Category Archives: Butterflies

A [slightly] better day at Kiplingcotes +Priory Fields

11/6/15 Thursday was a warmer day than recently so headed to Kiplingcotes in the hope of a better day than Sunday. Arriving at Kiplingcotes Station wasn’t truly hot but at least stiller than Sunday. However for a good while it was insect desert but eventually started getting a few things including a Small White.

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Small White butterfly-Kiplingcotes

Also had a Common Carpet but didn’t pose for a picture. A Fox watched me from a good distance than disappeared into cover.

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Red Fox-Kiplingcotes

Also a few hoverflies on the wing.

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hoverfly-Kiplingcote-have a go at ID later!

Further on saw an unfamiliar moth. Only managed one shot but fortunately good enough to confirm it as a new species for me.

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Twin-spot Carpet-Kiplingcotes

Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit was very windy so poor for insect but the east end was calmer and I managed a Cinnabar moth and tatty Common Blue butterfly.

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Cinnabar Moth-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit

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Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit looking west

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Common Blue Butterfly-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit

Got a Spectacled Wood to pose on the way back.

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Speckled Wood-Kiplingcotes

Birds wise nothing much to say but had the Garden Warbler again near the first road crossing west of the station but again no sign of Turtle Doves near the bee hives.

Another sighting of Turtle Dove near Tophill Low NR gives hope that the species may still be hanging on somewhere.

12/6/15 Friday was disappointing with total cloud cover almost all day. Had planned another Moth/Butterfly session this time at Weedley Springs/Drewton but didn’t seem worth it so ended up staying in Cottingham and doing Priory Fields. The best area for insect in the village. Not promising initially but then started getting the odd smaller moth including my first Chimney Sweepers and Straw Dots this year.

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Chimney Sweeper-Priory Fields, Cottingham

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Straw Dot-Priory Fields, Cottingham

Eventually were getting good number of micro moths. Most non-descript brown things which I couldn’t get a good shot of but managed to capture a more interesting one. Turn out to me a new one for me.

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Crambus pascuella-Priory Fields, Cottingham

Had no butterflies and only a single “blue” damselfly. Too cold at the pond where I had Red-eyed Damselflies ovi-positing last year.

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Notice on the gate but no sign that it’s been read.

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13/6/15 Had Common Marbled Carpet and a probable Red-barred Tortrix at work on Saturday morning. Not sure about the last one as I was dealing with a customer while trying to ID it on her front door. Gives me hope for trapping tonight although Tuesday night had only produced single Brimstone and Heart and Dart.

Five first summer Little Gull at Hornsea Mere this evening. For more news check here. Beware if parking at the top of the road to Wassand Hall as there have been several break-ins recently.

Some recent sighting from Tophill Low NR here.

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Garden Moths and Kiplingcotes.

5/6/15 An Osprey flew south over Tophill Low NR mid afternoon. Only managed a quick walk to Cottingham KGV rec early Friday evening but did get a few Nettle-taps, very late this year, as well as Common Carpet. Quail singing in fields south of Leven Canal between the village and Waterloo bridge this evening. Experiencing a small invasion of Bee Moths and am constantly removing from the house. DSCN7257

Bee Moth

7/6/15 Again on Sunday managed to empty the moth trap early although wasn’t as vital with a solitary Garden Carpet the only moth found outside the trap. However the cold keeps the moths comatose. Several hawk-moths trapped locally on Friday night so a Poplar Hawk-moth, my commonest, wasn’t a surprise. DSCN7265

Poplar Hawk

Had been very windy yesterday but was calm and cold over night and although numbers still low the variety was good. A Clouded-bordered Brindle was the first since June 2012 and only the 2nd for the garden.

