Friday, 29 August 2008


On the way home last night I saw a flock of 50 or so Starlings wheeling over the houses - what attracted me to them was the fact that they had formed such a tight dense flock. Scanning round I saw a Sparrowhawk soaring close by and it was obvious that the Starlings had tightened up their flock in the presence of the hawk a bit like the cowboys grouping the coaches tighter together when the indians appeared on the horizon.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Great spotted in the Garden

A Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard and then seen in flight in the garden (only the 2nd record this year). Meanwhile dragonflies (possibly Migrant Hawkers) hunt over the lawn and around the trees and a Meadow Brown was also seen to compliment the daily Large Whites, Small Whites and occasional Holly Blue.

The pond is now ready for the liner and ... er some water - so this weekend should see the great fill taking place. It's roughly 7 metres by 5 and only 60cms at the deepest point but should attract some interest from the local wildlife. The last pond we had was only a quarter the size and recorded up to 15 toads, 20+ frogs and 10+ newts at one point.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

More Moths

Tree-lichen Beauty

Maiden's Blush

I managed to run the moth trap over the last 4 days and have still been getting vast quantities of yellow underwings (60+ of the 3 yellow underwing species - Large, Lesser and Lesser Broad-bordered). The highlight, following on, from the White Point the other day was a poor specimen Tree-lichen Beauty, which is listed as an immigrant. Other highlights included a Maiden's Blush - another new moth for me.

I've since learnt from learned colleagues from the Kent Moth Group that both Tree-lichen Beauty and White Point are resident in Kent in suitable habitat but not known in Tunbridge Wells, so my records were more of local population movements rather than immigrants from the Continent. Just shows that some moth distributions are frequently changing and literature can soon go out of date.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

White Point - New Moth

White Point
Moth catch was limited last night as it was fairly cool. However 8 species were caught with the highlight being a White Point which was a new moth for me and is listed as a suspected imigrant.
Bird highlights in the morning consisted of 2 Chiffchaffs, one of which managed a snatch of song.
3 Holly Blues and Large White butterflies were noted and we had two sightings of foxes.


The kids found this impressive Speckled Bush Cricket in the vegetable patch.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Sunny Park

Lunchtime at Wimbledon Park - Holly Blue, several Small Whites and Speckled Wood butterflies were seen but no bird highlights in the calm sunny conditions.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Bough Beech at Dusk

Little Egret
A half hour visit to Bough Beech Reservoir on the way home in the evening revealed 6 Little Egrets on North Lake (this equals the biggest number I have ever seen at BB) also present were 3 Green Sandpipers, Common Sandpiper, juvenile Little Ringed Plover and several Common Terns.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

A Walk in the Park

A lunchtime stroll around Wimbledon Park only revealed Blackcap and several Speckled Woods of interest.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Moth Trap

Iron Prominent

I ran the moth trap Saturday night for the first time and despite some overnight rain some 60+ moths of 16 species were caught. Most noteable of which was an Iron Prominent and several Copper Underwings. There were also good numbers of Large Yellow Underwings and Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwings. Also present were an Oak Bush Cricket, Shieldbugs and several wasps which proceeded to dismember and fly off with some of the smaller moths.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Swallows and Flycatcher

A visit to Bough Beech Reservior turned up 2 Little Egrets, 4+ Green Sandpiper, 4+ Common Sandpiper, Common Terns and my first Spotted Flycatcher for the reserve (126th species). Unfortunately I didn't get any decent pictures before it flew off into the nearby trees - just a perching shot on the dead tree in the orchard.

Spotted Flycatcher

The Swallows performed well over my head and consisted of juveniles harassing adults.

Acrobatic Swallows

Juvenile and adult Swallow in collision

Also saw this Black-tailed Skimmer dragonfly.

Black-tailed Skimmer

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Sevenoaks Reserve

A brief look at Sevenoaks Reserve yielded highlights of a Green Sandpiper, Little Ringed plover and a family of 5 Egyptian Geese. A Peacock butterfly was also seen and a group of Mistle Thrushes were in the horse paddock.

Coots a plenty


Mistle Thrush