Saturday 30 July 2016


I've been running the actinic down in our Wee Wood these rainy nights. Last nght was the first time for ages I'd run the MV, not a huge catch but a few micros of interest. Micros are a bit of a pain in many respects even if they are in the trap that is no guarantee that they will make it to a usable image or in to a pot. I usually try for both unless they are something like Eucosma cana (seen quite a bit and distinctive), Cnephasia sp (need to be dissected to get to species level), or totally worn (surrender!). Usual scenario - see micro, grab camera, aim at moth, look in screen, press button and review shows it flew off in that moment. Or - get pot, get paintbrush, moth flies and lands on outside of pot, on me, on nearby surface, and then vapourises never to be seen again. Even if I get a decent image then identifying micros is a whole other ball game... Sterling and Parsons is excellent but still a challenge. Fortunately the recorder is very helpful and so are some of the folk on the local Facebook group. I've recently signed up to the UK Yahoo group as well. But micros are worth the effort as some of them are lovely things.

Acleris bergmanniana, a lovely wee thing and quite local

Agonopterix nervosa, new to me but common

Agriphilia tristella, a large "grass moth"

Fairly sure this is Scoparia subfusca

I can't figure this one out, a dark form of Endothenia quadrimaculana maybe. Whatever it is I see it quite often.

On The Shunan the juvenile Moorhen and juvenile Coot are closely associating, following each other around and feeding together. The adult Moorhens are still present but the adult Cotts left ten or so days ago.

Yesterday this Blackwit with a damaged leg was feeding by the track. In order to change its feeding place without flying it would balance on its bill and one good leg and flap to maintain its balance.

Saturday 23 July 2016

Poor, neglected blog

I haven't posted anything for ages, I will try to back-fill from here...

Smart but nasty! I originally identified this as Notch-horned Cleg, Haematopota pluvialis, but it has been pointed out to me that the similar Black-horned Cleg, H.crassicornis has been recorded here, or is at least possible. I need to look at all the photos now and see if I have one from the right angle to see the notch!

I think this photo shows the notch...

Yesterday I saw the first two Udea lutealis of the year, the first one was conveniently in the garden.

Decorating for the last few days, I managed to get a splinter in my finger.

It was straight down under the nail and broke off, ouch! The dissection kit for insects came in handy!

The day before I pulled this out of the MV trap.

Not great pix, I have it in the fridge and will try to get better ones but it is Palloptera quinquemaculata (confirmed ID) which until recently had not been recorded from Orkney.
Palace this evening and there were quite a few waders at low tide at the burn mouth, 15 Sanderling, 25 Dunlin, a Turnstone, some Ringed Plover, good numbers of Redshank. Only the second Arctic Skua of the year flushed everything briefly.