Fri 31st July 2009

Posted on August 1, 2009 at 3:05 AM

birds : A couple of great raptor sightings today. Chatting in the garden in the early afternoon, a raptor appeared over the house from the North. Rosie kept an eye on it as I ran in for my bins and it proved to be a superb Honey Buzzard which circled for a while before drifting off towards the centre of the island - a new species for the garden list. Mark G had one late morning over his garden so it may have been the same bird. The regular Honeys that we get here in the summertime, I presume are post-breeding wanderers from nearby France rather than long-distance migrants.

Soon after that, Duncan and I were having ices at Port Soif kiosk with the kids, when thousands of gulls appeared circling overhead. The sultry conditions had brought the flying ants out of their nests and the gulls were feasting on them. The sky was covered with the swirling beasts and it was a very impressive sight - even joe public noticed them.  A couple of falcons joined the circling mass - then there were three of them - then five. And they weren't the expected Kestels but were actually five Peregrines! I have never seen so many flocking together and they looked like they were playing, chasing each other and the gulls.


moths : A new species for the garden list in the trap this morning was Agonopterix ocellana, the red ring in the centre of the wing aiding identification. The conditions for butterflies were fabulous today and at Port Soif dunes there were a great many in flight of at least 10 species, including two Clouded Yellows, my first of the year. I found a small geometrid larva nearby in the Tamarisks which I thought would have been Channel Island Pug but it didn't match the description in the book. Rather oddly, when I returned to the car after an evening on the beach, I counted 28 Yellow-V Moths perched on it.


Agonopterix ocellana


nonsense : It has been a great week this week, with my sister and family over for a visit - good to see them after so long. We have had a problem recently with Aidan climbing up on the shed roof and the high garden walls, and my amateurish efforts at making barriers to stop the wee Spiderman have all failed. Since he was bound to endanger little James by showing him how to do it, I thought I'd better do a proper job. So I dismantled the old playhouse and used the roof to make a strong fence blocking his main route up. So far he has not made it up there, so fingers crossed - although he is probably working on blueprints for his next assault. He should be employed by the Government to test the effectiveness of their prisons.



         The Lawlor-Stephenson Posse                                                            Aidan-proof Fence . . . . . . perhaps

Categories: 2009 Summer