Thursday, 31 July 2014

First wader action since dropping the water - Green Sand!

An annual visitor and several individuals expected, but nice for this one to drop in and get us started. It even obliged with a nice flit across the pond to show off its shiny white rump

Monday, 28 July 2014

A big weekend!

A big weekend at Cullaloe with Saturday seeing grassland monitoring plus a moth trapping event. Finally the 75th bird species of the year made it onto the list with a Kingfisher fishing near the sluice gate (it was also seen on Sunday).

The grassland site monitoring produced a couple of known species which hadn't been recorded this year - Greater Birdsfoot Trefoil (which I'm never sure how to spell) and Devil's-bit Scabious. False Oat-grass was also added, although I thought I already had!

A couple of hoverflies also made it onto the list from Friday after being keyed out over the weekend, and the moth night, despite being hampered by rain, turned in a monster result with double figures of new species. All that leaves a species total of 561 (list).

Rate of species addition to year list

Grassland monitoring

Unrecorded sedge that requires further investigation

Devil's-bit Scabious

Light Arches moth

Lempke's Gold Spot

Swallow Prominent

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Pretty Pinion, Yellow Waterlily

So while browsing my Dayflying Moths book I discover the very nice Pretty Pinion, which looks a lot like my Blue-bordered Carpet .. oh dear!. Well Pretty Pinion is new for the reserve if not the hectad, so it'll do me.

This morning while looking for fungi (since the water level STILL isn't low enough for waders) I stumbled across a small patch of water lily - also new on the reserve list, and also very pretty

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Moth update and Beechwood Sickener

Since the last post I have passed on photos of moths I couldn't ID and had one come back as a decent county record - The Suspected (below), which is only recorded in two other hectads in the county, once last year, and prior to that not since 1971.

I also picked up Beechwood Sickener - a nice red Russula toadstool from the woods. The year total marches on at 524, and 1000 species for the reserve is now also becoming a distant memory!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Moth Mayhem

A foggy night at Cullaloe on the 19th saw a bumper moth crop including 11 new species for the year. Whole story is here.

Pick of the bunch is this Blue-bordered Carpet, which is also new to the hectad. Below is one of my favourite moths, the Peppered Moth.

Blue-bordered Carpet (erm .. nope - Pretty Pinion)

Peppered Moth

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Balteatus swarm

Episyrphus balteatus all over the place in the moring sunshine today. Also Cheilosia illustrata, Melanostoma scalare, Eritalis pertinax and Syrphus ribesii. Also a apparent emergence of Small Tortoiseshell and some nice flowers too.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

... and the waters receded

In preparation for Cullaloe's 3rd Pectoral Sandpiper, I opened the gates last night to allow the water to begin to drain. The weather had other ideas, though, and the water may still actually be rising, but in a few days we should be seeing Common Sandpipers on the exposed mud

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Hovers and Hogweed

Hogweed, some of which is now producing seed, is a great attractant for hoverflies. Most of them seem to be Syrphus species - mostly/all ribesii going by those I have caught and examined.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Don't wake dad!

Tufted Duck chicks at Cullaloe. A few days ago there were 5 - a couple of Pike victims possibly.

Beneath, the hoverfly Chrysogaster solstitialis - species number 29 for the year and 32 for the reserve

Tufted Duck chicks

Chrysogaster solstitialis

Tuesday, 8 July 2014


So NT18 is a hectad and NT is a myriad, because a myriad in Greek is 10,000 and a myriad in Ordnance Survey speak is 10,000 square kilometres (monads) - a square of 100km per side.

Who knew?

Wednesday, 2 July 2014


Scooped a few hovers at lunchtime in the hopes that one will be new. almost certain one will be as it's black and very small.Also this tarty Volucella trying to get rights to be the pinup of Cullaloe by posing on the info board. Not quite as good as the Green-veined white did last year. Maybe it's species of the year.

Double Square-spot, Large Yellow Underwing

Trapping last night yielded the above two new ones for me at Cullaloe and for the year. There's also a micro which will probably add another.

full story
Double Square-spot

Large Yellow Underwing

Large Yellow Underwing

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Divit Watch reboot

With 500 in the bag (501) and July starting, it;s time to pay some attention to much neglected Inverkeithing for vismig season. Not much vismig today, but a nice Common Blue butterfly and some other stuff.

Divit Reboot