Birds, Leps, Observations & Generalities - the images and ramblings of Mark Skevington. Sometimes.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Dungeness - NMN 19/09/2009

Dungeness - if it's shingle, sallow scrub or radiation you want then this is the place to go! We ran our traps around the long pits area: The long pits are immediately north of the nuclear power station We ran traps roughly within the yellow boundary - all shingly sallow scrub When we arrived in the afternoon, it was warm and sunny with a light breeze and cloudless sky. Very nice, but not very good prospects for mothing. The trapping sites looked like this: Shingle with sallow scrub Shingle and nuclear power Shingle Sallow scrub and shingle It took a good two hours to deploy everything, but we were ready in good time to light up just before dusk. As soon as everything was running, me and Adrian headed over to The Pilot for a very welcome couple of pints and to get some really good fish n chips to take out. Considering the location, the pub was absolutely rammed with locals having a meal out. The food was on the high end of pub meal prices, but it was excellent. Shortly after the beer and fish, we set out on a lengthy tour around the traps. We were obviously hoping to pick up some decent migrants, but I think honest expectations were more realistic and especially so when we'd seen that Square-spot Rustic was likely to be the commonest moth of the night. Another tour seemed to confirm that it was slow-going, though we did start to see a couple of good species. The gennies were topped up and we called it a night early to leave the traps running and get dawn start to empty them and redo all the hard work in reverse. The list is still being compiled, but despite the lack of exciting migrants it is going to be a very respectable total both in terms of species and numbers for the time of year (over 1500 of 70sp). Main highlights for me were a macro and pyralid tick: Dark Spectacle - one I haven't seen as it's a very scarce moth in VC55 Cynaeda dentalis - a Dungeness speciality that should be over by now, really pleased to see this Next up on the highlight stakes were five species I've seen before but a good while ago: L-album Wainscot - superb smart moth Feathered Brindle - quite a few of these in all variations Feathered Ranunculus - sadly a worn individual Four-spotted Footman - a non-spotted male Yellow Belle Amongst the remainder were: A reddy-brown Pearly Underwing Lots of really smart fresh Autumnal Rustic An oddly coloured Knot Grass A few good micros being worked on at the moment, more images and detail on how the list is shaping up to come.

5 comments:

thedrunkbirder said...

Looks like you were a couple of days too early for migrants as a dark morph Booted Eagle has just been mega'd over Dunge and the tracked further down the coast.

If this one proves you good they might well relook at your earlier one in Cornwall/Somerset.

Stewart said...

Sounds a great night Mark. I've never been to Dunge...let alone seen those moths!

Skev said...

John - that news today got me feeling a bit sick! Whilst we were setting up the traps we saw a medium sized raptor that just didn't look right. But it was sihouetted against the sun, I had no optics to hand and I was concentrating on the mothing so dismissed it as a buzzard. Now I wish I'd made the effort to get the bins out and on it and establish why it didn't look right. I see the news is less certain now though so maybe I can relax and not kick myself in the bollocks for the rest of the night. Never saw the Cornwall/Somerset bird - though others on site were ticking a buzzard .....

Stewart - yes, a good night overall. Dungeness is a good 4hrs from me so a bit far from your way - unless you get out with the Newton Stringer! I've been to Dungeness a few times before when birding in Kent, including a bit of seawatching, but never seen anything too exciting there (unlike other Kent sites - some real megas seen down there over the years). First time I've been mothing there though - will definitely go again next year in the peak season.

Dean said...

Cynaeda dentalis : that is one stunning micro.

Skev said...

Too right Dean - it's one I have been wanting to see for a long while, but never expected to see it on this trip as it usually flies in July. I've since found out that there are a couple of September records over the years so not unprecedented.