Sunday 17 September 2023

Clifden Bookends

A torrential thunderstorm at 05:00 had me scuttling out to bring in the moth trap. I wasn't expecting anything much, so imagine my surprise at finding this inside it later...

Our second Clifden Nonpareil. How on earth did this whopper squeeze itself into the trap?

Since my jaunt to Portland, this is by far the best moth I've caught. In four nights there hasn't been anything new for the garden, or even for the year. Tallies have ranged from 47 moths of 19 species (last night) to 16 of 9 (Wednesday night) and not much has tempted me to get the camera out. Instead I've been reading about other people's moths. Like Steve Gale's first garden-trap Clancy's Rustic for example (see here). In cases like this I find myself checking the Dorset Living Record map to see if I might be in with a chance of catching one here...

Those Bridport dots represent 23 records. So yes, I am definitely in with a chance.

By way of comparison, the Clifden Nonpareil map is encouraging. Until this year we hadn't seen one here, but now have two records...

The Bridport dots represent 35 records.

While on Portland I was introduced to Feathered Brindle, a Portland speciality...

Feathered Brindle on a PBO egg box.

Naturally I wondered about the likelihood of discovering one of these handsome creatures in the garden trap. The Living Record map reveals a good number of records along the coast between here and Portland, including a fair few in Bridport, so again I am hopeful. One day, perhaps...

The Bridport dots represent 31 records. Come on!

Right, that's enough moth stuff.

I went birding today. Once the incessant rain finally did cease, around 2:30-ish, I headed to Cogden for a long walk along the beach. I guessed it might be fairly undisturbed, correctly for once; there was hardly anyone there. I turned back just before the West Bex car park. Sadly there were very few gulls, and almost no birds passing on the sea, but 2 Ringed Plovers, 35 Wheatears and 2 Whinchats were a lot better than nothing.

Small waders on a shingly beach can be devilishly hard to see when motionless. Two Ringed Plovers.

Getting ahead of the birds, then sitting and waiting, earned me this nice portrait. Juv Ringed Plover with an immaculate set of fringes!

No such cooperation from this Whinchat.

Painted Lady on Fleabane.

One of at least three Clouded Yellows. My first this year I think.

And here's the justification for the title of this post...


  1. Two Clifdens in a year - that's just taking the p"ss! Great post Gav - well done

    1. Cheers Dyl. Yes, I know, a bit greedy! 😄