Both moth trapping and seawtching have been largely a waste of time all week, with a zero catch on one morning, remarkable in late April, and 2 Velvet Scoters E a couple of days ago my only decent seabird sighting.
A chilly walk along the Firehills this morning found both male Stonechats in place still, a rather belated first singing Lesser Whitethroat, and a singing Willow Warbler on the cliff edge. Sitting on a seat in the garden for 30 mins-when driven inside by cold -produced nothing at all overhead-spring really is so quiet compared to the excellent autmns here.
When will it rain ?
Nice few sunny hours at Castle Water before the clouds came............. found my first few Emerging Downy Emeralds around the margins of the viewpoint, also Hairy Dragonfly but they have been emerging since the 20th mainly in the ditch north of the hide, good selection of damselflies also on the wing. Avian highlights competed well with the damsels and dragons, Hobby, 3 Swift, a mixed flock of around 80 Swallows, House and Sand Martins, 12 Whimbrel, Green Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover. Obviously full selection of singing summer warblers, Cuckoo, booming Bittern, Marsh Harriers and the regular Buzzard. The Downy Emerald pictured below took off shortly after I took this picture just before the heat of the sun disappeared.
Considering it's nearly May, the moth trap catches at Lime Kiln Cottage are still very disappointing, with only a handful of species. However, yesterday I had my first oblique-striped, pebble prominent (below) and muslin moth of 2017, with the commonest species being the tiny micro black-headed conch. Similarly, recent butterfly transects have been hard work, though a feature of the last count on Sunday was the relatively good count of small copper, (10 in all), a species I usually only see in small numbers towards the latter part of the year. Other invertebrates over the last few days have included variable damselfly, buffish mining bee, ashy mining bee and the wonderfully named flavous nomad bee, a nest parasite of buffish mining bee among other things.
The most obvious birds this morning were the Common Scoter. They were very active with birds moving around locally before 217 flew eastwards. With them was a party of eight Velvet Scoter. Four Brent Geese and a single Red-throated Diver also flew east.
The pools held the usual duck although for the first time this spring there were no Wigeon present. A mixed flock of about a dozen hirundine included both Swallow and Sand Martin. There were also three Common Tern present.