Wednesday, June 29, 2011


After a few more days surveying in Kent decided to head down to Dunge in the evening, staying overnight at the Obs.
Boy I wish I was a mother or is it spelt moth-er, anyway there were loads of them, most having been caught last night but the most important one the night before, patiently awaiting the longer distance twitchers. First up were two guys from Somerset (one very thin and one very fat), I am sure they wont mind me saying, who had driven from Somerset after work. They were twitching Britains second only Dusky Marbled Brown in the last 150 years. Apparently the supporting cast (also in the egg area of the fridge) was very strong with Small Marbled, a green Barred Red, Scarce Black Arches, Speckled Footman and the pyralid Eudonia delunella. The warden reckoned it was the best night he had had since being at Dungeness.
Then at around 10pm came Steve Whitehouse and his crew, fresh from the Spey Valley! I did try a few jokes about it having just flown off, after I had accidentally left the lid off etc but I am sure they had heard them all before.
Just to annoy people I took a picture of the Dusky Marbled Brown

The next morning was up a bit late and joined the moth-ers at the traps whereupon I was able to guess correctly another Small Marbled (must be a natural!). Also there was another pyralid Acrobasis tumidana. With my new found over confidence I spotted a rather white and fluffy looking moth and for some reason felt an urge to stroke it. "Is that an Ermine"? I enquired,
"No" came the response "its a Brown-tail, dont touch it, they're bastards, I hate those things, they give you a rash and can make you very ill, sometimes lasting for years" I couldnt believe it, that was probably the only moth I have ever touched. I spent the next few hours waiting for a rash which luckily never appeared.
To take my mind off it I had a wander down to the patch. There was a juv YLG here yesterday but couldnt find it today. Best I could muster was 7 Meds and 2 Common Gulls, a first summer and adult which I thought was pretty early but apparently they breed somewhere local.

On the way back was pointed out this Hummingbird Hawk Moth sunning itself on the Power Station perimeter wall, not sure I would have guessed it from these views. Much easier done in flight.

Some people dont like Dungeness, but I think its great. I mean look at these lovely flowers!

Wheatears have bred again, somewhere around here

Well, here's the tatty adult.

and here's one of the juvs

The immature Glauc was still about apparently about but couldnt find it today