The news today confirmed what we all knew already in that the summer has been the hottest overall in England on record. It’s certainly ben a very sunny one with my PV installation hitting record figures through May and June though late July and August have been a little more ‘normal’. This weather has my garden plants in at right tizzy. Many have done well but a lot of the ‘early autumn’ flowers are already starting to go over which may not be good for the insects.
Moth records have certainly been a but topsy-turvy - generally a poor summer but I’ve had a couple of really odd records of salt marsh species which have turned up in my garden trap - how bizarre! Butterflies have been good in the garden with a Painted Lady rather regular.
I've also tried my hand at hoverfly identification - a minefield but something to pass fine summer days once the moth trap is empty and no birds around.
Local birding has been a little frustrating of late but, nevertheless, I’ve seen some good birds on Rishton Reservoir which, once again, has dropped very low due to a leak in the canal somewhere along our section. This has revealed some lovely mud but had unintended consequences on the pair of Great Crested Grebes that nested on the small res. They produced two young but as the water level dropped, the patch of after available to them diminished and eventually the parents left the youngsters to it. Amazingly one of them managed to find the culvert under the railway track and swam to safety. The other must have perished.
The mud on the west back attracted in a few waders but nothing like as many as last year. A juvenile Avocet was most unexpected though perhaps a long overdue visitor considering their range expansion. There’s been very few hirundines around this year but a good number of gulls have been loafing on the waters edge. A couple of weeks ago there were at least 500 LBBG’s and in amongst them was what I think must have been a juvenile Caspian Gull but it was missing one feature that would have clinched it.
The same day a juvenile Kittiwake dropped in and in the preceding week I’d had up to two little Egrets! So imagine my surprise this-morning when I got down there in heavy drizzle to see a Great White Egret wading through the water. Unfortunately it didn’t hang around but I managed a few images to record the event.
|Female Ghost Moth|
|Possible juvenile Caspian Gull|
|Great White Egret - Rishton Reservoir|