Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Long-lived moths and developing plans

I was actually not at Blashford for long today, as I went to a meeting at the Countryside Education Trust's Tree House at Beaulieu, a very fine building indeed. Back at Blashford in the afternoon I heard the Great White Egret had been seen near the Lapwing hide in the morning and that drake Goldeneye that I keep missing also, as well as the first Fieldfare of the autumn. At Blashford Fieldfares seem to be mostly autumn birds passing through with rather few in winter proper.

Sadly, even at Blashford I was stuck in the office for most of the time, but the moth trap did provide a diversion. The line-up included Large Yellow Underwing, a late Copper Underwing, a Brick, both Yellow-line and Red-line Quakers, a male Vapourer, a Herald and a dark-streaked micro moth called Acleris hastiana, both of the these last two species (pictured below) will over-winter as adult moths, hibernating in some sheltered spot. This means that they may live for six months or more in the adult state, it is perhaps not surprise that both are not obviously moth-like in appearance, especially when amongst leaves of tree bark, they do not want to look too much like food during the hungry winter months.

Plans for the replacement for the Ivy South hide progress as does the project to put in some wildlife cameras, all being well we should be starting work next month. In fact it is going to be a busy winter as we also hope to extend the Sand Martin bank as well and there is still all the usual winter work to be done.

I stayed a little later at the end of the day and took a look at the gulls coming in to roost on Ibsley Water (and still could not find the drake Goldeneye!). The gulls included at least five Yellow-legged Gulls (4 adults and a 2nd winter) and a single Common Gull. Common Gulls are actually not at all common at Blashford and are always worth noting.

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