Comings and Goings

It finally seems as though the grey phalarope has left us. I am surprised that it has not gone before now as the nights have been fine and apparently ideal for flying. The wood sandpiper remains, though, and turns up fairly regularly in front of the Tern hide, giving very good views. They are one of the most attractive of all waders and this one has proved very popular with our photographers.
wood sandpiper, juvenile

wood sandpiper, juvenile in front of Tern hide this afternoon

The phalarope may have left but Ibsley Water was playing host to a new scarcity today, perhaps not entirely unexpected, but still good to see - the drake ferruginous duck has returned. At least it seems safe to assume that it is the same bird that has been coming since October 2010. It usually arrives in late September and is often on Ibsley Water for a day or two before going to the difficult-to-see Kingfisher Lake. I have no idea why it does not go straight to Kingfisher Lake or why it stays there so determinedly once it does get there.

In other news today the, or perhaps a, bittern was photographed flying across Ivy Lake again, I assume the same as in early September but who knows. As I was talking to a contractor outside the Education Centre I thought I heard the call of a white-fronted goose, I discounted this as a mishearing but then saw a small long-winged goose fly over, so I am pretty sure it was actually a white-fronted goose, but where it had come from or where it was going in anybody’s guess.

The moth trap is still attracting a fair few species, although nothing out of the ordinary, today’s catch included: large wainscotblack rusticwhite-point, lunar underwinglarge yellow underwingsallow, barred sallowpink-barred sallowbrimstone, snout, straw dot and lesser treble-bar. A lot of autumn species are yellow, no doubt helping them to hide amongst autumn leaves.

yellow moths: brimstone, sallow, pink-barred sallow and barred sallow

yellow moths: brimstone, sallow, pink-barred sallow and barred sallow

I also managed to record a moth, or rather the caterpillar of a moth, as I was locking the gate this evening - there was a grey dagger larva on the main gate catch. The adult moths are difficult to identify with certainty as they are very similar to the dark dagger, however the caterpillars are quite different.

grey dagger caterpillar

grey dagger caterpillar