It's been all about the transient species lately on the reserve, perhaps the king of which was the convolvulus hawk moth caught in the trap on Saturday night. A first ever for the reserve a fine beast indeed:
blog. In many cases the small non-descript brown micro's carry a greater significance on the reserve habitats than these big brash migrants more commonly encountered in the Med - but a cracker all the same!
But the efforts were worth it even prompting myself to scrape the dust off the SLR for a go with pleasing results:
In many ways it's been a little disappointing as inspite of good numbers of common birds we've yet to get something more glamorous; the habitat looks the business for spotted crake or curlew sand but none forthcoming. Repeated easterly winds held great promise and delivered nothing - even blowing birds away from the day prior! Nice to read the positive comments from Tophill regulars that the reserve is like the 'old times again.' A minor consolation was a high number of passage ringed plovers this year - a maxima of 4 on the 24th but likely more individuals through:
here detailing some of the ancient long tailed tits we have on site!. However most interest was in amongst them on Saturday. We fairly regularly get reports of firecrests on the reserve and if anything it almost seems to be a 'folk name' for a male goldcrest; many observers use the fitting description for a goldcrest with a red flame mark on its crest - but the reality is these are but male goldcrests. This marking is not always visible so people are often elated to see it when shown. But the firecrest is denoted by the white and black eye stripes giving a pied head.
On this occasion the observer volunteered a good description of this feature rather then red crests - from the Norway Spruces of D woods. So it is what it is - there are a great many goldcrests up there for sure but finding a firescrest again?
Further ID conundrums included an aythya species with a 'bright blue bill' - initial thoughts of the return of the ruddy duck were solved when it transpired to be a tufted duck with the blue bill tag '23' on it. Lee Johnson researched one in October last year with the tag 'BZ3' (which I presume is not a pre-worn 23?). That bird was tagged on the 12/03/14 in Outines, France - so if any one has any updates it would be of interest. Roy Lyon: