Thursday, 28 April 2011

Some Migrants

A rather cool night and a distinctly chilly north-east wind this morning meant I saw little from the Tern hide first thing. The moth trap was almost empty and I will not be running it for a few days. The lack of moths was partly due to the temperature and probably largely due to a raid by great tit. Despite this there was another new moth for the year, a light brocade.
As it was Thursday, the volunteers were in, fifteen people, including one new recruit worked near the Goosander hide and clearing some old fencing on the shore of Mockbeggar Lake. On the way we passed along "Peony Bank", so called because there is a magnificent red flowered specimen that grows beside the path there. How it got there is unknown, the bank is the former edge of a silt pond and a haul route, not an obvious location for such a plant.

At lunchtime I went to the Tern hide and was rewarded with a good range of birds. At least 15 common tern may have included some migrants, the 3 black tern were certainly passing through. A common sandpiper and a greenshank were putting on a good show in front of the hide, I got a reasonable picture of the greenshank, always tricky as they don't stand still.

In the afternoon I was briefly in the alder carr south of the Centre and found a caterpillar under a lichen covered log. I suspected it might be a footman of some sort, so took a picture and having checked it turned out to be a dingy footman. The larvae of this moth eat lichen, not an obvious caterpillar food, but actually not unusual, quiet a few species do not eat the green leaves we generally assume they do.

A rather less welcome sight in the same area were a number of already quite large Himalayan balsam seedlings, it looks like we will be having to organising work parties to remove it next month, rather than in mid June.

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