Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Pochard and Pinions

A quiet day, more or less calm and quite grey to start with. When I opened up the Tern hide a slight surprise was a duck pochard sitting on the shore near the hide. With legs set far back on the body for diving they are not very able on land.
After a few shots of the pochard two duck tufted duck also came ashore. The nearer one has a small white patch at the bill base, sometimes this can be very large and then they sometimes get misidentified as scaup. Tufted duck always have slightly shaggy rear crowns and are nothing like so bulky as scaup though and the white on a scaup is much larger, see the picture from Sunday for a comparison.
The moth trap was well packed with moths, over 230 moths of 16 species. New for the year were two very closely related species, pale pinion and tawny pinion. Both over winter as adults and neither are common, it is a bit of a mystery why this should be, certainly not foodplant as both eat common tree species. The first picture is pale pinion and below that the tawny pinion.

The commonest moth was once again small Quaker with 120 individuals, but as well as the two pinions there were four other species represented by single individuals. These were satellite, early grey, dotted border and the brindled pug, pictured below.
Birds were rather few, sand martins were again visiting the nesting bank and I heard the lesser spotted woodpecker calling as I was checking the moth trap. My personal highlight was almost missed altogether and barely seen if I am honest. An otter in the lake just to the eats of the Ivy North hide, but all I saw was a bend of back, a curve of tail and a bow wave as it disappeared.

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