Tuesday, 29 November 2011

29th November

Waved Umber
December Moth
Winter Moth

Low pressure over the south-west keeping temperatures up to an unseasonal high of 14 degrees over night. A front went through before dusk on 28th after that it remained cloudy and dry. In the morning strong SSW winds with some light rain.
Mothing last night produced Dark Sword-grass, Plutella xylostella, Large Yellow Underwing, 7 Silver Y and 7 Udea ferrugalis. Also a Waved Umber, December Moth, 7 Winter Moth, Cypress Carpet and Angle Shades.
No sea birds recorded in a brief sea watch early morning but 280 Dunlin and 3 Grey Plover went through.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

27th November

Common Gull

Strong over night winds initially SSW changing to Westerly by morning. Winds died down quite considerably between 8:30am and 9:30am. At Sand Point a Great Northern Diver flew down channel close in as I was arriving at the Point. Heading down channel: 95 Dunlin, 55 Shelduck, 7 Common Gull, 20 Black-headed Gull and 25 Curlew. Also of note a Skua sp harassing a Gull mid channel and a female type Merlin in/off the sea from the North-west flew straight through. Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls moving in all directions but didn't give the impression of migrating so not counted.
Mothing not over quite yet. An hours trapping on Brean Down last night yielded Silver Y and Feathered Thorn. A migrant in December could still be on the cards.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

26th November

Windy conditions today from the successive Atlantic lows. The associating fronts generally quite weak as they reach the south-west. This morning at Brean a Short-eared Owl on the Axe Estuary was my first patch record since May 2008. Also on the Axe 60 Curlew, a unusually high count of 10 Cormorant, 13 Wigeon and 80 Teal.
A mass departure of birds since last Sunday left the Down virtually birdless, just a couple of Blackbirds and a Robin left. By the farm a Blackcap and Chiffchaff heard and a female Black Redstart in the Cove made up the passerine highlights. Checking a couple of stubble fields on the way back produced good numbers of Pied Wagtails and smaller numbers of Meadow Pipits. One field held 240 Lapwing.

Friday, 25 November 2011

25th November

Last nights temperatures remained in double figures with a strong SSW wind and little cloud. I trapped at Brean giving up after an hour having had little results. A Dark Sword-grass was the only migrant along with Dotted Chestnut, Mottled Umber and Angle Shades. An early morning visit to Axe Estuary produced 240 Oystercatcher, 200 Dunlin, 60 Teal and 10 Wigeon.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

New moth for Weston

Acleris sparsana

An Atlantic low pressure system to the north starting to dominate over yesterdays high with mid level layer cloud building and winds picking up to 13mph SSW. Temperatures set to stay in double figures for the rest of the day and night.
There was virtually no vismig at all this morning and would have been none at all had it not been for 3 Curlew down channel at Sand Point. Very few birds on the ground. A Goldcrest, Bullfinch and Chiffchaff were the only migrants.
A micro caught on 21st that I forgot about until yesterday turned out to be Weston's first Acleris sparsana. There is a lot of Beech in Weston Woods suggesting this species is quite likely to have been overlooked.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

23rd November

Yesterday the frontal system started to break up as high pressure began to build bringing brighter conditions and a colder night dipping to 5 degrees. I didn't run the trap last night but the previous night a Mottled Umber caught was a garden first.
Birdwise 3 Purple Sandpipers were at Anchor Head at lunch time yesterday (G.Pudney).

Monday, 21 November 2011

21st November

A weather front hanging over the UK is bringing heavy cloud and some light rain at times along with reduced visibility from low light levels. Temperatures hanging around 11 degrees and light easterly winds. A quick visit to the Axe Estuary on the rising tide produced good numbers of Dunlin but variety was down on yesterday with only a Turnstone of note. This species remains a rarity in Weston despite being common in all surrounding coastal sites.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

20th November

Barn Swallow in this mornings fog

A foggy morning with a light ESE wind feeling quite warm with temperatures around 11 degrees. First bird news came from Weston STW when the Bittern was re-found early morning making at least it's third day. A juvenile Swallow was on wires by the Brean Down Inn pub is my latest record for this species. On the Down the only vismig involved 4 Rock Pipits south. Grounded migrants were in good supply with many Blackbirds possibly numbering 80 birds with much smaller numbers of Song Thrush and Redwing. Robins were also plentiful with 40-50 birds present easily outnumbering the summering numbers. Bullfinch numbers were well above average with at least six seen. A Turnstone was heard at the fort whilst at the back of the down the Axe Estuary held 1000 Dunlin, 10 Ringed Plover, 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 6 Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Grey Plover, 20 Lapwing, 150 Redshank. The long staying Wheatear could not be relocated but the Chiffchaff was still present calling regularly. A visit to Anchor Head drew a blank with Purple Sandpiper.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

19th November

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Brean Down: Singles noted of Crossbill, Stock Dove, Redpoll, Chiffchaff and Wheatear.

