31 Aug 14

Witchelstowe: We saw about 12 Swifts over the roofs whilst walking this morning. (Felicity Cobb)

Coate Water: Not a lot at Coate today, but a pair of Little Grebe down at Hide 2. No Hobby showing today but got a Common Darter in the field. The Kingfisher was from the first Hide but the light was poor. (Tony Martin)

Little Grebes (Tony Martin)

A Kingfisher with a small Perch (Tony Martin)

A male Common Darter (Tony Martin)

Also at Coate Water today the birds and supporting cast were: 12 Little Grebe providing excellent birdwatching as they sort out territory, lots of Blackcaps, lots of Chiffchaff including several singing, 4 Nuthatch, 2 Kingfishers, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 5 Pied Wagtail, several Linnets, lots of Gadwall, 2 Green Woodpeckers, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Buzzards and good numbers of both House Martin and Barn Swallow.

Also notedComma butterflyGrass Snake and Muntjac Deer. (Ian Stewart)

Little Grebes (Ian Stewart)

Grey Heron (Ian Stewart)

Grass Snake (Ian Stewart)

Swindon: Last night a Chinese Character moth came into the house. (Ian Stewart)
Thank you to Nigel Sluman for the identification of this moth.

Chinese Character (Ian Stewart)

Haydon End: 130 moths of 23 species.
6 Orange Swift, 3 Willow Beauty, Small Dusty WaveCommon Marbled CarpetGarden Carpet, 6 Brimstone MothPoplar Hawk-mothHeart and Dart, 31 Large Yellow Underwing, 3 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, 3 Lesser Yellow UnderwingSmall Square-spot, 39 Square-spot RusticSmall Square-spotCommon Rustic agg.Diamond-back MothCommon Plume, 15 Light Brown Apple Moth, Cydia splendana, Epinotia ramella, Agriphila tristella, 3 Agriphila geniculea and Mother of Pearl.

Also in the trap:
5 Birch Shield Bug
LeafhopperBalclutha punctata
3 Common Wasp
(Nige Sluman)

Agriphila geniculea (Nigel Sluman)

Leafhopper Balclutha punctata  (Nigel Sluman)

Epinotia ramella  (Nigel Sluman)

Small Square-spot  (Nigel Sluman)

Small Dusty Wave  (Nigel Sluman)

Eysey area: I parked by the Cricklade rugby pitch and picked up the Thames Path and then branched left to the Eysey farmhouse.  Here some wrong navigational choices meant I turned left and then left again to follow a little known length of an old canal taking me back to the A419.  Here a sharp right onto the Kempsford Road through the traffic lights and right again for the Eysey Farmhouse and eventually some sight of water on the left.  This is one of the CWP "305" lakes and I'd be glad to know if there is more to be seen in that area for other parts seemed out of bounds to me.

Anyway on to the birds:
Along the Thames plenty of Chiffchaffs including one singing, a Wren, Moorhens and a family of Mute Swans with five cygnets.
Along the canal stretch Blue Tits, Jackdaws, Bullfinch, two Jays and a Buzzard perched in the quarry working areas with one seen at the end of my walk over the rugby pitch.
On the road three Long-tailed Tits.
Eventually at CWP Pit 305: lots of Swallows and House Martins, a flock of c10 Goldfinches on teasels, c240 Canada Geese with at least 19 having orange tags, 2 Greylag Geese, a Little Egret and female Gadwall.

Some good butterflies including: Large Whites, Small Tortoiseshells, Comma, Brimstone and Speckled Wood.

Also at CWP Pit 305 a young "dark coated" stag Fallow Deer.
(Richard Williams)

Comma (Richard Williams)

Small Tortoiseshell (Richard Williams)

A young stag Fallow Deer (Richard Williams)

Toothill: Also in the garden today 5 Goldfinches, Herring Gulls overhead plus a Vulcan Bomber! (Richard Williams)

Goldfinch (Richard Williams)

CWP Pit 68 Reedbed/Waterhay: Highlights today were Greenshank and 2 Green Sandpipers over. Tawny Owl calling at dawn. Tree Pipit, Meadow Pipit (1st of autumn for the site), 6 Yellow Wagtail, 6 Willow Warblers, Coal Tit (unusual for site) and Raven. More on the CWP Website Here. (Nigel Pleass)

30 Aug 14

Blakehill: 2 Redstarts, 3 Yellow Wagtails flying S, Lesser Whitethroat and Green Woodpecker. (Robin Griffiths)

Swindon: Another first for my garden, a Poplar Hawkmoth. (Maurice Carne)

Poplar Hawkmoth. (Maurice Carne)

Swindon: Seen from the allotment late afternoon a Jay and a Green Woodpecker heard. (Felicity Cobb)

Cotswold Water Park: Don't forget to visit the CWP Website Here for some excellent bird watching that's been had there at the moment, including a Great White Egret at Pit 306.

