but hordes of assorteds and the sheer heat did for me. I also had a look about for any wandering birdies that might have mistakenly found themselves there.

Needless to say, I found no Melodious Warblers. I did find something nice on Sunday, but that's not for this post. [You'll be happier about that when you see the photos...]


Starting to emerge, soon they'll likely outnumber the rest combined! Our Gatekeepers come in many forms, varying in brightness and size, so they can imitate an amazing variety of other species...
This one is small and bright, and in flight looked very like a skipper [yes, it flew like one, too!].

Small Copper

Or is it another small Gatekeeper?  :) Yes, a good look and it's obvious, but at a glance, flying insect? 

Small Skipper

Not Essex, note underside of antenna tip [black in Essex]

I should point out that getting anything sitting still was hard yards indeed, as the sun and general heat made them all supercharged... [Then, when you finally find one sitting down, and can get an angle on it, along comes some BLEEEPing mundane stomping right through your attempted shot. Joy.]


Right, anyways.
Saturday was far countier, with four taken; IMD at Brandy Bend, Look Out, the Mud Path, and The Mounds. Numbers of the expected species were ok if not epic, though Ringlet numbers on the shady Mud Path were pleasingly high for the site.

NOTE: For reasons beyond the grasp of this little black duck, you are no longer allowed to record anything but the commonest spp. on the BiBuCo. This includes, for example, skippers. Yes, very rare, hard to ID unless you've a digital camera... like on everyone's phones, you mean?? But we can tell the Whites apart ok. Call Meadow Brown from Ringlet and Gatekeeper?? Come on....

I've inputted my counts taken already, but I won't be bothering with any more.

Getting back to more important things;

Meadow Brown?
Nope, it's another Gatekeeper!

Meadow Browns were the most common sp., but none posed! So here's a Gatekeeper doing it's best impression. [For non butterfiles, MB has only one white dot in the black wing spot, Gatekeeper has two]

Coming Up...

Pt 2 [shock], also an interlude which will make you feel green about the gills... [Ho ho ho]

Be Seeing You...

17 July, 2021

Flowers And Things

Why? Well, a) they're relatively easy to photo, as they rarely fly off and b) I've yet to find anything else to put on here...

What can you do?

While I'm keeping on keeping on looking for things and stuff, I come across assorted pretty flowers, and of course the fungus season is just starting to warm up a bit, so, well, what is a Backward Birder to do?

Spear Thistle, with visitor

Creeping Thistle

Marsh Thistle

Common Knapweed

Greater Knapweed,
with GORGEOUS Bee sp.!!

Common Restharrow

Field Madder

Yellowleg Bonnet

I did mention first funguses, didn't I?
[The Deceiver doesn't count. The Deceiver never counts.]

Common Centuary

Lesser Centuary

Lesser fresh out at the Nose, noticed whilst hanging around counting flutterbys. Why was I hanging around counting flutterbys? Cue the trailer;

Coming soon, only on Backward Birding....

The Backward Birder gets busy with the butterflies. As the Patch swelters under blazing sunshine - 28° in the shade - that time of year comes around again. So we see our intrepid hero defying the Sun's wrath - and the hordes of grockles - to try to find and maybe even count some butterflies. What will he see? Find out on the next exciting post of      Backward Birding!

Well, it is Big Butterfly Count weekend.

Be Seeing You...

16 July, 2021

It's Another Post About Moffs

Yeah, I know... What can you do?

Let us get on with it, shall we;

Jersey Mocha

At least I opened up with a good one. [A bit worn, true, but not a bad sp.]
I'd like to be posting about other things - he says, grinning - but well, what can you do at this time of year when you have to work [and oh if I could take my camera to work, there was a gorgeous utterly fresh Blood Vein* there on Weds night. Just posed at a nice height to photo, too....]?
Well, I am working on pretty flowers and stuff, but now the Heat has arrived, and I fear I won't have the energy to do much inland birding of use. Also, horseflies. 
I will try, but no promises can be made.


Have some more moffs. They're not that horrid! [Beat gulls, don't they? o:) ]

It's a Riband Wave

...So is this!

Common Pug, maybe

Juniper Pug, possibly

A Carpet, but I cannot tell which...
[Fond of my kitchen light; 
got past curtains to get to it!]

Scoparia basistrigalis

Garden Carpet

Dwarf Cream Wave

And now 'tis time for the inevitable crambid horrors....

Chrysoteuchia culmella

Agriphila inquinatella

It's not all moffs, though. The odd other insect turns up, and here's pictorial proof;

Hoverfly sp.
Melanostoma scalare, maybe?

Brown Lacewing 
[Hemerobius sp.?]

Right, that's the lot.

I shall,

Be Seeing You...

[[* Wonderful wonderful names, some f them have. If only they'd turn up here... ]]