Monday, 3 October 2011

A Manx Tale

Bird News: Ibsley Water - great white egret 1 (the usual bird).
For various reasons I neither saw nor heard of anything much else in the way of birds all day. The moth trap included a few notables. A migrant dark swordgrass was especially fine, which probably indicates that it was actually locally hatched rather than a real migrant from overseas.
Autumn is the season for "large" wainscots, these include several heavy-bodied species, including the large wainscot itself. Today there was also a bulrush wainscot, a rather darker species than the large.
The other day there was another one of these wainscots, the rather scarcer Webb's wainscot, as I did not post the picture at the time I do so now.
I managed to get the rest of the front face of the Ivy North hide treated with preservative this morning, possibly just in time as the weather is on the change tonight. In the afternoon I closed the seasonal path, it is open 1st April to 30th September, but I thought it best to leave it open over the weekend. It has been quite popular with locals and visitors alike, there some misuse, but not too much.
At lunchtime a small spider walked down off Michelle's arm and onto the table, it was one of the crab spiders, although I have not establish which one. On the subject of spiders, we could not see either of the raft spiders on the pond today, I hope they are still around as they should reach full size next spring.
Tomorrow I will be out with the volunteers again, doing a but more work near the Ivy North hide, so sorry in advance if you are planning to visit, but the view should be much better after we finish.
Lastly a cormorant's tale. For a couple of weeks or so there has been a cormorant carrying a white ring with an engraved code out on Ibsley Water, always too far away to be readable. Then I got sent the picture below from Martin Bennett and it shows the bird with the ring readable as Z7P. I tracked down the likely origin and sent an email this morning. The result is that it was ringed as a chick on 9th June this year at Stack Mooar, Maughold, Isle of Man. Although this is the first from the Isle of Man at Blashford we have had previous birds from the Bristol channel, confirming that at least some of our birds do come from carbo race colonies from western Britain. So far we have not had any from the tree nesting colonies in the east, which include many of the continental sinesis race.

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