29 Aug 14

Haydon End: Having not put the moth trap out for a while it was nice to find a Light Brown Apple Moth and a Garden Carpet around the garden this morning. (Nigel Sluman)

Nythe: Early morning a Grey Wagtail on the grass opposite the house and later in the day, before the rain came down, 3 Small Tortoiseshells, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Large White and a Volucella zonaria hoverfly on the Buddleia. (Martin Adlam)

Purton: A late Swift between 6:00pm - 6.05pm this evening then flew SW. (Jon Mercer)

CWP Pit 306: This evening 2 Green Sandpipers, 59 Lapwing and 3 Little Egrets. (Jon Mercer)

Swindon: A quick update from today. I spent a few hours on private farm land in South West Swindon where one of the pair of Little Owls have fledged at least two owlets. It was a bit of a trek through the fields to get to them but well worth seeing them raising young this year. Wish the more accessible pair had been successful, but it seems they moved on. (Martin Murray)

Juvenile Little Owl (Martin Murray)

Lydiard: At Lydiard there were 8 Little Grebes, 1 Great Crested Grebe, one of the pair of Coots had a new addition which surprised me. Also seen were a large number of Swallows, House Martins and a couple of Swifts. On the raptor front there were a couple Buzzards, Red Kite and Kestrels about. (Martin Murray)

Great Crested Grebe (Martin Murray)

Little Grebe (Martin Murray)

Little Grebe eating a newt (Martin Murray)

28 Aug 14

Avebury & Fyfield loop: 3 Grey Partridge, 3 Red Kite, 7 Buzzard, 5 Kestrel, 2 Hobby, 100+ Herring Gull, 200+ Lesser Black-backed Gull, Greater Black-backed Gull, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 5 Skylark, Meadow Pipit, 9 Yellow Wagtail, Redstart, 2 Wheatear, Spotted Flycatcher, Treecreeper, 2 Whitethroat, 2 Chiffchaff, 9 Linnet and Yellowhammer. (Matt Pringle)

Old Town: This morning at 7:15am a Ring-necked Parakeet flew overhead and at midday there were 3 Swifts present. (Nigel Pleass)

Swindon: Seen from the train a Hobby over the fields close to Hay Lane at 10:00am. (Martin Adlam)

Cotswold Water Park Highlights
CWP Pit 305  1 Greenshank and Peregrine and from and CWP Pit 306 1 Great White Egret and 3 Black Tailed Godwit. More on the CWP Website Here plus photos. (Ken Cypher)

Coate Water: Today 1 Hobby, 5 Little Grebes, 4 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Common Terns, 5 Grey Herons, 1 Buzzard, 21 Lapwings, SwallowsHouse Martins, 3 Kingfishers, 6 Cormorants, Gadwall, Mallards, Teal, Pochard and Tufted Ducks, 1 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Nuthatches, 2 Dunnocks, 1 Robin and 1 Treecreeper. (Graham Cox, Tony Martin, Terry Grant, Brian Waller and Terry Winter)

Little Grebe (Graham Cox)

Little Grebe (Graham Cox)

Little Grebe (Graham Cox)

Cormorant (Graham Cox)

Great Crested Grebe (Graham Cox)

Dragonfly (Graham Cox)

Dragonfly (Graham Cox)

This evening at Coate Water a Black Tern, Common Tern, 54 Gadwall, 16 Teal and 5 Swift. (Steve Edwards)

27 Aug 14

Marlborough: 9 Red Kite. (Tony Pym)

CWP Pit 306: Highlights 2 Dunlin, Green Sandpiper and Great White Egret. More on the CWP Website Here. (Malcolm Royal)

26 Aug 14

Wroughton: Tawny Owl (Malcolm Royal)

Nythe: A Square-spot Rustic, Xestia xanthographa found its way into the kitchen this morning. (Martin Adlam)

Square-spot Rustic. (Martin Adlam)

Square-spot Rustic. (Martin Adlam)

Cotswold Water Park: Highlights from today, Great White Egret, 2+ Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Green Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank and Sanderling on CWP 306. Whilst on CWP 74 probably a female and 2 eclipse male Pintail and a female Goldeneye. More Here on the CWP website.

25 Aug 14

Hackpen Hill: 6 Wheatear (Mark Barrett)

Barbury: Today on my way home from work I spotted this Red Kite on top of a straw bale stack enjoying the heavy rain in the middle of Barbury racecourse. (David King)

Red Kite (David King)

Red Kite (David King)

Red Kite (David King)

Red Kite (David King)

Red Kite (David King)

CWP Pit 74: Highlights were Goldeneye, Water Rail, Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin, Greenshank, 3 Green Sandpiper, 2 Ruff, Black Tailed Godwit, 4 Snipe, 2 Common Sandpiper, 6 Common Tern, 300+ Sand Martin, 8 Yellow Wagtail, 5 Cetti's Warbler singing, 42 Reed Warbler and 35 Sedge Warbler. More on the CWP Website Here.  (Nigel Pleass)

CWP Pit 305: Barnacle Goose, 343 Canada Geese and 83 Greylag Geese. More on the CWP Website Here. (Nigel Pleass)

