Our nine year old son (William), and I had gone over to Durlston CP late Saturday morning as it was somewhere I had never been but has had some good birds in the past as well as decent moths so I wanted to get a feel for the place. On arrival the car park was quite full and it was typically expensive (£2 for an hour) so I made my way to the centre to get some change. There was a friendly ranger at the desk and we had a brief chat about what was around and he pointed out a rather swanky screen display with all the records for that day so far, top of the list of moths was a species which I didn't recognise - a sort of Ancient Murrelet moment but not quite to the expletive ridden degree when hearing about aforementioned alcid on birdline for the first time whilst waiting for my bags at Gatwick after a lads week in Tenerife! Anyway, the moth in question was a Sombre Brocade which I later discovered was first seen at Durlston in October 2008 and is still the only site in Great Britain where they have been recorded (it is also a recent colonist to the Channel Islands). Keen to see the moth I asked the ranger if it was potted up somewhere but it had been taken off-site so no luck there. He did say that Bernard Skinner was trapping again that night and it might be worth coming back in the morning. With stomachs rumbling we looked at the food on offer at the "cafe" but it was more bistro than greasy spoon so we headed off to the delightful Swanage. After eventually finding somewhere to park I located a bakers and wasn't disappointed, two homemade Chicken and Mushroom pies (quality shortcrust pasrty), a doughnut, a slice of carrot cake and a large tea for just shy of a lady godiva - quality!! I won't go into details about the pie as I don't want to be accused of plagiarism!
Next morning William and I left around 6:30am and were at Durlston just before 7 but as it was a bit overcast Mr Skinner didn't arrive til nearer 7:30. After introducing myself to Bernard we headed off down to the furthest, and most exposed, of the three traps he was running. All very standard fare with just Rusty-dot Pearl, Rush Veneer and a couple of Silver Y being the only immigrants and Bernard stated numbers were well down on the previous night. Along to the next trap and again it all seemed very quiet, but thankfully it wasn't long before the main target was extracted from the trap -a Sombre Brocade. As the name suggests it's not the most colourful of moths but they're all attractive in their own way.
The light wasn't great and as you can see I had to photograph it in a pot but I would hope I'll get a chance for better shots in the future. The only other moths of note were a Pearly Underwing and a Dark Sword-grass.
Birdwise there was plenty of vis-mig with several small flocks of Siskin and Chaffinch coming in as well as a couple of Redpoll. Hirundines were constantly passing overhead with Swallows outnumbering House Martin but I will confess to not making any attempt to count them. A single Yellow Wagtail was also knocking around. A succesful morning and big thanks to Bernard for allowing us to tag along.
Back at Poole I emptied my moth trap but there was nothing of any great significance, out of 43 macros 32 of these were Feathered Ranunculus.
I think this is a male and female, the left hand moth having the feathered antennae.
A splash more colour was provided by this Sallow which is always a favourite of mine
Thankyou for visiting my blog and I'll try and post on a regular basis.