Saturday, 14 August 2010

Seasons change... just like the times

As it was still raining overnight I took advantage for a lie in. However, the weather doesn't keep everyone in bed and the stalwarts at Tophill Low NR emptied the moth traps as usual on Saturday morning.

The first Six-striped Rustic of the season was trapped overnight and coupled with the trapping of the first Frosted Orange (below), it is very clear we are in to the autumn of the moth season.

Surviving yesterday's bad weather, one of the Hummingbird Hawkmoths remained on the wing, seen several times in the car park.

Also surviving into August is Rutpela maculata with 4 or 5 seen today.

Once the signature species of the site, and perhaps one of the most readily photographed, was the Green Sandpiper. However, over recent years the numbers passing through in autumn has declined. Just the one today was present, but it posed well in front of one of the hides on South Marsh East.

In fact it was a good selection of waders for current times... also on the day list were 2 Ruff, a Curlew and c150 Lapwing, whilst a Hobby was seen at the south end of the site, another species that has been rather rarely added to the notebook on visits this year.

Several Brown Argus were found at the north end of the site, whilst there was a noticable increase in the numbers of Speckled Wood and Red Admiral, with perhaps 6-7 Painted Ladys also noted.

It was a day off counting dragonflies. Single Black-tailed Skimmer and Brown Hawker were noted, the latter species really scarce this year at the site. A few Southern and Migrant Hawkers were on the wing, but perhaps it was a good day to just not bother too much.

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