June, the month for moths. This is the month when most species and numbers of moths are usually recorded. The blocking High Pressures over the Atlantic produced a stubborn northerly airstream with cool nights. This has led to frustratingly poor mothing nights. Last Saturday the weather appeared a little warmer.
We had two lights operating and decided to trap along the Lower Path. There were lots of Green and Silver-ground Carpets. Then came in the Snouts with their large brown triangular wings and curved proboscis. Moths were numerous and a series of moths came in. New moths such as the little yellow Strawdot, lots of the day flying Latticed Heath, a Common Quaker, and the scarce but relatively common in Notts Cream-bordered Green Pea. Towards the end the very beautiful Buff and White Ermines.
Meanwhile the other trap captured the spectacular huge Privet and aptly named Eyed Hawk-moths.
I will keep you posted when the next mothing night. Hopefully it will warm up!!!
The latest recruits to the Mute Swan population are three new cygnets to the Gravel Pit pair. There are already six on the Slurry Lagoon and six on the river, bringing the total to fifteen. The Deep Pit nest has failed.
Nine of us met at 8.00 p.m. at the Blidworth Bottoms car park as we had been informed that the Longdale Lane car park was closed.
Just as we were to move off we saw a Jay fly across the car park into conifers. Leaving the car park we started walking up the main path when someone spotted a Yellowhammer sitting at the top of a tree. A little latter the Jay flew on again deeper into the wood.
As it was a bright light evening we realised that we would have a while to wait for either Nightjar or Woodcock. We sauntered slowly through the wood seeing both hare and grey squirrel, until at one point, I was completely disorientated and we had to use Tony’s Sat Nav to find out where we were.
With the time at about 9.15 p.m. the first of 3 Woodcock was spotted. We walked a little further and at about 9. 50 p.m. the first Nightjar was heard “churring”. As we waited a small group walk to an other clear area, keeping in touch with the others by telephone. The small group of 3 almost immediately heard a Nightjar quite close by. It stopped and flew but was not seen clearly. A couple of minutes later we had one singing in a tree almost above our heads. This one, a male, flew and gave as good views of the white squares on its wings and tail.
The rest of the group, as they joined us, could hear the bird churring as they approached – then silence! We waited and waited and decided to give it until 10.30 p.m.
At about 10.25 p.m. another started churring and, like the previous occasion flew off. Again the bird started in the tree above our heads. We had wonderful, clear views of it for 3 – 4 minutes before it too flew.
Having obtained our objective and time was going we made our way back to the cars and off home.
The bird trip list now stands at 120 for the year so far.
I was very pleased to see seventeen people meeting at the car park on Longdale Lane on Friday, 5th June 09 for what we hoped would be an eventful evening. Dark clouds were looming but we decided to give it a try.
Garden Warbler was singing as we left the car park and we soon added Blackcap to the list.
While walking through the woods we heard a Cuckoo – my first of the year. As somebody said – “a new record” – for me it was, the latest I had ever heard one. We stopped at a crossroads and as expected we soon saw the first of five Woodcock, or was it the same one going round in circles!
We pressed on and as expected as we got to the furthest point from the car park the heavens opened. We bravely sheltered for about 20 minutes getting wetter and wetter until at last we gave up.
Seventeen very wet and soggy people said their goodbyes in the car park but not before planning a return trip the following week.
We recorded 11 birds on the night and we added 3 birds to the trip list that now stands at 119 for the year.