Saturday, 19 May 2018

Royal Wedding Day

Celebrated the Royal Wedding by doing the farmlands- had Ringed Plover, about 5 Common Buzzard, a passage of 20+ Swallow between 0900 and 1100 and surprisingly a female Pintail on the South Lake. 

Also had a fleeting view of Broad-bodied Chaser by the parkside gate which Nick later identified and also Nick had a Small Heath. 

Back at the obs decided to join in with the regal going ons by celebrating in our own way:



Thursday, 17 May 2018

A few recent moths

The moth trap at Beddington Farmlands has been fairly interesting since I got back from Bulgaria- not so much quantity but a bit of quality. 

 Chamomile Shark- only the third record for the farmlands and a first for me. Identification from Shark by the dark lines at the wing tips that extend all the way to the edge 
 Iron Prominent- only a few previous records of these 
 Rustic Shoulder Knot 
 Chocolate Tip- a local scarcity 
 Turnip Moth 
 The first Heart and Dart for the year and a Bee Moth 
and the first Shuttle-shaped Dart for the year
Went to check out Robert Walker's community orchard in the week and we found a patch of Kidney Vetch on the bank where Irrigation Bridge has been demolished. Probably introduced as Robert had thrown some wild flower seed around that area. A first for the farmlands nonetheless. 

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Bulgaria 2018 Other Wildlife

Here's the final pics from Bulgaria, a few more things that caught my eye. Ids to follow. Made a start on the butterfly ids below. 
Philaeus chrysops, a jumping spider (cheers Roger Payne) 

Broad-bodied Chaser





Broomrake sp? 
Star Fungus sp? 

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Bulgaria 2018 Butterflies and Moths

I'll stick these up here to put the pressure on to id them at some point- please feel free to step in with any proposed identifications.
Previous attempts of this subject HERE

Grizzled Skipper sp- In Bulgaria species listed are Grizzled, Large Grizzled, Olive, Oberthur's, Sandy, Yellow-banded, Safflower, Alpine and Dusky. 
Lesser Spotted Fritillary 

Queen of Spain Fritillary (thanks Roger Payne for id) 
Four-spotted, Tyta luctuosa (cheers Roger for id) 
probably Eastern Baton Blue, Pseudophilotes vicrama (thanks Roger) 
Geometrician, Grammodes stolida (cheers Roger) 


Small Heath 


Lesser-spotted Fritillary, Mellitaea trivia (cheers Roger) 
Spotted Fritillary, Melitaea didyma (cheers Roger) 

I think most of these Fritillaries are Lesser Spotted 
Queen of Spain Fritillary
Mallow Skipper ?
Speckled Yellow 


Hairstreak sp? 
Oecophora bractella (thanks Roger for id) 
Southern White Admiral 
Forester sp? 

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Bulgaria 2018, Day 5

Spent  a very wet today around Shipka, went up the valley east of the Monastery and then checked out the birding track and a quick visit to Sheynovo Pond. Here's the ebird list HERE.

 Just when you thought it was safe- another Hawfinch pic! 
 Male Red Backed Shrike 
 Female Red-backed Shrike (40+ in the areas were visited ) 

Friday, 11 May 2018

Bulgaria 2018, Day 4

Our official herping trip is over now but still got another 3 days in Shipka at the Balkan Ecology Project with the family. Been checking out the local area following on from previous efforts out here see HERE and HERE.

As always an absolutely stunning area and still managed to add further species to the herping list: Fire Salamander, Wall Lizard, Dice Snake and Slow Worm (Eastern). Now had 20 herp species on this trip! 

Will need to blog separately about the butterflies, moths, botany and other wildlife (as will need to identify most of the photo specimens). Certainly a eco-abundance out here. 

Did the fields around plot 2 yesterday and went up the valley and stream east of the Monastery this morning. Added a few new species for out Shipka bird list HERE- including Red-footed Falcon (at least two males over the plot 2 fields), Marsh Tit (in the valley this morning) and also had Barred Warbler away from Koprinka Lake (one along the foothill path in plot 2 area). Also had Grey-headed Wagtail. 

A few pics: 

 View over the Balkans and Shipka Monastery from Plot 2 area 
 Black-headed Bunting- also at least 4 Ortolans around and Cirl and Corn Buntings
 Long-legged Buzzard 
Long-legged Buzzard and Red-footed Falcons 
Dice Snake