Sunday, 13 April 2014

Hartland Moor

I started the day again at the moth trap and this morning produced 38 moths of 17 species new for the garden Brindled Beauty & Acleris Kochiella a small tortrix and new for the year were Muslin Moth and Brimstone.

Fresh Brimstone Moth from this mornings trap

Later in the morning we met our small group at Middlebere and walked around Hartland Moor.  From where we parked our cars most heard and saw Long-tailed Tits and our first Cuckoo of the spring and watched Meadow Pipit.  We started by walking the old tramway across the heath and Goldfinch, Linnet, several pairs of Linnet and Dartford Warbler, Stonechat and a couple of Willow Warbler were all seen well.

One of several Dartford Warblers seen today

We also recorded several species of butterfly,  Peacock, Brimstone and Small Tortoiseshell. As we walked on we had a couple of Skylark having a sing-off over the moor and several Buzzards were enjoying the thermals and soaring high above.  Our returning route took us back across the heath where we recorded several Chiffchaff and saw more butterflies and adding Green-veined White and Speckled Wood to our list. The silver sand of the path we were taking attracted a good number of Green Tiger Beetles.

One of many Green Tiger Beetle seen today
We crossed the road and started to head towards Middleber, here we had more of what we had already seen Meadow Pipits, Linnets, Dartford Warbler, Stonechat, Chaffinch and Willow Warbler also commoner species like Robin Dunnock, Blackbirds and Wrens. A male Kestrel graced the sky as it went about finding itself lunch.  We stopped and scoped the Wytch Channel in the hope of waders but Curlew, Shelduck, Mallards and a few gulls were all that was present.  Jess spotted a Treecreeper but it didn't stay for all to see. Though the best bird here was picked up by Jackie an immature female Marsh Harrier came up the channel quartering the reed bed before heading off towards Middlebere.

One of Many Linnets enjoying todays sun

It was here that the group split Jackie with most of the group headed towards the cars for lunch, but myself along with Liz and Joe, continued on along the ridge to look over Middlebere channel to see if an Osprey was perch in the favoured dead trees but there was no sign.  We did connect with the Marsh Harrier again and had a Wheatear sunning herself.  Jackie and the others had a Large Red Damselfly to add to our day list.  But I think one of the star sightings of the day was when we were sat in the car having lunch Liz called there is a green lizard if fact we found four different individuals a Common and the rest were Sand Lizards so I grabbed the carmera and managed a few shots.  Nice end to the morning.

Super male Sand Lizard photographed at lunchtime


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