24 Aug 14

Folly Farm, The Ridgeway and Liddington CastleHeron, Red Kite, Buzzard, 50+ Yellow Wagtails, 7 Wheatear, 5 Whitethroat, 3 Yellowhammer, 2 Chiffchaff, Meadow Pipit, Linnet and Goldfinch. (Malcolm Royal)

23 Aug 14

CWP Pit 74: Black-necked Grebe present. More on the CWP Website Here. (Nigel Pleass)

Chilton Foliat: 3 Little Grebe, 21 Greylag Geese, Little Egret and House Martins. (Malcolm Royal)

Froxfield: Little Egret and 2 Green Sandpiper. (Malcolm Royal)

Wilton Water: 5 Little Grebe, Heron, House Martins, Swallow and Bullfinch. (Malcolm Royal)

Nythe: Over the estate several House Martins. In the back garden 3 Red Admirals and 2 Small White butterflies on the Buddleia, unfortunately though the Painted Lady that was seen at the beginning of the week was found dead in the pond this afternoon. A real shame. (Martin Adlam)

22 Aug 14

Badbury: This morning 2 House Sparrows, 15 Swallows and 3 Roe Deer. (Malcolm Royal)

Ogbourne: Seen today on Ogbourne downs golf course, Wheatear and Clouded Yellow butterfly. (Mike Ford)

Stratton Wood: Highlights from a quick walk around the woods were 6 Chiffchaffs, 2 Blackcaps and a pair of Jays. Also seen 5 Speckled Woods, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Meadow Brown and a Green-veined White. Dozens of Honeybees, Drone Flies and Eristalis arbustorum Hoverflies feeding on the flowers of the Ragwort. More on my Blog Here. (Martin Adlam)

Collared Dove (Martin Adlam)

Speckled Wood (Martin Adlam)

Green-veined White (Martin Adlam)

Drone Fly, Eristalis pertinax (Martin Adlam)

Hoverfly, Eristalis arbustorum (Martin Adlam)

Honeybee (Martin Adlam)

Coate Water: A trip to Coate today was a bit quiet, but I did get a Hobby down at Hide 2 where there was also a pair of Little Grebes. Out in the field I found a Roesel's Bush-cricket which looks as if it is transferring eggs from its rear end to an egg sack in its mouth. Also on the same plant a Speckled Bush-cricket which was not easy to find but as they say that's field craft. At Hide 1 there was also a Wren. (Tony Martin)

Roesel's Bush-cricket (Tony Martin)

Roesel's Bush-cricket (Tony Martin)

Roesel's Bush-cricket (Tony Martin)

Speckled Bush-cricket (Tony Martin)

Wren (Tony Martin)

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Roesel's Bush-cricket

As a follow up to Tony Martin's, Roesel's Bush-cricket (above) transferring what looks like eggs to its mouth, I tried in vain to find out more on this strange behaviour. The closest I could get is that the female will create a frothy foam around the eggs before she cuts a slice in a plant stem before depositing the eggs. Once laid the froth hardens around the eggs. However I'm not sure why she is transferring them to her mouth though, or is it the other way round she's transferring froth to the eggs. Either way its fascinating stuff and if anyone else can shed some light on this, I know Tony and myself would like to know. (Martin Adlam)

21 Aug 14

Wroughton and Chiseldon: Badger at Wroughton and Tawny Owl Chiseldon in the early hours. (Malcolm Royal)

Coate Water: We saw 2 Muntjac Deer in the wood at the bottom of Broome Manor golf Course.
They were very small, almost medium dog-sized. (Felicity Cobb)

Also at Coate Water, best birds today were Spotted Flycatcher x3, Common Whitethroat x1, Swift x2, Yellow Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Hobby, Little Grebe x 13, Lots of 'Willowchaffs' and Blackcaps. (Ian Stewart)

Spotted Flycatcher (Ian Stewart)

Haydon End: Last nights "trappings". You can tell it's getting nearer autumn, with 41 moths of 10 species.
Orange Swift x3, Brimstone Moth x5, Willow Beauty, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing x3, Large Yellow Underwing x10, Lesser Yellow Underwing x2, Square-spot Rustic x10, Common Rustic agg., Light Brown Apple Moth x5 and Celypha lacunanaAlso in the trap: Birch Shield Bug (Nigel Sluman)

Old Town: A Mother of Pearl and Willow Beauty moth seen in the house. (Ewa Niskanen)

Mother of Pearl (Ewa Niskanen)

Willow Beauty (Ewa Niskanen)

Swindon: This is the caterpillar of the Lime Hawkmoth. More info below. (Helen Sly)

The caterpillar of the Lime Hawkmoth (Helen Sly)

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Of Interest

Further to the unusual colouration of the caterpillar (above), found by Helens daughter today, I found out a bit more on this caterpillar from UK Moths (Website Here). The larvae of the Lime Hawkmoth is typically green with yellow stripes and a blue horn at the rear. When ready to pupate, they change colour to a dull greyish brown and begin to wander, looking for a pupation site. This is when they are most often encountered. (Martin Adlam)