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

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Reeds & Rough

A few snaps from a couple of excursions.

First up, I joined a small gathering of moth recorders at Rutland Water last week in the hope of picking up a couple of reedbed wainscots that I'm yet to see (Obscure & Webb's). Sadly no joy on that front, and the conditions were not ideal with it cooling quite quickly and rain due in the early hours, but nonetheless another great session - so good to be out by a mothing sheet again. The group split up into three areas, and I joined Adrian Russell in what seemed to be a perfect spot immediately alongside Lagoon 3 and close to Shoveler Hide. We ran a sheet and I walked a trap out along the edge of the reedbed. The constant chattering of Common Terns, Oystercatchers and Lapwings was a great backdrop as we set up.

There was plenty of activity at the sheet and over the trap, though it all seemed to die down a little as the night wore on.

Still, great to see a few species again that I don't generally get in the garden and haven't seen for a while, including Chilo phragmitella, Slender Brindle and these three:

Southern Wainscot

Brown-veined Wainscots

Eudonia pallida

But the first moth of the night was a Gelechiid on the sheet that may yet turn out to be one of the most interesting of the c73sp. once checked ....

Probably Caryocolum fraternella

More recently, last night I headed out for a couple of hours to again walk around a site near Dunton Bassett with Graham Calow and Craig Mabbett. Another peaceful and productive walk, with a fair number of leaf mines collected. The site really is unusual, with very rough scrub at the back of an industrial estate with HGV parking, leading down to managed carp fishing lakes. The site seems to be a magnet for unusual, and often escaped, flora - perhaps dragged in on the wheels of lorries etc.

I'll leave out leaf mines for the moment, though a few were new for me. Instead here's a couple of damselflies (all were a bit sluggish loafing on waterside vegetation after rain) and a spanking sawfly larva ....

White-legged Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

Craesus septentrionalis - a good number defoliating a small Alder sapling
A new one for me

The peak period for leaf-mining and galls will be upon us before long ....

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