"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

Friday, 25 October 2013

Local Birding and Garden Moths

The permits for Marsh Lane eventually arrived last Friday. With rainy weather and a strained back muscle I hadn't been able to return to the reserve. Yesterday though it was lovely and sunny and my back had improved slightly so I decided to pay a brief visit to Marsh Lane. I can't believe its been a month since I last went when I took out a day permit before deciding to join.

I spent most of the hour I was there in the hide overlooking Car Park Pool - you can see part of the view from the hide in the photos. Sorry the photos aren't very good. The birds were too far away for the 70-300 lens and the lens isn't really suitable for landscape type photos as you can hardly get anything in the frame!!There were lots of Wigeon,Black-headed Gulls, Mallard and Greylag Geese interspersed with Canada Geese, Teal, Shovelers, Coot, Teal, Pochard, Mute Swan and Cormorants. I didn't see the Bar-headed Goose this time but there were good views of a Buzzard.

The wood in the distance is Sidden Wood - I think the best way to access this area is via another car park at the other end of the reserve. I might save this area until I visit with Brian as he gets bored very quickly with ducks and geese :(

Highlights of the visit were a Kestrel and a Green Woodpecker near the set-aside crop field planted to attract finches etc.

Here's a list of the species seen so far at the Reserve - not many so far (but total visits so far only add up to a couple of hours and I have barely started to explore the reserve)so I am sure the list will grow rapidly once I start visiting on a more regular basis.

Wood Pigeon
Greylag Goose
Mute Swan
Grey Heron,
Tufted Duck
Green Woodpecker
Black-headed Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Bar-headed Goose
Black Swan (last two species - escapees)

Butterflies - Speckled Wood

Dragonflies - Common Darter, Migrant Hawker

Garden Moths

Numbers of individual moths and species in the trap have dropped considerably this month but I have managed three new species for the year - Feathered Thorn, Red-green Carpet and Spruce Carpet. Sadly no holy grail of the autumnal moth world i.e. Merveille du Jour that looks like a Choc Mint Icecream!

Feathered Thorn

This lively moth managed to fly off whilst I was trying to take photos and twice nearly flew into this spider's web on the kitchen window. Eventually after a lot of clambering over worktops the moth was safely re-potted and released.

Red-green Carpet

Spruce Carpet - both the Carpets were hard to photograph as they were exceedingly lively so sorry about the blurred photos!


Toffeeapple said...

I am glad that your permits turned up at last, you'll have a new place to wander around now. That is a good number of species for a start, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Some good stuff there, Caroline. Feathered Thorns are one of my favourite species of the autumn.

Countryside Tales said...

Yay for the permit! Sods law you had a bad back when it finally arrived :-(

I've not run our trap this week and with this huge storm forecast not sure I should tonight! It's already pretty windy here.

Ragged Robin said...

Toffeeapple - Many thanks. I think the Reserve holds great promise for all sorts of good wildlife :)

Dean Stables - Many thanks Dean - Feathered Thorn is so beautiful :)

Countryside Tales - Many thanks. Rather relieved permits finally arrived :)

Think moth trapping out of question here too this weekend - rain last night and as you say strong winds and more rain to come :(

Lou Mary said...

It is good the permit finally arrived. Sorry to hear you have had a bad back, but glad it is on the mend. A great list for only a few hours birding. I can't believe how many dragons are still around. The first frost will bump them off I think, but before then it is a nice reminder of the things which were so abundant in the summer!

Wendy said...

I'm glad the permits have arrived at last, but sorry to hear about your back. Hope all is well now. Good to see there are so many different birds there to watch. I do love Kestrels and now I don't see so many around every sight is very special. Love the moths, as always.

Em Parkinson said...

Always happy to look at moths and very pleased you've got your permit - it looks like a fabulous place.

Ragged Robin said...

Lou Mary - Many thanks :) Yes, it was great to see the dragons - think it would prove to be a good site for them. No frosts here yet :)

Wendy - Many thanks :) Back a lot better thanks - just painful when lying in bed at night now :( Glad you enjoyed the moths and yes, it is good to see kestrels :)

Em Parkinson - Many thanks :) Think could well be last moth photos for this year - rain forecast now for several days but will try & trap for a few more weeks.

Margaret Adamson said...

HI RR Glad you decided to get the permit as we know will know and see more of the Marsh in the future.Sorry to hear about your back. Good collection of wildfowl and great to see the green woodpecker.

Ragged Robin said...

Margaret Adamson - Many thanks :) Just wish I'd checked out reserve years ago and joined before now!Have been reading Annual Report etc and looks great site for birds :)

Pete Duxon said...

hope the back clears up.

Black Swans are interesting birds. Lots of them about now wonder how much they are breeding....

Ragged Robin said...

Pete Duxon - Many thanks Pete. Back is better than it was!

I saw the Black Swan on the initial visits in September - think there is only one but I'll have a look through all the newsletters and Annual Report and see if I can find out more about them.

Anonymous said...

That looks like a great reserve and I look forward to hearing more reports in the coming weeks and months :-)

A very similar situation here as regards moths and it seems we continue to more or less catch the same species. I still have my fingers crossed that you manage to get a MduJ before the end of the season :-)

SeagullSuzie said...

Delighted your Marsh Lane permit has arrived. I hope you are able to get plenty of use from it. Sorry to hear your back is bad.
What a great list of birds already.

Ragged Robin said...

David Turner Many thanks :) I received the newsletter today for July to September and it looks a great site for butterflies too incl. Purple Hairstreak :)

Thanks for good wishes re: MduJ - fingers crossed for you too :)

SeagullSuzie Many thanks. Really looking forward to visiting Marsh Lane regularly. Back is a lot better now thanks - not 100% but getting there slowly :)