Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Crepuscular and Beyond

Where does the time go? Just three days since the last post, and already there's a ton of stuff for the blog. And in a slightly more profound application of that rhetorical question, today marks exactly 42 years of wedded bliss. Sigh...

In a blink of the proverbial eye.

Anyway, blog-worthy birds are few, but who can resist the consummate poser that is a Wheatear? As anyone who dips into NQS occasionally will know, not me...

A late-morning jaunt around Cogden produced three Wheatears today. This one on the beach...

...and this one below the car park

I have massively neglected my local birding spots in recent weeks, but hope to make amends as autumn migration picks up. There was little evidence of that today though, with a single heard-only Willow Warbler the only other obvious migrant.

I was at West Bex yesterday and the day before, but not until late. There was a reason for that...

This Barn Owl wasn't the reason, merely a coincidental bonus of my crepuscular timing. Also, it was actually at East Bexington, seen while I was killing time prior to business at West Bex.

I've been keen to learn whether last year's surprise Tree Cricket discovery was a flash in the pan, or a sign of something a bit more permanent. Like an actual colony, say. Well, it's looking good. On Sunday night there were several Tree Crickets in fine voice, and I made some short recordings. This one features at least two individuals...

It wasn't particularly warm as darkness fell, and last night felt similar. I wonder if activity will increase through the month (I didn't come across them until August 31st last year) and on warm nights? Yesterday they went quiet after about 30 minutes or so.

Being out and about at night has been a revelation. I am slightly embarrassed to admit that during a lifetime of interest in things Nat Hist I have never seen a Glow-worm. Or rather, had never seen a Glow-worm...

Just astonishing! As bright as an angler's luminous beta-light!

And here is the culprit. A female Glow-worm seductively waving her little lantern, hoping to catch the attention of passing males.

I counted more than a dozen both nights, so it looks like there's a healthy population here.

In addition to the Glow-worms, there have been other night-time attractions. Lately I have taken to carrying a few plastic pots in my camera bag, just in case. And last night I wore a head-torch too. West Bex delivered mightily...

My first Vestal. What a stunner! Hopefully I'll get one in the garden trap eventually, but in the meantime I was more than happy to make the acquaintence of this attractive migrant along the coast path at West Bex.

We've had a garden Lime-speck Pug before, but it was great to pot another last night.

Actually, I think the caption should be Neocochylis molliculana. Anyway, the Ox-tongue Conch is apparently a recent colonist (since 1993) and hopefully will also wind up in the garden trap one day. A nicely marked micro.

While I'm in moth mode, some garden goodies from recent nights...

White-point. Our first example of this nice migrant.

Pale Prominent. Not our first, but such a whacky moth deserves a pic.

The Nutmeg. Another first. Doesn't appear to be that common locally.

Yellow-barred Brindle. Another garden first. Fresh ones - which this is - are green, apparently. At which point they make whoever is responsible for their vernacular name look a bit silly.

There is so much more I would like to include in this post, but already it's a bit fat, so, I shall sign off with my favourite photo from this morning's Cogden outing...

Wheatear and cattle.


  1. Happy 42nd Wedding Anniversary Gav. I went Carp fishing that night down along the GU canal by Stockers. It was along that stretch where at night I used to find lost beta lights. But also by coincidence, used to be fooled by the occasional...glow-worm.

    1. Thanks Ric. Yes, can't believe it's taken me so long to see one.

  2. Don't be embarrassed for not seeing glow worms, they are widespread but still incredibly difficult to locate, I haven't seen one in the UK for years. I was talking about taking a coastal walk to look for some just last night, I gather they are hereabouts in Wales.

    1. I've known sites in the past, but never got my act together to check them out at night. In many ways nicer to have stumbled upon them by chance. 😊