Feeling rather autumnal, the birds certainly think so, with a big passage of Swifts, dispersing Gropper and Stonechats, a flyover Spotted Redshank, a couple of Med Gulls and up to 6 Green Sands and 13 Whimbrel in the last couple of days. Still lots of new moths and other insects, plus a bonus Adder and a couple of pseudoscorpions from the garden.
Not a million miles away from 1700 now, should get there within a week I should think. Looks like moths are doing rather better this year than I thought they might, with 401 species already recorded, still very few migrant moths though. A quick year end estimation suggests that 1900 species should be on the cards, but 2000 might be difficult. Could depend on how many new diptera are sitting in the freezer awaiting identification.
A few random photos:
Evergestis extimilis, a migrant/wandered from elsewhere
Acrobasis suavella (Thicket Longhorn), a lifer
Aleiodes praetor, a rare braconid wasp
Stictoleptura rubra, a longhorn beetle, in the garden
Slow progress with not much effort being put in. Once I've got the school holidays/holiday season behind me I hope to kick on a bit. Still a few things here and there and my fish total finally matched last year's.
Things ticking along imperceptibly slowly here. A couple of days of cycling to work mean no morning or lunchtime site visits and I've barely caught a fly for a month. My mind has turned to things botanical, and some of that as been off-square, though I've made it over 200 for flowering plants at least. now I just need to go back and do that for last year's square before the new atlas data is in!
There are Cinnabar caterpillars all over the place - found them in two new squares at my work and at another random spot I went to last night to look for waders (well, another patch - maybe next years?). Everywhere except in my square it would seem.
Here's one, just to pretty up the post a bit.
Since writing the above I noticed that one of the updates is Boxworm which is new to county and possibly new to Scotland. Maybe not the most popular addition but it is noteworthy at least! (and also quite pretty)
It's been a funny old year, with bitter cold in late February/early March, a late and wet spring but since then it's been largely dry and increasingly hot, such that everything round here (and in much of southern England) has turned brown. It's heading towards 30° today, which may not sound that hot, but we usually get cooling sea breezes here, so it's hot for us! I get the impression that insect activity has reduced recently, but certainly my activity has decreased, so not a huge amount of new stuff.
A Hobby has just charged through the garden chasing hirundines, hymenoptera have just reached 100 species for the year and one or two nice flies have been seen. Moths have been doing reasonably well, up to 370 species for the year, but migrants have been thin on the ground.
Stratiomys singularior ♀ (Flecked General soldierfly)
An interesting evening kicked off yesterday when my missus asked me to take some rubbish out to the bin. As I went a Whimbrel flew SW over the garden, calling and obviously keen that I didn't miss out on it.
I headed out for a walk around the bay, knowing that since I'd been away for over a week three was bound to be something new. First up was Enchanter's Nightshade in the woods behind the house, before arriving at the sailing club at high tide to find massive shoals of small fish all around the bay. Tens of thousands of them with the occasional breach of the surface and some silver sides evident as individuals twisted and turned. I decided to go home for a net! First though I ran up Erysiphe on Heracleum and a nice flowering patch of Field Bindweed between parked yachts and the bay. Here's a video of a small shoal breaking the water surface.
After a brief loop I headed home and grabbed a net and bucket from the garage. That was the easy part!
Back at the harbour the water was dropping and I tried the slow approach. They swam away slowly. I tried the fast approach. They swam away really fast. Finally I went for the gannet/tern approach and smashed the net into the water from a height - bingo!
Four specimens were secured. Back at the lab the dorsal fin originated clearly before the ventrals and the eye was pretty big, which seem to separate it reliably from the only other option I could see, which was Sprat. Though I've seen and eaten a fair few, this was the first herring I remember seeing alive.
When I was growing up my dad used to wear a hand-knitted arran sweater and had a huge beard. With my uncle and aunt they used to sing folk songs with a guitar in the back garden, and I still remember some of them. We also used to listen to stuff like this in the car on journeys, though I remember a faster version that I liked better than this (by the Spinners, maybe).
A few more nice moths over the last few days, although very little moth immigration going on. Really pleased to see Silver Hook in the garden, only the second one I'ver seen and one of my favorite moths. A few fen/shore specialists also turning up now, including Small Dotted Footman and Dotted Footman, both Red Data Book species and a rare combination except in the Broads. And a whopping great nocturnal ichneumon wasp, Stauropoctonus bombycivorus, one for Seth to enjoy. And a Crossbill in the garden, so the garden list for the year is now 1195.