Friday, 30 July 2010

Mother of Pearl

Just moths - a Mother of Pearl in the trap on the night of the 28th was a garden tick, other recent moths include a Common/Lesser Common Rustic and another Small Dotted Buff last night and a few Eana Penziana.

Mother of Pearl.

Common/Lesser Common Rustic.

Eana Penziana.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

It's about time.

After checking all the beaches on a daily basis for the last few weeks and seeing sod all, it was about time that some waders did the descent thing and came through Scatness. Starting off at Scord Beach it just looked like another day of nothing with just 2 Dunlin and a Sanderling, Sanblister Beach was little better with 5 Sanderling, the final beach, Moast, was much better - 86 Sanderling, 53 Dunlin and 2 Knot - let's hope that the seaweed on the beach remains and maybe attract the odd rarity or two. The only other thing of note was a few hundred Arctic Terns in West Voe.

Dunlin (with Sanderling).


Arctic Terns.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Cico Buff.

Highlights of the last week or so include a Small Dotted Buff trapped on the 25th (approx the 10th record for Shetland) and a Micro sp on the 24th that looks like it's going to need to bent away for I.D. The first Northern Rustics of the autumn are starting to appear, as are White-line Darts.

Small Dotted Buff

Northern Rustic

Micro sp.
2G2B -
Too Good - If you are bored of scanning through the same old stuff day after day, with very little reward, and long to find that overdue patch rarity, don't worry - just Argos it (see here).
Too Bad - The BP 'damage limitation' machine is now in overdrive, with TV adverts and poster campaigns as well as bringing in a new, American, CEO - Bob Dudley (pity that this isn't the same Mr Dudley !)

I'm not sure about the poster campaign !

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Neon Tiger

An absolutely amazing night for moths last night with 497 in the trap, including an impresive 358 Agriphila Straminella, but the most impressive was a Garden Tiger and was only the 13th record for Shetland. 2 Aethes Smeathmanniana were the 12th and 13th for Shetland, a Middle-barred Minor was a good moth for the garden and a Celypha Lacunana was a garden tick.

Garden Tiger (if you can't be impressed with this beast, then something is wrong with your head !).

Aethes Smeathmanniana.

Celypha Lacunana.

Middle-barred Minor.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Arctic Swarm

A walk around the patch this morning was most pleasant in the glorious sunshine and, although there wasn't much about in the way of return passage (45 Dunlin and a couple of Swallows), it was nice to see that the Arctic Tern colony was at least partially successful. A scan through the birds from a few hundred metres away showed at least 18 fairly well grown chicks wandering around (I'm pretty sure that a 'walk through' would reveal many more) and all the adults are now so defensive that any Gull, Skua or even Sheep gets absolutely battered if they go anywhere near them.

Arctic Terns.

Arctic Skua.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Dazed and Confused

In the moth trap last night was this little puzzler - on first views seemed to be The Confused, but on closer inspection it has to be the 'obscura' form of Dusky Brocade (a photo of Confused appears here, note the much straighter leading edge to the forewings).
On the bird front a House Martin was knocking around Scatness for most of the day.

2G, 2B.
Just a Too Good this time - this website defies description and is bloody hilarious - - enjoy !

Friday, 16 July 2010

The Only One

The unidentified moth from the night of the 12th (here) has now been identified as a Brown Rustic - the first and only record for Shetland ! Other than that stunning news, the only other things of note were a couple of Diamond Backs in the trap (proving that the southerly winds are having some effect), a newly fledged Pied Wagtail in the garden and a fly-over Bar-tailed Godwit.

Pied Wagtail.

Diamond Back.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


A few mystery moths in the trap over the last few days (as well as lots that were identifiable !).

This one was trapped on the 12/13th July and kinda falls between Small Square Spot and Square Spot Rustic, I am tempted to go for the latter even though it may be about 2 weeks earlier than when I normally start to trap Square Spot Rustics, the lack of a 'double line' near to the base of the forewings seems to eliminate Small Square Spot.

This one seems to be a Dusky Brocade, although it is 2-3mm smaller than others that have been trapped and a little bit lighter in colouration.

This one , also trapped on 12th/13th, is a complete mystery, the only thing that comes close is some kind of very weird looking Ingrailed Clay - reckon this one needs to be sent off for analysis.

Magpie Moth - trapped on the night of 13th/14th, this is the 9th Magpie that I've trapped this year (none at all last year).

Sunset over Quendale Bay sometime over the weekend.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Three Days....

As wader passage should be starting anytime now, did the patch three days in a row, checking all the beaches and pools (whats left of them), and the passage has indeed started just very slowly - a few Whimbrel and a Sanderling ! A female Crossbill in the garden on Saturday and a few Swifts and Swallows over the house on a few occasions are the only other thing of note. Still, apart from a screaming north-westerly on Sunday night, it's been pretty sunny and pleasant.

Arctic Tern.


Great Black-backed Gull.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Trapped in the Night.

Out with the old, in with the new - the 'skinner' trap that has served me well for the last 4 years was looking a bit worse for wear, with the plywood now so warped that the perspex slides didn't fit anymore, so with the aid of a large bucket, some nuts and bolts, a piece of clear perspex and the 'Blue Peter book of moth traps', I've managed to cobble together a 'robinson' trap. Instant success - the new trap seems to be holding catches a lot better, and has produce a few Shetland goodies during the last couple of nights - a couple of Magpies and a Flame Shoulder, the Flame Shoulder being the 8th record for Shetland away from Foula (where resident) in the last 10 years (the 7th record was also in my garden last August).

The new trap.


Flame Shoulder.

Scoparia Ambigualis

Wednesday, 7 July 2010


Having lost broadband for a few days (and told by the bt helpline that it was a fault with my computer and not bt, even though everyone else in south mainland also had no broadband !). Now connected again (obviously), time for a bit of an update - still sod all about ! other than the odd Swift over the house and a fly-over Crossbill on the 30/6. Still pretty quiet on the Moth front too, though Lobesia littoralis was a garden tick.

Dusky Brocade.

Eana Osseana

Lobesia Littoralis
And just for the sake of it, this is Indian Moon Moth (missing its 'tails'), I rescued this Moth from being eaten alive by Mango Ants in Goa 2007.

Indian Moon Moth (Actias Selene)

Broadband is restored to South Mainland by a crack team of bt engineers !