"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

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Marsh Lane and Garden Moths

I visited Marsh Lane NR last Thursday afternoon for a couple of hours - a beautiful walk in really warm sunshine. I was hoping to see some butterflies but only spotted two at such a distance I was unable to identify them. Near Railway Hide a small copse was just full of clouds of white blossom.

A small flock of Long-tailed Tits were foraging in the hedgerow near Railway Hide and I managed to get a record shot of one of them.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes were seen from one of the screens overlooking car park pool. I was hoping to seem some signs of Courtship display but had to make do with one of the pair catching and swallowing a rather large fish!!

Great Crested Grebe

I did spot a small brown mammal (unfortunately only from the corner of my eye) running along the side of a small brook near Oak Hide. My initial reaction was oh my goodness its a water vole but to be honest I think it was too small and was probably a bank vole. I shall be keeping an eye on this section of the reserve though and will be looking out for any signs of vole activity.

I added four species to my 2014 bird list - Tree Creeper, Redshank, Green Woodpecker and Oystercatcher - the list now stands at 59. Treecreeper and Redshank were also new species for my list of birds seen at the reserve (54 now in total)

Garden Moths

With all the mild, dry weather we have been experiencing I have been leaving the moth trap on every night.

Monday 10th March

Minimum Temp 3.1 degrees Centigrade 15w Actinic Skinner Trap

Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) x 2 (NFY)

Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) x 6

Hebrew Character

Tuesday 11th March

Min Temp 2.7 degrees Centigrade 15w Actinic Skinner Trap

Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) x 2

Twin-spotted Quaker (Orthosia munda) x 1 (NFY) and (NFG)

Emmelina monodactyla x 1

Twin-spotted Quaker

Wednesday, 12th March

Min Temp 0.8 degrees C 15w Actinic Skinner Trap

Moths 0

Thursday, 13th March

Min Temp 0.3

Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) x 1

Friday 14th March - GMS Week 3

Min Temp 7.7 degrees C 15w Actinic Skinner Trap

Emmelina monadactyla x 1

Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) x 2

Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta) x 2 (NFY)

Chestnut (Conistra vaccinii) x 1

Emmelina monodactlya. I love this little moth and really like the name "Emmelina". In fact, if I had been mothing when my daughter was born I really think she would have been called Emmelina rather than Emily!!

Clouded Drab

I am pretty sure this is a worn Clouded Drab

Saturday 15th March

Min Temp 7.3 degrees C 15w Actinic Skinner Trap

Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria) x 1

Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) x 5

Small Quaker (Orthosia cruda) x 2 (NFY)

Hebrew Character (Orthosia gothica) x 2

Early Grey (Xylocampa areola) x 1 (NFY)

Amblyptilia acanthatdactyla x 1 (NFY)

This photo shows the difference in size and markings of Common Quaker on the left and Small Quaker on the right

Early Grey

Amblyptilia acanthadactyla

Sunday 16th March

Min Temp 8.7 degrees C 15w Actinic Skinner Trap

Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) x 1

Emmelina monodactyla x 1

Please let me know if any of the above identifications are incorrect.

We've had several species of butterfly in the garden over the last week - Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock and Small White and the number of moth species seen this year is now up to 13.

Common frogs have been moving around in the pond for the last week or so but it was only today that frogspawn started to appear. I only spotted it tonight but if the frogs are still active tomorrow I will try and get some photos.

Finally, a photo of the echinops I bought from the Botanical Gardens - in the background is a beautiful pelargonium bought at the same time.


Countryside Tales said...

Ooh, so much to like in this post! I'm afraid I'm going to forget something! Fab pics of Crested Grebe- love the reflection in the water. I've never seen a tree creeper and I am desperate to! Have been keeping my eyes peeled but no success yet. We're getting pretty much the same moths- I also love the name 'Emmelina'. Have now ordered some echinops seeds and am waiting for them to arrive in the post (with a stack of other wildflower seeds including bird's foot trefoil, kidney vetch and lady's bedstraw- all of which I've been after for ages so am feeling v excited about that), so thank you for the nudge on that one. Hugely impressed with your 2014 bird count and you are beating me by one moth at the mo!

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Thanks so much :) Treecreepers can be quite well camouflaged - hope you see one soon.

I'm so glad you tracked down some echinops seeds. I would have liked more plants but the perennial bed is already pretty full!! I hope our mini wildflower meadow is going to be ok this year - husband normally cuts it down in the autumn but only did it last week!!! I'm trying without much success to get him to follow a "no mow" policy on a small section of the lawn to see what appears.

I'm going to grow wildflowers in pots on the patio too again this year. www.seedball.co.uk have some lovely tins with wildflower mixes - am dropping out huge hints here for Mother's Day :)

You will soon overtake me on the moths CT :)

Countryside Tales said...

Thanks for the suggestion. I've had a look at the website and have suggested it for mother's day here too :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales Oh goody - hope both our hints work :) In fact, I did more than hint yesterday!!! Good news in that B has agreed to left small section of lawn unmown too :)

Dean Stables said...

Nice one regards your moth trapping, Caroline. Still yet to see any this year myself.

Ragged Robin said...

Dean Stables - Many thanks Dean :) I really hope you see some moths soon.

Em Parkinson said...

Fantastic pics and my favourite name is the Hebrew Character. Moth names seem to have been thought up by a particularly imaginative group of people.

Ragged Robin said...

Emm Parkison - Many thanks :) Moth names are totally fascinating - I think its one of the reasons why I first started getting interested :) The Hebrew Character is named after the black mark on the wing which resembles a letter in the Hebrew alphabet.

Wendy said...

Some lovely sights of spring. I love the Grebes and have been lucky enough to see them displaying this year, and I hope you see a Water Vole at Marsh Lane. I still haven't seen one for years.
I love the Hebrew Character, too - such beautiful markings.

Ragged Robin said...

Wendy Many thanks. Ooh lucky you seeing them displaying :) I haven't seen a water vole for years either even when I used to do water vole surveys. I know years ago they were common quite near to Marsh Lane so it is possible. There again I know they do get bank voles on the reserve. I just wish I had had a decent view of it!

SeagullSuzie said...

It's lovely to have the moths back again-I do enjoy looking at them with you and CT. Marsh Lane looks as lovely as ever.

Ragged Robin said...

SeagullSuzie - Thanks so much and so pleased you enjoy the moths and Marsh Lane :)