Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Another Mother Shipton

Underside of Mother Shipton moth...Widdrington tip

Lowland Hares-tail Cottongrass...Widdrington tip

Solomon's Seal...Chapel woods, Morpeth

Dryad's Saddle...Carlisle Park, Morpeth

Peppered Moth...Morpeth

Clouded Silver...Morpeth

Common Marbled Carpet...Morpeth

Poplar Hawkmoth...Morpeth

Yesterday morning I was at Widdrington tip and it was alive with birds being fed by their parents. There were family parties of Willow warblers, Reed Buntings and Yellowhammers. They began to alarm and a Long eared Owl came into view hunting the clearings of the former tip, now an excellent habitat of Birch and Alder carr. Presumably the Owl had young of its own to feed somewhere. An adult Cuckoo was also here. It was cool but no butterflies around and a few moths lifted out of the undergrowth; 3 Silver ground carpets, 3 Brown silver-lines and some micros but the best was a Mother Shipton. My third sighting here in two weeks.
Above some pics of some outings around Morpeth, the moths are from my garden trap at Abbey Meadows.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Stobswood and Widdrington tip

Mother Shipton Moth (Callistege mi), Widdrington tip

Blurred image of Grapholita lunulana, 1 of 14 at Widdrington tip

Roe Deer at Felton Lane

Compact Rush, Felton Lane

Spike Rush, Widdrington tip

Scarlet and Yellow Pimpernel, Stobswood

Hedgerow Cranesbill, a colourful addition to the Stobswood flora taken at the edge of Grangewood.

From the notebook

These days with the advancement of digital photography you appear to need photographic evidence when you record something different or interesting. On Wednesday I was walking along the old railway between Steadsburn and Felton lane looking for plants and butterflies. I noticed what looked like 2 insects coupled in flight above the trackside flora was actually one of those Longhorn type moths. It landed on a Willow twig. By the time I took the lens cap off the camera it moved further up the tree out of reach for my camera to get a record shot but by stepping back I got a good view through my binoculars. I wasted no more time trying to get a photo and got my notebook out. I'm no artist but I occasionally sketch mainly fungi and seeds of plants,  a rough sketch (all my sketches are rough) and scribble down a few features.It may make a big difference and my rough sketch and a few details were enough for the county moth recorder to be happy with this record of a scarce county species. It is probably under recorded but these backwaters like Felton lane are perfect places to explore for such species. Coincidentally the above record was almost at the very same spot as me and Stewart saw a Lunar Hornet moth back in the 90's.
Butterflies were quite numerous but despite walking the length of the old railway sidings there were no Dingy Skippers but the foodplant is plentiful. There were 10 Wall Browns, 7 Orange tip and an amazing 32 Speckled Woods between the brickworks and the former refuse tip.
3 Garden warblers were behind the old pit heap and a Lesser Whitethroat was singing form scrub at Felton lane my first record here for 5 years.