Monday, 19 August 2019

Purple patch

Great weekend just gone with a patch year tick, a patch lifer, a nocmig tick and a first for Pulborough!

One of the absolute joys of patch birding at this time of year has to be the returning Redstarts, brightening up the increasingly tired-looking landscape and drab fenceposts. The species' favourite fenceline at Pulborough, between Little Hanger and Redstart Corner, delivered the goods on Saturday morning with at least four 'firetails' flitting about the hedgerow and chasing each around. A nice way to reach 135 for the patch year list.
Redstart - photo by Andy Ashdown
The next year tick (and patch lifer) came on Sunday morning and was an altogether less expected species, as a check of the wooded edge of the heath produced a Wood Warbler lurking among a busy tit flock. It gave itself away with a burst of its unmistakable song but proved elusive, affording only brief glimpses through the rain-soaked foliage. Rather more showy was a Firecrest in the same flock; my first here for a few weeks.

On Saturday I caught up on my most recent nocmig session from the night of 12th-13th and was pleased to discover a single call from a Tree Pipit hidden among the Robins and Wrens in the dawn chorus.
And the first for Pulborough? Not a bird but a moth! I was closing up the back door on Sunday evening when I noticed a moth flying around inside. Even in the gloom I could see it was a relatively small, dark noctuid with metallic markings on its wings catching the light from the other room. I managed to capture it in a jam jar and discovered it to be a Dewick's Plusia! After taking a few photos I iRecorded it and this morning received an email from the county recorder requesting more information and later confirming it to be a first record for Pulborough. 
Dewick's Plusia

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