Sunday, 9 June 2013

Mothing at the Lizard (6-7th June)

Anyone who'd have seen Greg, Jess and I bumping down the road to Windmill Farm on the Lizard at dusk and carrying some large contraptions through cows fields and bogs would have thought we were crazy, and I don't blame them, we certainly looked an odd bunch.  However, mothing was our excuse for this unusual behaviour and by 9:30ish we had set up two of the portable traps and heard the brief reeling of a Grasshopper Warbler.

To pass the time, we decided to travel a short distance up the road were we visited an area of heathland.  Since the news already seems to have been put out on Cornwall Birding, I might as well mention we connected with 3+ NIGHTJARS, including churring from the males and some wing clapping.  Some birds were rather confident in their song and were very nearby but still eluded our eyes as it was simply too dark to see them.  As well as their usual monotonous song we also heard a rather unusual phrase in which the churring slowed and ascended in tone in a space of a couple seconds before going silent for some time (much like a dying engine).

Other species of note included a calling Cuckoo at about 10pm and a calling Tawny Owl before we returned to Windmill Farm to check the moth traps.

Back at Windmill, we were rather disappointed to see one of the traps had failed to turn on.  However, one nudge and the light came on!  We left it for an hour or so before checking the second trap.  This one had thankfully worked and attracted several good species, including Puss Moth, Angle Shades, Flame Shoulder, Pebble Prominent and Fox Moth!

Puss Moth, a stunner!

Fox Moth

Pebble Prominent 

Angle Shades

On returning to our second trap we were pleased to find yet another Puss Moth, White Ermine and a Drinker moth caterpillar resting on the boardwalk.

White Ermine
Dinker moth caterpillar resting on the boardwalk

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