"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Sunday, 19 May 2013

A Mystery Pug and a "Happy Event"

Garden Moths

I put out the moth trap for GMS last night and, although there were no moths in there this morning, I did go outside several times last night (got very bored watching Eurovision!!) to check and potted three during the course of the evening.

Minimum Temperature was 5.0

First pug of the year is proving exceedingly difficult to identify even though for once its a nicely marked individual rather than worn. I think its probably a Mottled or Brindled Pug but I've gone over the id features again and again and am still not sure although I am leaning towards Brindled. There again it could be be neither of these! Even tried to get David to help as his close vision is much better than mine and he wasn't sure either.

Any help anyone can give would be hugely appreciated :) I'm taking part in a Garden Moth Challenge this year - I know full well I won't do that well but every species counts :)

Edit Thanks so much to Ben (see Comments) and Stewart (Twitter) for identifying this species for me - its a Brindled Pug

The other two moths were 0998 Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana) - a small, common micro moth and new for year. Shown in photo below.

Plus another Many-plumed Moth (Alucita hexadactyla) - 1288

Garden Birds

Yesterday, right on schedule!!!, we were greeted with the sight of 6 or 7 Blue Tit chicks just hatched on the nestbox camera. Sorry, it really is a truly dreadful photo but if enlarged you may be able to see a couple of open beaks!!!

Today we have counted nine nestlings. I suspect there may be tenth hidden away in there somewhere as we couldn't see any unhatched eggs today.

This year the parents seem far more assiduous which is good news. The nest seems to be better constructed and when incubating the female took huge care to completely cover the nest whenever she left it. In addition, and unlike previous years, the male is already bringing in lots of small caterpillars. The female also seemed to be fanning them with her wings this afternoon as if they had become too hot!


I forgot to mention in my last post that after visiting a location several times I finally managed to see a Peregrine Falcon. I knew they were at the site but I was over the moon to finally spot one.


ShySongbird said...

Hi Caroline :-) Excellent news about the Blue Tits! It sounds like mum and dad are going to be kept very busy feeding and caring for their family. So glad there are plenty of caterpillars for them. Very well done on the Peregrine too!

I'm no help on the moth I'm afraid but looked up the two you mentioned and out of those I would also go for Brindled. Good luck with your challenge, it sounds interesting.

Sorry to have missed commenting on the previous post. I started to, three if not four times, and each time got interrupted :-( It was a lovely post though and it sounds like you have another very interesting project on the go. I looked it up but was a little put off that you can't choose where to do the survey although I can see why. The place you have been assigned to sounds perfect especially with the Edith connection :-) I loved all your photos, the Orange Tip was a favourite and the various flowers too :-)

Pete said...

ooh congratulations. you're becoming a grandma :)

Wendy said...

I love the little blue tits. I'm trying to photograph some here at a few days old but I can't get any decent photos from a TV screen; there's too much flickering. Your photo is nice and clear. I can't help with the moth, I wish I knew more about them. And fantastic seeing the peregrine.

Ragged Robin said...

ShySongbird - HI Jan :) Quite hopeful over Blue Tits, touch wood!!!, this year. Parents seem very conscientious! Although 9 or 10 is a lot to feed.

Thanks for looking up the moths - the two look very similar to me :( I'm sure I bookmarked a pug id guide somewhere but just can't find it. The Challenge should be fun - it might get me mothing more to try and make sure I am not bottom :) There's a link to the Garden Moth Challenge Blog under My Blog List where people contribute.

Please don't worry re: comment on last post. Am always glad to hear from you and I know how difficult it is trying to keep up with people's blogs :) Glad you liked the photos :) Yes,it is a bit of a pain about lack of choice (in the past when I've done BTO surveys I had more choice). But I was just so lucky with the square allocated. You can specify an area though either close to home or one of your choice. e.g. I put down Solihull/Dorridge/Knowle.

Hope you are feeling a lot better.

Pete - LOL!! :) Thanks :) Sounds like you had a great holiday :)

Ragged Robin said...

Wendy Thanks :) No, I've found it v. difficult in past years to get photos from tv screen - camera seems to pick up pixels(?). I tried once, without success, to put some video onto the blog. I'm not very technically minded :( Good luck with your Blue Tit brood.

Still working on the moth id. Might tweet it again in hope someone will help!

Bennyboymothman said...

Your Pug is a very well marked Brindled Pug, nice specimen.

Ragged Robin said...

Bennyboymothman - Thank you so much for your help :) Really very grateful. Will edit post now. The fact that it was so well marked made it all the more frustrating :)

Em Parkinson said...

Don't know how I missed this post - sorry! Lovely to see your hatchlings at last! Our Nuthatch babies are squeaking but no sight of them yet.

Ragged Robin said...

Em Parkinson - Please don't worry (sometimes I miss posts and occasionally my Blog List doen't update) :)

Glad to hear about your Nuthatch babies :)

In the end we managed to count 8 or possibly 9 chicks. But are now down to 7 :( Cold wet weather not helping!

Chris Rohrer said...

So happy to hear the Blue Tits are doing well. I imagine Momma fanning the babies. It's a cute image. Congrats on the Peregine! Awesome bird feared by all creatures of land and air. It's amazing how that bird will come out of nowhere and scare even the hawks away! As for the moths......your ID sounds like several wasted(I mean well spent) hours on sparrows and sandpipers here:)

Ragged Robin said...

Chris Rohrer - Thanks Chris. Believe it or not female Blue Tit was actually constantly fanning her wings over them one day as if they'd got too hot :) Sadly down to 6 chicks now. Probably down to cold weather with a lot of rain and difficulties finding food.

LOL! re: Moths Some species are just so hard to id!