Sunday 26 March 2023

No Fireworks

Despite evidence elsewhere in the land, it feels like the migration door has been shut all week. From Monday to Saturday, early visits to West Bay have basically featured south-westerlies of varying vigour (with or without rain) and seawatching has therefore been the default option. I have tried to stick it for 30 minutes or more each day, but direness made me fail a couple of times. Here's what I've seen...

129 Gannets, 112 Kittiwakes, 8 Red-throated Divers, 7 Common Scoter, 6 Med Gulls, 5 Sandwich Terns, 5 Manx Shearwaters, and singles of Guillemot and Peregrine. Plus a few unidentified auks. A fine tally really, until you realise it's the sum of six individual seawatches.

This morning, finally, the weather relented, and at 07:45 my first Wheatear for a week popped up on the seafront...

This afternoon I added Red Kite to the West Bay & Eype Patchwork Challenge list when a lone bird drifted west and upset all the gulls...

Red Kite over West Bay.

Apart from another Wheatear this afternoon, the only other vital things to record this week are the continuing presence of West Bay's odd couple in the harbour...

...and three new moths for the garden...

1. A slightly battered Satellite - apparently not a common moth locally.

2. March Moth - subtly attractive.

3. Small Quaker - two caught last night.

Early Thorn. Caught plenty of these in the latter half of last year, the 2nd-generation version. The name seems a lot more appropriate when you catch one in March though.

Beautiful Plume. Another moth which is not new, but I don't think NQS has ever featured a photo of this crazy creature.

Another Oak Beauty. Photo just because. I mean, why wouldn't you?

So, an enjoyable week, but no fireworks.


  1. Some lovely moths Gav, not sure that plume moths can be described as beautiful but they are interesting.

    1. Agreed! 😄 Plume moths are the oddest things. Seeing the fascinating variety of shapes and forms has turned out to be as enjoyable an aspect of mothing as the wonderful colours and patterns. Can't think why I waited so long to get into them!