Collecting together in one place the information about Lancashire wildlife published on blogs. To help people discover, enjoy and protect our local natural history. Please note the content of any blog post on this site is the property of the specific blog publisher and not this website.
It seemed like a good morning to kick off the the Autumn vis mig season. Vis migging is the, fairly niche, birding pursuit whereby an observer stands (sitting is also permissible) at a 'migration watch point' and records the number of birds flying over.
So I went to the Beacon and without a fanfare or brief, but rousing, speech, I declared the vig mig season officially open.
My notebook, however, remained unsullied by any records. My stubby pencil remained resolutely in my fleece pocket. There was nothing to trouble the scorers.
Both the numbers and range of species, that I didn't see were impressive. Pride of place however goes to the huge numbers of Swallows and Martins that I didn't observe winging their way to southern climes. Such an awe inspiring sight to avoid seeing.
I did however see one Lesser Black Backed Gull flying south as well as a Siskin...er.. that's it.
As soon as it became obvious that I had backed the wrong horse viz-a-viz niche birding pursuits I went for my usual patch walk. This was also disappointingly bird-free.
There is always something interesting going on however. There has been a recent emergence of Grass Veneers. At nearly every step I took through the undergrowth one or two of these small, light coloured moths would take flight.
There are several species of 'Grass Moth', Garden Grass Veneer, Agriphilla straminella and Agriphila tristella being the commonest. By day they camouflage themselves by sitting along grass stems, but can be very readily seen when they take are disturbed and take flight.
Last year on a similarly birdless August day I gave vent to my inner Anal Retentive (would you like to rephrase that - ed). I estimated the total number of Grass moths, on the patch, on that day.
By extrapolation - given the number I saw in sample meters of grassland - I arrived a figure with order of magnitude - half a million.
So in football result announcer style - Birds 2: Moths 500,000 (away win).
Looking East from the Beacon - one of several directions in which a large number of birds weren't seen migrating
Garden Grass Veneer - Chrysoteuchia culmella
As Well as the Grass Moths there's been an emergence of the Common Green Capsid bug (Lygocoris pabulinus), almost every Fleabane flower had at least one.
Six-Spot Burnet Moth - the commonest of Britain's day flying moths