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Clouded-bordered Brindle

Green Silver-lines was the 4th record, and the other year 1st was Campion, which gets recorded a few times a year. DSCN7282

Green Silver-lines

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Campion

A possible Pacific Swift flew south at Barmston at 8.35. Not seen further along the coast but almost coincides with the 2nd anniversary of the previous record. Also not seen in 5000+ Common Swifts at Hornsea Mere. Unfortunately James Spencer, whose patch it is, was ringing at Tophill Low NR where a Red Kite was seen. A Small Elephant Hawk-moth was only the 2nd for the site in the last 24 years with the previous only on the 4th. Also the young Tawny Owls were still viewable from the carpark. For more from reserve check the Tophill blog as well as James Spencer’s.  Went to Kiplingcotes with JH, RL and ML this afternoon. Started at the station. Only a single Turtle Dove has been heard so far this year and no sign for us. Also no sign of any Spotted Flycatcher to the west where I’ve had a breeding pair the previous two years.  However heard our 1st Garden Warbler for the year. A cold wind and intermittent cloud wasn’t for good insects. Only had a few butterflies including our 1st Cinnabars for the year which didn’t linger. DSCN7289

Common Blue butterfly near Kiplingcotes StnDSCN7292Green-viewed White butterfly near Kiplingcotes StnDSCN7298

Nettle tap near Kiplingcotes Stn

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Common Buzzard near Kiplingcotes Stn

DSCN7304 Moved round to Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit but the sun still didn’t come out for long and only managed a Small Heath and an unidentified Crambidae moth. Marbled Whites don’t seem to have emerged yet, in common with the lack of orchids likely due to the cold spring [so far?].DSCN7302

Small Heath-Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit

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Orange-tip near Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit

Spoonbill landed on Swan Island at Hornsea Mere mid evening. For more news check here.

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Filed under Barmston, Birds in East Yorkshire, Butterflies, Cottingham, Moths, Nature in East Yorkshire, Tophill Low NR

Breeding birds at Tophill Low NR

2/6/15 Went to Bewholme Hall with RL mid morning. The Drake American Wigeon was still there with the female Eurasian Wigeon [latest Merebirders blog confirms the ID]. Also had the drake Garganey although not reported yesterday. A Garganey seen in flight with Gadwall at Hornsea Mere yesterday may have been the same bird as it associates with Gadwall at Bewholme. Heavy drizzle prevented taking any pictures but Tony Dixon fared better a short while later.

American Wigeon

♂.American Wigeon-Bewholme Hall-Tony Dixon

JH had the birds late afternoon but no one reported yesterday’s Barnacle Geese or the Whooper Swan but a Bar-headed Goose was seen.

Went to Hornsea Mere with the large number of Common Swifts the only thing of note from HVWG Hide and Kirkholme Point.

Headed to Tophill Low NR. On the way had a Turtle Dove on the road at Whinnyforth Farm.

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Unusually I left my camera in the boot but managed to get it with out flushing the dove. However although close I could only shot through the wind screen so couldn’t get a usable picture. It then flew to wires. Too distant but RL got a few shots from the car.

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Turtle Dove-Whinnyforth Farm.

Then flew towards the farmyard and was lost. Funnily in the summer of 2007 a Turtle Dove was regularly with Collared Doves in a nearby field at Scurf Dyke Farm.

By the time we reached Tophill Low NR the weather had improved and the swifts had dispersed so a plan to find a rare one was off so we walked the south end instead. Informed by the bird-box crew there was a baby Tawny Owl at the entrance to the residences road. Got a few nice shots.

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Fledgling Tawny Owl

Later it or it’s sibling was perched by the owl box.

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Had the first Wall for the year by the lagoons and a second by O reservoir.

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Wall near lagoons.

Oddly the only other butterfly was a male Orange-tip by D reservoir.

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Canada Goose family on O reservoir banking.

Cuckoo calling in South Scrub.

The over summering, presumably unwell, drake Goldeneye was still on South Marsh West as well as the regular drake Red-crested Pochard although no sign of his partner, maybe finally sitting?

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Over-summering ♂.Goldeneye on South Marsh West

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♂.Red-crested Pochard-South Marsh West

Richard and his volunteers work over the recents years seems to have worked for breeding birds at least. A new ditch from the lagoons makes control of levels easier and should help with autumn passage. As expected the usual Black-headed Gull with at least six pair of Common Terns, although the latter aren’t on the raft on Watton NR yet. Also not unusual were a sitting Little Ringed Plover and Oystercatcher but a pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls is a first for the reserve.

DSCN7130Little Ringed Plover-South Marsh East

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Nesting Oystercatcher and Black-headed Gull-South Marsh East

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sitting Lesser Black-backed Gull-South Marsh East

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Common Terns-South Marsh East 

Also found a first summer Little Gull. The Black-headed Gulls got up twice as though a predator was passing over. Saw nothing the first time but on the second occasion it was due to a blue kids balloon floating over!

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1st summer Little Gull with Common Gull-South Marsh East

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Dead Mole near lagoons

A male Montagu’s Harrier, likely the Blacktoft Sands RSPB bird, flew south over the Triton Inn in Brantingham this afternoon.

The moth traps out tonight but the wind doesn’t bode well for a good catch.

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Filed under Bewholme Hall, Birds in East Yorkshire, Butterflies, Hornsea Mere, Nature in East Yorkshire, Tophill Low NR

Mainly butterflies at Welton Waters

5.7.14 Had a look round Welton Waters, for the first time in nearly a month, on Saturday afternoon. As expected this late in the season only one Chiffchaff and a few Blackcaps and Reed Warblers singing. Lots of sporting activity on the sailing pit so the only birds were a pair of Mute Swans with two recent cygnets. However a large number of Sand Martin were hawking for insects over the south-east corner. Nothing seen on Brough Angling Complex ponds. Up to three Marsh Harriers in the area including a female hunting over BAE airfield then food passing to a juvenile on over the marsh. Also feeding over the marsh was a Common Tern, possibly part of the pair lingering from spring-time.

The lack of birds was made up for by good number of butterflies including my first gatekeeper.

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Also one of my first Commas.

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Comma

Lots of fresh Small Tortoiseshell.

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Small Tortoiseshell

Good number of Ringlet

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Ringlet

But only a few Large Skippers.

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Large Skipper

The only moths seen were a small number of Yellow Shell.

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Yellow Shell

No news on the Common Crane at Leven Carrs since Tuesday evening. Intend looking for it tomorrow.

For news  from Hornsea Mere area check here.

News from Paull Holme Strays here.

Check Beverley Birder for news including Swinemoor as well as Moth trapping.

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Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Butterflies, Moths, Nature in East Yorkshire, Welton Waters

Common Crane on Leven Carrs

Early evening on the Sunday 22th I got a message from Richard Jennings that he’d just had a Common Crane fly from Leven Carrs across the R.Hull towards Arram. Had missed two over nearby High Eske NR a few years back because I was looking for waders at the time instead of the sky I judged it too late to try tonight particularly as Richard inferred it had flown out of view. A Common Crane over Watton NR at Tophill Low NR recently is likely the seem bird [see here]. I got up to High Eske after work on Monday. At High Eske NR the water level was low with the summer islands showing. On them were an adult Mediterranean Gull and Little Egret but no waders. Didn’t exactly rush to Leven Carrs as there were many Six-spot Burnets on the wing, my 1st this year, so lingered to get pictures. DSCN3666

Six-spot Burnet-High Eske NR

Also several Black-tailed Skimmers but couldn’t get one settled long enough for a capture, not helped by an uncontrolled dog. Finally made it to Leven Canal and scanned the carr from the riverbank. DSCN3811

Leven Carrs with Routh wind-farm in background

Bridget Jennings joined me shortly. She’d actually seen the Crane in flight on Friday but didn’t know what it was at the time. Also told me that it had been seen and photographed later on Sunday. Gave it c2 hours with out luck but then had it set off back. Got about half way back went I got a message from Richard that he’d seen the Crane again. Phoned him back and got directions. It was feeding on a cut area of grass by the first drain reached on walking the canal bank from the river. DSCN3679

First summer Common Crane-Leven Carrs

Close enough to get a few record shoots but then had to race back to High Eske Farm to avoid a repeat of the conflict I had in 2012 over leaving too late. However was delayed by my 1st Marbled Whites of the year, not an annual sighting at High Eske NR, then an obliging Brown Hare by the track to the farm. DSCN3838

Marbled White

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Brown Hare-High Eske Farm

Went back on Wednesday afternoon with the hope of a more relaxed afternoon with more time for a decent picture. However there was a lot plant on the carrs and although still present the Crane was sulking in tall vegetation.

DSCN3700 Sulking Common Crane-Leven Carrs

Didn’t see it worth hanging around until the work finished for the day so had a proper look around High Eske NR. The level was up but a Little Egret was again present as well as 6 Oystercatchers. Also found a Common Wave moth [for more moths check my Cottingham Moth Blog]. DSCN3713

Common Wave

Checked Swinemoor later but nothing of note. For regular news from Swinemoor check Beverley Birding blog. With no further news on the Crane I was back again on Saturday afternoon. After an horrific visit 3 weeks back when High Eske was more like a boating lake than nature reserve I had sworn to avoid the area on the weekend but today hoped the weather would put the undesirable off. Before I even started scanning I saw the Crane in flight as well a female Marsh Harrier . Don’t think I flushed the Crane, more likely due to mobbing by Carrion Crows, as was a long way from it. Appeared to drop by the wood to the north and quickly relocated it there feeding by a ditch. DSCN3812 Leven Carrs showing the area the Common Crane was today

Was again distant but this time I had more time to take enough shots to hope at least one was an improvement on Monday. DSCN3768 Common Crane-Leven Carrs

While watching the Crane a young Red Fox came out of cover and linger fairly close on the cut area. DSCN3788 Young Red Fox-Leven Carrs

Started raining and this convinced me not to attempt what would have been a long walk to get a bit closer. Walking back saw the new drain that the machinery seen on Monday had created. With the scrape created in early 2012, that had been good for passage waders, now overgrown this might provide a new wader magnet. DSCN3813

New excavation on Leven Carrs

Getting back to High Eske I had an Otter in the river. Although not great shots I managed better than I had previously. DSCN3815

Otter-R.Hull at High Eske NR

Despite working the area for over 25 years I’ve only seen Otter a handful of time.

Had time for a quick look round. Little of note bird wise but had a nice long-horned beetle. DSCN3832 Strangalia quadrifasciata DSCN3824

Singing Chiffchaff-High Eske NR

Despite disturbance and varying water levels 3 pairs of Great Crested Grebes were nesting on Saturday however on Tuesday 2 July all had gone although a pair were attempting to re-nest by the main island. DSCN3827

Nesting Great Crested Grebes-High Eske NR.

Common Terns are seen regularly feeding over the reserve, where fish fry are often seen in large schools, and I’ve seen them flying over Leven Carrs carrying small fish which are likely breeding birds taking a short cut to Tophill Low NR. For new from Tophill Low NR check the blog.

The  Crane was still present evening of 2nd July although elusive due to disturbance from heavy plant. On the bright side  this work is to turn the carrs into fenland, the sort of habitat that might attract breeding Common Cranes in future.

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Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Butterflies, High Eske NR, Moths, Nature in East Yorkshire, Swinemoor

Brown Tits and Ladybirds at Tophill Low NR

Been a good week on the coast but things have been much quieter inland at Tophill Low NR.

13/10 Started promising with a drake Common Scoter found by Doug Fairweather on the Saturday  but the following day was only seen by Geoff Barker who had braved the inclement weather and made it to the top D reservoir hide whilst everyone else only got as far as middle hide and then only because car park hide would have been unbearable in the northerly wind. The Scoter reappeared for a few mid week although I hadn’t seen it on the Monday. Geoff also had female-type Goosander and Greater Scaup, both managing to hang for RL, ML and I to reach top hide although the Goosander departed south soon after.

Walking back through D wood had my 1st Brambling since early last year.

I thought I had a dark winged goose flying south with Greylags but no sign of it on Watton NR. However a radio tagged Taiga Bean Goose was in the area recently so maybe?

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Greater Scaup with drake Tufted Duck

Image 2 Goldeneye-RL

Jack Snipe were still on the reserve last Sunday, with one utilising the “channels’ dug by Richard and his band of helpers on South Marsh East, likely the one I found on the 8th. This one was elusive when we looked for it late afternoon but I eventually located it very close to the hide, although well hidden behind reeds.

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While looking for it I located a 2nd bird much further away although was even more elusive. The rain last week has started to fill South Marsh East and made the Jack Snipes more elusive although the same lucky people had two again mid week.

In the gull roost this evening I found a Common Gull with white primaries, a possible confusion with a Mediterranean Gull for the unwary, then a real 1st winter Mediterranean Gull.

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Adult Common Gull with white primaries.

14/1o On Monday the only bird of note for me was Cetti’s Warbler briefly giving it’s explosive song at the lagoon. Richard had another one their favoured site, South Marsh Wast on my next visit, on Saturday.

DSCN0467Agonopterix alstromeriana-commonly seen in hides around the reserve-14/10/13

19/10 Like Monday it was again quiet on Saturday although had a bit of fun when while Doug Fairweather was showing off the highlights of his moth trapping a big spider decided the walk up his arm. Although I’ve not seen one quite like it before, it appears to be just a colour morph of Garden Spider.

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Garden Spider

The highlight of the moths was Rush Veneer, rare anywhere so a good site tick although will have to wait for Martin’s return from Sagre to get it’s status for the site.

After the good day on Friday only the Black-necked Grebe and a Red-crested Pochard were reported from Hornsea Mere on  Saturday.

20/10 Back on the site with RL and ML on Sunday morning. Had a load of Harlequin Ladybirds.

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Harlequin Ladybirds

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Harlequin Ladybird Larva

Otter had been seen by, amongst others, Eric Clubley, a site 1st for him. We headed through D wood wood checking the tit flocks on the way. Both Willow and Marsh Tit are been seen regularly recently.

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This one is definitely a Marsh Tit!

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Another Marsh Tit

Gave it a while in North Marsh hide but as usual no Otter. Also no Kingfisher, which have been scarce recently. However still plenty of Migrant Hawkers and Common Darter, including many still ovipositing.

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Migrant Hawker

For more news from the reserve check the Tophill Low Blog.

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September 14th-Hornsea Mere and Welton Waters [+moths!]

14/9 Roy did Hornsea Mere on Saturday and had the Great White Egret at the east end. Also the Black-necked Grebe was off Kirkholme Point, and Water Rail and Snipe were in the bay. 420 Little Gulls were seen at dusk.

I went to Welton Waters late afternoon. An immature female Peregrine was hitting the 300+ Lapwing on the airfield but with out success whilst I was there. A small area of water was visible on the marsh and picked out a few returning Gadwall, Wigeon and Shoveler. Also at least 9 Grey Herons on the airfield with a few more around “watersports pit”. Good number of Gadwall now on Brough Angling Complex but viewing still very restricted. Mute Swans now numbering 35+ on “watersports pit” but only 2 pairs with young including the one that bred on Brough Angling Complex. Walking up Common Lane the only passerines were 2 Bullfinches and a Chiffchaff and even they were elusive. Walking the the eastern edge of “watersports pit” had 2 Green and a Common Sandpiper.

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Green Sandpiper by “watersports pit” Welton Waters

Water Rail showing well in the south-east corner until disturbed by a dog walker.

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Water Rail by “watersports pit” Welton Waters

Why can’t people realise if someone is using a camera it might be considerate to hang back. Walking back west a late set of water skiers caused an impressive 30+ Cormorants to depart for the river. Pity they choice the time when many birds are thinking of settling down for the night to have their fun. Only counted 3 Little Grebes in the area, a few years ago 60+ could be seen. A Little Egret flew over Brough Angling Complex this evening. An Avocet was on the mud in front of the airfield but apart from the Lapwing on the airfield, over high tide, waders were again in short supply with a small number of Curlew and a solitary Redshank. A few butterflies still on the wing but a bit docile.

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Small Tortoiseshell-Welton Waters

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Green-veined White-Welton Waters

Also on the Lepidoptera front, Saturday night was cold and not surprisingly I had my worst count of moths overnight since spring. Only 3 Light Brown Apple moths, a Rose Garden Tortrix and 4 Lesser Yellow Underwings.

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Garden Rose Tortrix

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Light Brown Apple moth.

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Lesser Yellow Underwing

15/9 On  Sunday morning the Great White Egret was still at Hornsea Mere viewable from Kirkholme Point as well as the juvenile Black-necked Grebe and 14 Little Gulls. A juvenile Rose-coloured Starling flew south from Hornsea North Cliff early morning.

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Filed under Birds in East Yorkshire, Butterflies, Cottingham, Hornsea Mere, Moths, Nature in East Yorkshire, Welton Waters