Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Blashford Classics

Despite a seemingly unpromising night the moth trap contained a surprise this morning, in the shape of a Vestal, a moth that, despite small size, is a migrant. The depth of colour of this moth varies and is apparently associated with the temperature prevailing when the early stages are developing. The picture shows it sitting on the egg-boxes in the trap, not the best of backgrounds, but these moths fly in the day as well as at night so I dare not disturb it.
As well as the Vestal there was another insect with classical connections, there was also a large black beetle with horns, a Minotaur Beetle. This one of the dung beetles, in this case they specialise in feeding on Rabbit dung. These large beetles are believed to be very important food for larger bat species and their decline has been suggested as one reason for the reduction in bat numbers.
Although there were a fair few insects inside the trap I noticed there were none around it, which was unusual, even when the birds have been around the trap they seem to regularly miss some. However today's culprit was possibly not winged, behind the trap I found a Common Toad, no doubt on the trail of a last few meals before the winter.
As I opened up this morning there was a Water Rail outside the Ivy North hide as well as a Chiffchaff in the trees. There was also a cronking Raven flying over as well as two or more Redpolls, perhaps these will stay around with the flock of Siskins that is gathering to feed in the alders.

As I locked up the Tern hide a quick look at the gulls was rewarded with an adult Mediterranean Gull as well as at least 6 Yellow-legged Gulls.

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