Monday 27 November 2023

Confusing critters.

 Some identification issues this week.

Lesser Black-backed Gull, re-identified as a Herring Gull, 1cy; thanks to folk on Western Palearctic Gulls FB Group for helping me come to the correct conclusion in the end.

Leebs are uncommon here in Orkney in winter. When I do see them they are usually young birds, looking a bit odd or unwell. But until I found I had a 90 degree on image and could assess the length of the primaries I was struggling a tad with this. I did wonder if I had found a Yellow-legged Gull, a real rarity here; very much a rarity, there are no records. Anyway, I did work this out in the end (some folk think this is a Herring Gull). The oddly shaped bill is because there is a water droplet on the bill tip.

Back in June I photographed a pug, one that doesn't yap or bark, a moth, on Hoy. Here it is.

Satyr Pug, Eupithecia satyrata (Thanks to RL for the identification.)

I'd proposed Foxglove Pug. It had then been identified as Edinburgh/Freyer's Pug (Eupithecia intricata). However, as this would have been a county first I needed to get it checked. Re-identified as Satyr Pug, it lacks the dark band across the base of the abdomen that is diagnostic for Freyer's Pug. I had a good look through the images on both British Lepidoptera and on Lepiforum, and although the band can sometimes be hard to see it is usually obvious. Freyer's Pug is a species that is likely here in Orkney, one to look out for.

In recent days I've also been shown images of another mystery pug. The trapper thought it was a good one, so I sent the images off for identification and verification. It has come back as Golden-rod Pug, new for the county, an excellent outcome.

The Great White Egret, or indeed two of them, are still about. Mostly, like today, I see one, but two were here yesterday. If I take the binoculars upstairs I can often see one whilst sitting in bed with a cup of tea.

This was photographed nearby, in Dounby.

The tick of the week was a small cranefly, Trichocera major. I must capture another to photograph a bit better, but I had two in the light trap a week ago. I had thought that I had a new fly for Orkney but had again been pipped at the post by BH who had caught and identified this species a few years back.

Trichocera major, not the best image.

Trichocera major, thanks to BH for confirming my ID.

There were just four moths, none in the trap, all on the wall or on the trap. Three Mottled Umber and an Angleshades.


Mottled Umber, a dark one and a pale one.

Harray Kirk, photos from the garden today.

No comments: