"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

Monday, 8 September 2014

Marsh Lane NR and Garden Moths

I had one of "those" days last Thursday (probably not helped by going into "rant mode" over the imminent badger slaughters - due to start tonight) and just had to get out so I paid a brief visit to Marsh Lane NR.

The reserve was fairly quiet bird-wise although it was good to see a Common Snipe and Little Egret on Railway Pool - the first time I've seen the latter species here although it does visit regularly. Its the white blob on the photo below - I really do wonder at times what point the 70-300 mm lens serves! Although to be fair it was some way away!

Ducks are in "eclipse plumage" at the moment.

Many of the bramble leaves were covered in Violet Bramble Rust (Phragmidium violaceum) - will be looking for evidence of this here at home on bramble in the garden to try and add a new species to the garden list.

I found two Robin's Pincushions (Bedeguar Gall) on wild roses. Its a gall caused by Dipoloepis rosae - a very small gall wasp - which is widespread and commonly found on the stems of wild roses in late summer. It acquires a red colour as it matures and during winter grubs inside the gall feed on the host plant and will finally emerge as adults next Spring.

There were several dragonflies zooming up and down the causeway which I failed to identify but I think the ones in the photos below are Common Darter.

Despite their lifestyle Greenbottles are rather pretty flies.

The warm, sunny weather meant there were quite a few butterflies around especially

Speckled Wood

I also saw a couple of worn Common Blues

and several commas.

In this photo you can see the little white "comma" mark on the underside of the wing which gives the species its name

I got into conversation with someone who was also chasing butterflies up and down the paths trying to take photos and we discussed various local Warwickshire butterfly sites. I now know the exact location in Oversley Wood which is best for Purple Emperor - so roll on next Summer :) Thanks Geoff.

Garden Moths

I've had the trap out quite a lot since the last post on moths - I'm still hoping to get a Hedge Rustic this year.

The trap though is mainly full of various Yellow Underwing species including dozens and dozens of Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba)

and up to 20 Flounced Rustics ( Luperina testacea)

I seem to be catching a lot of Square-spot Rustics (Xestia xanthographa) too this year. A few photos of some of the other species trapped

Flame Shoulder ((Ochropleura plecta)

Marbled Beauty (Cryphia domestica)

Orange Swift (Hepialus sylvina)

Emmelina monodactyla (looking like a miniature biplane)

Brimstone (Opisthograptis luteolata)

Yellow Shell (Camptogramma bilineata)

Copper Underwing (Amphipyra pyramidea)

B has been decorating the porch and he found this Old Lady moth (Mormo maura) which is a new species for the year. This species gets it name from the pattern on the wings said to resemble an old lady's shawl :)

We visited a Warwickshire Wildlife Trust Reserve yesterday which I had been hoping to visit all year but I'll do a separate post on that. Off out later to afternoon tea at a rather upmarket hotel - E has a voucher :)


Countryside Tales said...

Identical moths here too apart from the Yellow Shell and Old Lady. I had an Old Lady last year but haven't seen one this, unfortunately :-(

The Comma is lovely. Warm here today and set for the week which is good because I have a flutter survey to do :-)

Hope the Tea was gorgeous :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Countryside Tales - Thanks:) I've only seen Old Lady here once or twice before - amazing to watch them fly they look like bats!

Hot here too again today - hope it continues for the survey.

Yes, lovely tea thanks - 4 types of dainty sandwich, 3 scones each!!!! and 3 other cakes!! Didn't need any tea!! :)

John Wooldridge said...

Lovely shots Robin....agree with about the badger cull, mad as hell about it.

amanda peters said...

Beautiful set of photos, I have not seen a Robin's Pincushions , this is one gall I would love to see.
Amanda xxx

Toffeeapple said...

Sounds like a really scrumptious tea, lucky you.

We've had Little Egrets here in Stony Stratford for quite a few years now, it is always a thrill to see them.

I was chatting to someone recently who was carrying a Harris's Hawk. It is a beautiful creature, birds of prey fascinate me.

Ragged Robin said...

John Wooldridge - Thanks so much John. Yes, dreadful news re: badger slaughters re-commencing. Am hopping mad and very sad. Goes against all the real badger scientists and experts say too :(

Amanda Peters - Thanks Amanda. Its a few years since I've seen this gall. Must look out for it in the garden as we have a lot of wild roses.

Toffeeapple - Thanks so much :) Great news at the way Little Egrets have spread North - such dainty little birds :)

Lovely to have such a close encounter with such a beautiful bird :)

SeagullSuzie said...

Hope you enjoyed your afternoon tea. Yes the badger news made me very sad indeed...it's so wrong!
Beautiful butterfly images and the moths are great at the moment. I have a lot of Vapourer caterpillars and will post images of them as soon as I can.

Ragged Robin said...

SeagullSuzie - Yes thanks the tea was lovely :) I can't believe they are actually going ahead with the badger culls again esp. after IEP Report. Apparently they aren't even monitoring how long it takes each animal to die this year. So how can they test for humaneness. Whole thing a nightmare :(

Thanks re: butterfly and moth pics :) Great news about the Vapourer caterpillars - can't wait to see the photos :)

Chris Rohrer said...

I hear what you're saying about the lens. There are tricks to birding photography....white is a difficult color to get on our cameras. If the lighting is off, it will blur etc. Stealth is everything. I sometimes wish I were a ghost with my camera with birds from a distance so I could get close to them and see their details.

As for the badger culls.....these are the savage hill people you are dealing with. Let's cull the people who like culling so much. See how they like it. Apparently they are touched with Mad Cow themselves. We have those kinds of "people" here as well. Many live in a certain part of our country where ignorance still rules. Well to be fair, our capital city, Phoenix, in Arizona has a quite a few of these people as well. It's very frustrating to have to coexist around ignorance. Hang in there. I feel for you. If it helps, we celebrate badgers here in Tucson. The only issue is that they will sometimes be hit by cars at night. Other than that, their numbers are stable.

Ragged Robin said...

Chris Rohrer - Thanks Chris. Wise words re: bird photography :) So wish I could afford a 400mm prime lens! 70-300 is not good enough unless birds are very very close or very large!! :)

So glad to hear how well your badgers are doing in Tucson and how they are celebrated - a very cheering thought.

Sadly, badgers have been persecuted over here for centuries :( Despite their protected species status badger baiting still goes on unless the vile people are caught. The current badger cull policy is being undertaken by the present Govt in a very misguided and unscientific attempt to try and control bTB in cattle :( In fact, the pilot culls in Gloucester and Somerset began again this week for a 6 week period. I am so angry and so sad. But the fight to stop it continues. So many scientists and badger ecologists say the culling is wrong and won't work. There are far better ways to tackle the problem such as improving cattle testing and movement regulations, improved biosecurity on farms, vaccinating more badgers and eventually cattle. I just hope we get a different political party in charge after the next General Election which will mean the culls will cease.

Sorry Chris - getting on my soapbox here. Its an issue that really does drive me mad - been tweeting against the slaughters all week!