Sunday, 16 August 2015

Filey fun

Some fun times spent at Filey recently, with a great moth/bat event at YWT Filey Dams last Friday, hosted by Filey Bird Obs, which added about a dozen species to my moth list, including Small Rufous, Diamond-back Moth and Old Lady. Kipped over in the car park, then headed out nice and early to the coast, which revealed a glass-like sea-surface and lots of Harbour Porpoise action. Sadly, no Minke Whales, though one was seen later. I headed up into the forest and following a tip from Rich and Viper Dan, finally found a Wykeham Honey Buzzard, an adult female, which got up about 9.50am, soared around over the forest then headed north west. A few other bits of interest, including Willow Tit, Spotted Flycatcher and a fine male Goshawk. Back to Filey for the Woodcock Festival which was great fun, highlights being the Legend that is John Law, the Railroad Hobos (featuring colleague Elizabeth Round) and of course the excellent Morning Bride.

I returned to Filey yesterday, hoping to jam in on the Greenish Warbler found yesterday by Mark P. The Dams continued to look great, with 8 Ruff, 7 Dunlin, 3 Green Sand, 2 Common Sand and a few Teal. At North Cliff, a few migrants included Painted Lady, Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat, several Whitethroats, Blackcaps, Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs. Sadly, a possible Wood Warbler escaped confirmation. A few Wall butterflies were kicking around - always nice to see.

Sad news was that the heavy rain on Friday night caused our House Martin nest to fall down. It killed one of the two chicks immediately, but the other died while I was trying to put up a box to replace the nest. I will put the box up anyway, just in case the parents might want to try again. Really sad as both chicks looked like they could have fledged in about a week. :-(

 From top, Green Sand at the Dams, a rather drab Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and Wall.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Bongonaut Fell Adventures

Glorous ten days in the Bongo with the family in the Lakes then around Silverdale. Failed to find Mountain Ringlets up Langdale due to poor weather but did see a rather spectacular Funnel Cloud and almost killed the Bongo going up Wry Nose Pass. We hadn't realised it was the steepest road in England! Left the fells before news of breeding Bee-eaters broke from near Penrith - doh!

Further south, we enjoyed some lovely freshly-emerged Scotch Arguses (Argi?) at Arnside Knott, plus Northern Brown Argus, Grayling, Small Blue and a couple of Fritillary spp. which didn't pause long enough to be identified, so High Brown Frit escaped being ticked. Speaking of which, some good Tick action, with one digging right into my throat in Silverdale, which was a bit painful!
Fantastic fun at Leighton Moss and Gait Barrow NNR with stunning scenery and habitats at both-  places I will definitely revisit. Some good mothing around the lights in the campsite bogs too - need to identify some unknowns...

From top: Funnel Cloud from Pike Blisco, Gatekeeper plus Aceria cephaloneus mite galls on Sycamore leaf, Grayling, Northern Brown Argus x2, Scotch Argus x3, Small Blue. All butterflies at Arnside Knott.