Friday, 18 November 2011

18th November

Mottled Umber
Silver Y

Weather: Southerly wind with some light rain around mid-night. Temperatures hovering around 12.5 degrees C. Sunset currently around 16:18hrs.

Brean Down. Single 125W MV ran between 11:40pm and 2:40am: 1 Pearly Underwing, 5 Silver Y, 6 Rusty Dot Pearl, 1 Rush Veneer, 3 Dark Sword-grass, 3 Turnip. Non-migrants included E.postvittana, Brick, Black Rustic, Angle Shades, Feathered Thorn, Yellow-line Quaker, Mottled Umber, November Moth and a Chestnut sp that avoided capture. 15 species in total

Thursday, 17 November 2011

17th November

Garden moth trap: Plutella xylostella in the trap this morning.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


House Bunting
Zitting cisticola
Spoladea recurvalis
Geranium Bronze

A few images from Casablanca

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

15th November

12th November Middle Hope: 4 Snow Buntings (J.Jones)

13th November Middle Hope: 1 Great Spot, 1 Crossbill, 1 Siskin with the Goldfinchs in the car park, 1 Redpoll, 1 Blackcap. A bit of Chaffinch movement, 100+ in an hour. (P.Gregory)

Monday, 7 November 2011

7th November

Steppe Grey Shrike

2 Snow Buntings on Axe Estuary sea wall yesterday (J.Packer) otherwise little of note locally. Woodpigeons have been recorded on the move with the first signs again in the North-west. Yesterday Stainburn recorded 60,000. This morning 50,000 over Berryhill, Staffs. Locally in Sand Bay a flock of 400 dropped into a field adjacent to the bay.
The Steppe Grey Shrike is the bird at The Wall, Shropshire.
News from Norfolk: I had Crossbill over the house this morning and some lapwings past. Seawatching was pleasant yesterday more the arriving duck which were a nice mix of species, plenty of Wigeon and Shelduck and some teal and pintail, but also Goosander, Scaup and Goldeneye with Eider, Long-tailed Duck, red breasted merganser and scoter, even some of the sea ducks were arriving as we had few Eider recently. Some Great Skuas and an Arctic or two I missed some earlier Poms. Lots of Song thrush, Blackbird, Redwings, Robins in pines and some Fieldfare and I flushed a Woodcock

Saturday, 5 November 2011

5th November


Brean Down: 2 Wheatear (1 nr steps and 1 Axe Estuary wall), 4 Bullfinch and a few flyover Siskins and Redpolls.

Sand Point per P.Gregory: 12 Redwing, 4 Fieldfare, 2 Mistle Thrush, 8 Crossbill

Friday, 4 November 2011

4th November

L-album Wainscot

Weather: A changeable night with a brief shower between midnight and 12:30am. After the shower winds from south-easterly swinging southerly and decreasing and cloud cover not enough to keep temperatures up seeing a drop to 12 degrees which looks to be about the cut off point judging by the lack of arrivals.

Brean Down in the wake of the shower: 3 Udea ferrugalis, 2 Silver Y, 1 Dark Sword-grass and a L-album Wainscot.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

3rd November

Dark Sword-grass

Weather: Brisk South-easterly wind with rain (sometimes heavy) between 12:30am and 1:30am moving northwards. Temperatures between 14 and 15 degrees.

Brean Down: Moths coming in on the leading edge of the front and the trailing with nothing in between: 5 Silver Y, 5 Dark Sword-grass, 1 Gem, 2 Large Yellow Underwing, 1 RDP. A late Brimstone moth caught.

Garden moth trap: 1 Lesser Yellow Underwing, 1 Large Yellow Underwing and a RDP

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

2nd November

Weather: A clear night with light winds and temperatures dropping to around 10 degrees. Wind picking up to a 15mph South-easterly by morning with high level cloud.

Sand Point: 500 Starling, 150 Woodpigeon, 80 Chaffinch, 2 Skylark, 1 Fieldfare, 5 Linnet, 1 Goldfinch. A Merlin hunting around the point and 2 Red Admirals.

Garden moth trap: Large Yellow Underwing.