Sunday, 11 July 2010

The moth of all rarities

Bird wise it has been quiet - most glimpses being of fledglings with the occasional fumbled juvenille sparrowhawk attack on the feeders. A lone greenshank has been a highlight on Watton for a number of days, with occasional glimpses of a green sandpiper and the snipe on South Marsh East when flushed out - yesterday by a moorhen.

The big winged highlight of this weekend however was the discovery of this privet hawkmoth in Richard Sears's portable trap.

We are unsure at this stage whether it is a reserve first - but certainly its rarity is undisputed with the 2009 Yorkshire lepidoptera report not recording any further inland than Spurn. In addition we have seen a number of hummingbird hawkmoths today - no doubt brought here by the strong Southerly winds of recent days. Jeff Barker managed to snap this shot in the rides of South Scrub.

The butterfly and moth event turned up many species - highlights being marbled white butterflies and a lone blackneck moth on North Scrub. This capsid was on the moth trap as I set it up - after investigation I am swaying towards Leptopterna dolobrata but check out this good site for further info.

Another lone small heath was reported from O res today, and this yellow tailed moth was one of hundreds present of dozens of species in the three moth traps out.

Meanwhile southern hawker was in the ride to North Marsh today, along with a brown hawker and the first emperor dragonfly on the D woods pond. Animal wise a rare sighting of an otter was made this afternoon on South Marsh East at 3pm, and even rarer was the sighting of a water shrew foraging in the new D woods pond - the first seen on the reserve for two years. The best performing of the birds however were the kingfishers, with Tony McLean managing this excellent image on North Marsh - check out more of his work here.