Saturday, 25 July 2015

24th July Hayle

The forecast rain did duly arrive and we awoke to strong winds and heavy rain. I peered out through the door at the moth trap (which I had set up just outside the door tucked away out of the wind) and whilst there were some moths around the light I could also see that much of it was really soaked. Having learnt from last time I decided to wait a while for the weather to calm down but by late morning it was still raining though the wind had eased somewhat so I enlisted the help of daughter 2 and we carefully started to unpack things. Having run the trap a couple of times this week I was by now much more familiar with the regular moths in this location and could consequently work through the egg trays at a faster pace, just photographing the interesting ones for later ID. There was still the problem of what to do with the moths - in the end I stored them as best as possible outside in various containers until I could release them safely into the undergrowth later on.

Dark Sword Grass - an immigrant moth
Least Yellow Underwing - new for the modest garden list

With the weather still rather inclement we did a few brief chores in the cottage for the rest of the morning. My VLW had promised me that I wouldn't need to do any DIY whilst there but in the end I did have to change a washer on a tap that was about to go. We then had lunch before deciding on an afternoon outing. The others fancied a wander around PZ so I offered to drop them off and then go to the Hayle estuary to pay a visit to the over-summering Ring-billed Gull there which I'd not yet seen. The traffic was terrible in both directions around the town so it took some time to drop them off and get out to Hayle where I first had to run a quick shopping errand before I could get down to some summer gulling ("had me a blast, tell me more, tell me more" *). Regular readers may recall that my last few visits to Hayle this year searching for gulls (Caspian and possible American Herring Gull) had been less than fruitful and sadly this theme continued this time as most of them were fast asleep and rather difficult to make out. I met another birder there who said that he'd seen the Ring-billed just before I'd arrived but couldn't find it now. Had I been sensible I would have done my research and studied photos of the bird so that I could pick it out even with its head tucked in but unfortunately I hadn't done this. Instead I noted a flock of 40 odd Dunlin, 6 Redshank, a scattering of Curlew and three Mediterranean Gulls (adult and two second summer) as well as the usual loafing large gulls.

I'm always happy to see Med. Gulls

I was supposed to rendezvous with the family for tea back at PZ at 4 pm but given the traffic it had taken too much time to get there at all so in the end I gave up on the tea and arranged to pick the rest of the family up after they'd finished theirs. This I duly did and we went back to the cottage to pack up. The wind was still very strong so in the end I had to carefully deposit the moths from my trapping in the undergrowth in the garden out of the wind where it wasn't too damp. During the night the wind abated so they should have all managed to fly off somewhere safely. We finished all that could be done in terms of packing up and then watched some crappy film on the TV. We were all rather tired so went to bed early.

I found some Mexican Fleabane growing by the wall at the Hayle estuary

* Paraphrasing the musical Grease in case you're wondering what on earth I'm going on about

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