Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Dribs and Drabs

It has been fairly slow going on the migration front around here with the likes of Chiffchaff still being fairly thin on the ground. The northerly component of the airflow over recent days seems to be holding birds up to some degree and it has certainly taken the edge off my enthusiasm to be out and about looking for migrants. The garden has also been quiet but two wintering Blackcaps continue to visit to feed on apples and fat cakes and don't seem to be in too much of a hurry to move on at the moment. 

While I have not been out birding as much I have been running a moth trap in the garden each night since the beginning of the month. I haven't mentioned this in previous posts as there has not been much to report so far this spring. Catches have been fairly small which is to be expected with temperatures often dropping to around freezing and variety has been largely limited to the 3 usual suspects for this time of year - Common Quaker, Hebrew Character and Clouded Drab.

Left to right - Common Quaker, Hebrew Character and Clouded Drab.
After another cold night I didn't expect the moth trap to produce anything different this morning so I was pleasantly surprised to find a Twin-spotted Quaker and an Oak Beauty in addition to the usuals mentioned above.

Twin-spotted Quaker

Oak Beauty and beauty it is.
For a moment I also thought I had caught a Lead-coloured Drab which would have been a new species for the garden but I quickly realised it was just one of the many colour forms of Clouded Drab.

Clouded Drab. This species is very variable and darker forms like the example in the first image are more common in my garden.

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