"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

Saturday, 22 February 2014

A Trip to Marsh Lane and First 2 Moths of 2014

I spent an hour or so walking round Marsh Lane Nature Reserve last Wednesday. It was lovely to be out in the fresh air with a hint of Spring everywhere and plenty of birds to watch.

I spent most of my time in Oak Hide hoping, rather optimistically, for a Bittern sighting as one was seen recently. I didn't have any joy but there were plenty of ducks and geese and I did see the Black Swan which has been missing on my last two visits. I missed the opportunity of photographing a pair of Mute Swans flying straight towards the hide. All I did manage to get was a photo from the rear as they disappeared from view!

A flock of Lapwings - Marsh Lane has good numbers of this species and they are always a joy to watch.

Long-tailed Tit and Jackdaw were two new species for the Marsh Lane List which now stands at 52 since I first started visiting. Pheasant, Jackdaw, Reed Bunting, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe and Black Swan were new for the year list.

Garden Moths

I put out the moth trap for the first time on Tuesday 18th March (Min temp 4.8) but no moths were trapped. I tried again the following night but brought the trap in at 10.00 as the rain was teeming down. No moths in the trap but there were a couple nearby - my first of the year. Last year I didn't trap my first moth until 6th April so I'm pleased to make an early start this year :)

Pale Brindled Beauty (Phigalia pilosaria) - This is also a new species for the garden. The females of this species are wingless

Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii)


Countryside Tales said...

I love the shot of the swans in flight and you are doing really well with bird species this year already. A record year perhaps...? The Pale Brindled Beauty moth is beautiful too. I really must get the moth box out....

SeagullSuzie said...

Even though you got the swans flying away it's still a lovely shot with them both together. Can't believe moths are out already, the weather just doesn't seem good enough.

Pete Duxon said...

well done on the Moth I suppose :)

still not seen a butterfly thought there was a chance Saturday! But seen bumbles two days running

Dean Stables said...

Nice one, Caroline. Not seen any moths yet, this year. But not having a trap anymore, i`ll keep checking the bus shelters, whenever i pass any.

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Thank you :) For me it is a good start with bird species - would be nice to break the records but depends on whether I can persuade family to visit "birdy" type places and add species not seen locally!! Worth starting to moth trap - seems a much better start for people this year :)

SeagullSuzie - Thank you. A few moth species are around in the Winter - a few even have a type of "antifreeze" in the "blood" to help them cope with freezing temps - they never cease to amaze me :)

Pete Duxon - Many thanks - I thought you'd enjoy the moths!!! :) I haven't seen a butterfly yet either :( nor bumbles so well done on your sightings :)

Dean Stables Many thanks Dean :) From memory you find some great moths even without a moth trap - look forward to reading about your sightings this year :)

Wendy said...

The Swans are such beautiful creatures and amazing in flight with that distinct sound. I'm pleased you've seen the first moths of the year already!
Hope you see the Bittern. I thought I glimpsed one last April in a red beed. I can't think what else it could have been. I'm really hoping to have a proper sighting of one this year.

Ragged Robin said...

Wendy - Thank you. You're right about swans :) To be honest I think I was so astounded as the close view that I watched rather than aimed the camera :)

Good Luck in the search for a Bittern - very impressive birds too :)

Sarah said...

Lovely to see pictures of swans in flight. We have had a few moths around our outside lights the last few days, also a few bees about.
Thank you for sharing.

Ragged Robin said...

Sarah - Thank you so much for leaving a comment :) The moths do start to be appearing although I haven't seen any bees yet just a drone fly. I hope you don't mind me adding your lovely blog to My Blog List.

Dartford Warbler said...

I would love to see a bittern one day!

How amazing to see a flock of lapwing. I remember them in great numbers but now we only see occasional pairs down here.

Ragged Robin said...

Dartford Warbler - Thanks. Bitterns can be quite elusive. Most of my views have been distant. Had one good view once when one took flight out of reedbeds right in front of the hide :)

Round here Lapwings seem to have taken to flooded gravel pits - usually see quite a few at Brandon Marsh too but, as you say, not many in local fields anymore :(