Sunday, 3 June 2018

Moths and hovers

The mothing season has finally got going and I'm starting to catch interesting things. There is a huge invasion of Silver Y, some turning up in the traps but many flying around everywhere and at dusk the front Sycamore tree is full of them, perhaps 200 mid week. Along with these there has been the odd Red Admiral, a few Diamond-backed Moths and a few Dark Sword-grass. Two new hoverflies for the county have been recorded in the week as well, one, if not both species have turned up in the garden subsequently, I have quite a few hovers awaiting id.

 Another likely migrant - Angleshades

 Tiny, and easily overlooked but hard to get to species, Coleophera sp

 Poplar Hawk

 Puss Moth (NFS)

 Dark Sword-grass

 Glaucous Shears

Syndemis musculana - took a bit to id this

One evening there were about 45 Sandy Carpet on the wing on the walk to and near Loch of Bosquoy, they seemed to be concentrated around the Reed Canary Grass on the banks of the burns.

Not the easiest things to photograph

Diamond-backed Moth

Silver Y

 White Ermine

 Pebble Prominent

Peppered Moth

Aphodius rufipes

Aphodius rufipes about to depart and having a moment with a White Ermine

I've recently been trying to key out some Aphodius beetles, not easy. This one is simple though, bigger tahn 9mm, comes to light = rufipes. I've just packaged up a large number of tubes and sent them off to an expert.

Neoscia sp (podagrica) can't do these from photos but it is most likely podagrica.

Eupeodes corollae

This is likely the same species but, not a good enough view.

Scaeva pyrastri, not a species I've generally seen very often.

...and this is likely Scaeva selenitica, unfortunately it escaped, it would be new for Orkney.

Redpolls are still seen in the garden everyday, numbers are reduced but there are two or three still coming to the Niger. Chaffinch appears to have attempted to breed for the first time, success unknown, Robin is breeding for the second time and currently has fledged young. It looks as if Dunnock may well be breeding also. On The Shunan the displaying Ruff moved on. Mallard have two broods and I am awaiting the other ducks. A stoat has been seen by others regularly down at The Shunan, probably predating waders. When we were at Yesnaby last weekend we watched on causing havoc, charging around the breeding Oystercatchers, Lapwings and Ringed Plovers, probably taking a Ringed Plover's egg.

Out at Birsay the star has been the Little Stint found yesterday.

Monday, 21 May 2018


A walk at Northside on Saturday. The mission was to check on the Arctic Terns on Skiba Geo. Maybe twenty pairs looked to be on the rocks, we'll see what happens. Several Bonxies went by but not much else of avian interest.

 Tystie love


 Thrift, scurvy grass and The Brough

 Dandelions and waves

 Lesser Celandine and silverweed

 Shiny woodlouse (Oniscus asellus)

 A Trombidium sp mite (thanks LJ for id), a big very bright thing.

 Eider display

 Eider pair


The moth trap had added a couple of new species for the year, White Ermine and Silver Y.

 White Ermine

 Lady's Smock

 Lady's Smock

 Silver Y

 Eristalis pertinax

Gastrophysa viridula the green dock beetle, found all over the place at the weekend.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

New camera

Some initial pix with the new Canon G3. My worries of not getting the magnification on birds etc were unfounded. Lack of an eye piece has so far not been too much of a disadvantage (and one is available, for a price). It is heavy and it doesn't fit in the bag I ordered for it, oops. I took some pictures yesterday in the evening light so I was pushing it.

Sycamore flowers with Fever Fly (Dilophus febrilis)

Mealy Redpolls

I need to reorganise the redpoll page which I will do shortly.