Friday, 6 September 2019

Creatures from the south, the east and the north!


The moth traps at Pitsford Reservoir today provided something of a local rarity with the discovery of a 'clifden nonpareil' (sometimes called a Blue Underwing), a new species for the site and a moth with a distinct southerly distribution.

Details have come through now of the colour-ringed Yellow-legged Gull seen at Pitsford on 31st August. This bird was originally ringed as a chick in Germany on 31st May 2017 but already it is showing adult-like features, such is the rapid moult process of this species. That same year it was seen in Leicestershire on 12th August and 28th October and on the 25th February 2019 was spotted near Jura in eastern France. On 11th May this year it was seen across the border near Bern in Switzerland and of course this autumn has returned to the English Midlands. This series of records seems to confirm that the now regular summer and autumn influxes of Yellow-legged Gulls locally stem from breeding birds in eastern Europe. There were seventeen Yellow-legged Gulls at Stanwick this afternoon (courtesy of Steve Fisher), on the pit by the visitor centre for convenience!

Yesterday evening and Steve had a Marsh Harrier fly east through Stanwick; this morning there were five Cattle Egrets there plus a Common Sandpiper and a Swift.  Kim saw a Great White Egret and a Greenshank at Summer Leys this morning and Ken witnessed a Hobby dashing over Upper Harlestone. The Brampton Valley seemed quiet this morning, that is apart from the southward migrating Meadow Pipits whose numbers have now created significant momentum.


Neil M

'Clifden nonpareil' or Blue
Underwing moth, image
courtesy of Dave Jackson.

Yellow-legged Gull.

Meadow Pipit.

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