Thursday, 22 July 2010

Arrivals and Departures

Heavy rain first thing this morning promised the possibility of a wader or two on Ibsley Water and so it proved, well a wader anyway. Luckily the rain had stopped by the time I arrived and out on one of the islands in Ibsley Water there as a single turnstone, still largely in breeding plumage. Otherwise things were pretty quiet with just single common and green sandpipers. In fact it was not that quiet in a literal sense as there were several juvenile common terns noisily making their presence felt. The one pictured was preening on one of the posts outside the hide.
I had hoped for some good moths in the trap but was disappointed as, for some reason, the light had not worked, a quick check did not reveal anything obviously wrong, so let's hope it works tonight. Having not posted for a few days I include a picture of a female oak eggar from a couple of days ago, although not at all uncommon they do not often come to the trap.
There is a difinite whiff of autumn about now, with returning waders and the departure of many of the swifts, I have not seen one at all at Blashford for some days now. The adult cuckoos have gone and the juveniles will not be far behind. I try to record my last adult cuckoo each year, so much harder than the first in spring. Usually it is sometime in late June, as it was this year, rarely early July, although once and most remarkably, in mid August.
Generally departures go little recorded compared with the arrivals, partly because it is only in retrospect that we know that it was the last. The same is true for the loss of whole species, nobody knows, for instance, when the last dodo was seen, because at the time the observer did not know it was the last.
On the general subject of arrivals and departures, we are all becoming familiar with the idea that our spring migants are arriving earlier, but my observations suggest that many are also staying much later into the autumn. In fact in many cases my last dates for species have moved by more than the arrival dates. I am not sure how general this trend is, but there are certainly several species, such as spotted flycatcher, redstart and garden warbler that use to be quite notable in October that are now quite unremarkable even well into that month.


  1. No mention of the 2 LRP chicks seen on Monday and predated by Wednesday, one wonders if they would have had a better chance if the area had not been cleared.

  2. Lovely bird ,the moth looks interesting too.